Every flame begins with a spark.
Blackwood Academy was supposed to be a fresh start for Ashline Wilde. A secluded boarding school deep in the heart of California’s redwood forests, three thousand miles from her old life – it sounded like the new beginning she needed after an act of unspeakable violence left a girl in her hometown dead.
But Blackwood is far from the peaceful haven Ashline was searching for.
Because terrifying, supernatural beasts roam the forests around campus.
Because the murderer from Ashline’s hometown – her own sister – has followed her across the country.
Because a group of reincarnated gods and goddesses has been mysteriously summoned to Blackwood…
…and Ashline’s one of them.
Either I’ve gotten really good at picking out the plot lines and secrets that will be given away later in the book, or this one wasn’t very good at hiding it. I knew what was going to happen: who the antagonists were and what twist was going to be offered at the end of the book. Just through deduction, I figured out each character’s role. It took away a bit of the entertainment factor, but it was still an interesting read.
Jailbait! *****MILD SPOILERS******
So… I have to bring this up because this is an issue that many people may not pay much attention to when writing or reading, but it is a real thing that we do need to pay attention to. (And everyone knows I’m a huge supporter of fiction mirroring reality.)
Ashline Wilde is 16 and goes to school in California where consensual age is 18. Therefore, anyone over the age of 18 who has sex with her is doing so illegally. In fact, ‘jailbait’ is even commented on earlier in the book, but seems to suddenly be null and void later on in the book like it’s non-existent just because a hunky boy walks into the picture. I don’t condone this because while the relationship is consensual, it’s still technically perpetuating an illegal act to young readers. That’s not right. And cannot be ignored.
To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with the plot. Actually… I’m not a 100% sure what the plot actually is because there were a few things that inter-played with each other, but nothing stuck out as the main plot. Thus, I was a little disappointed because the book didn’t seem to really have a definite direction. It kind of just… went along, ambling towards the end of the book. Not a huge fan of this, or the extra interludes or way certain scenes were formatted because it felt like filler content. The story just didn’t feel strong enough.
So, I was confused throughout the book how Ash’s sister could be the trickster because obviously she is a goddess as well. She’s been misled, perhaps. So, that wouldn’t make her the trickster herself. And having looked up one of the Gods from the book, I realize that she wasn’t the trickster. One of the other Gods is and I really love this twist at the end (something I didn’t realize until AFTER I dug into the interwebs a little bit.)