Dealing with the murder of one of his students isn’t exactly what Wilder Pratt planned for the day. But the desperate reality is that something is targeting innocent young mages and while Wilder may pretend he doesn’t care, he isn’t about to let the entire student body of Banneker College of Magic become the victims of a violent monster.
It’s part of Hermes’ job to see the souls of the dead escorted to the underworld, but with those souls vanishing before he can arrive, Hermes knows there’s trouble brewing. Dear old Dad will be sure to blame him if he can’t discover the cause. But if it means sparring with the charming and snarky Wilder Pratt, then Hermes might find a way to enjoy himself.
Too quickly, Wilder and Hermes discover the unthinkable has occurred — the Titans have escaped. The gods of Olympus thought those particular horrors were locked away for eternity, but now one of them is stripping souls for power and growing more dangerous every day. It will take gods and mortals alike to destroy a monster from the dawn of creation, but even if they manage it, there may be eternal consequences for Wilder and Hermes.
So fun fact about me — I adore mythology and have since I was kid. I’ve always devoured stories about ancient gods, cunning tricksters, and their mortal foils. So when Wildfire popped up for review, I was quick to snag it and, for the most part, it was a strong read. It took a while for me to really get into it, but once I did, I found it quite fun save for a few issues. I will offer this caveat though: Wildfire is the first in the new Sons of Olympus series, but I’m not sure it feels completely standalone. The authors have another series, Lords of the Underworld, that exists in the same universe as Wildfire and multiple characters and events are referenced from those books. Now you can read Wildfire independently, but I think it would have been more enjoyable had I read the other series first, or at least been more familiar with the overall world the authors have created. So take that as you wish.
Wilder and Hermes aren’t the easiest couple to like initially. They’re both a bit obnoxious and lean towards selfishness. But once I saw past these rough outer shells, I found them to be rather sweet and quite perfect for one another. Wilder is a lot of bluff and bluster, but he honestly cares about the students he’s teaching. And while Hermes seems ridiculous at times, we see someone who has perpetually been rejected by his family, even when he’s done nothing to
deserve it. Their romance became a real highlight of the book and I went from being lukewarm to adoring them both.
The story to Wildfire is a blend of myth and magic and, for the most part, it works. The authors admit to playing fast and loose with the mythological aspects, but I think they do so in a way that reads as “believable” within the the world they’ve created. I really enjoyed their portrayal of Hades, who reads as a great deal more personable than you might expect from the god of the Underworld. The business with the Titans feels a bit uneven and I think it needed a bit more building out to really make an impact. Additionally, the final battle was a letdown, resolving far too quickly given all buildup. It wrapped up so fast that it actually undermined the gravity of the threat.
Wildfire was a fairly strong series starter and save for the ending that ended with a whimper instead of a well deserved bang, I enjoyed reading it. Wilder and Hermes are the real heart of this book and their relationship gives the story depth and purpose. If you like mythology or some wild and wonderful magic, you’ll probably have a blast reading Wildfire.