Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (Book Review)

firewalkerLily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

‘You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.’

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.

Publisher: Macmillan
Page Count:
 339

Firewalker is the second book in the Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini. If you haven’t read Trial by Fire (check out my review here) yet, I recommend you do NOT read on, since this review will have Spoilers for the first book!

It seems to be the year of me reading sequels! Where Glass Sword failed miserably at changing it up, Firewalker was very different from its predecessor as well, but did much better in executing the next act of the story. It continues with Lily having jumped back into her own world with Rowan in tie and it’s delightful to see the role reversal of him being the fish out of water now.

It’s a little difficult for me to write this review, because it took a long while until the story actually continued in a way that moved the plot forward as a whole. Also, my thoughts are all over the place! But then again, in some ways this book was so much darker than the first one and I love intense stories. The pace is much slower than it was during the first book. There’s a lot of recovery time needed for Lily and more told in flashbacks and memories than in the previous one. The clash of Lily’s old life and her new one is hilarious and also very surprising in some ways. A lot has happened while she was gone, which also leads to her having to return to Lillian’s world with more people than she ever intended to take there. I don’t even want to say anything more about he plot in order to not give anything away, but even if it was a lot slower, it was very intriguing to see these worlds collide.

We finally get an explanation as to why Lillian is executing scientists and why she hanged Rowan’s father. It’s a twisted logic with gruesome images, but one that I can understand and it really puts you in a bad spot. Lily can be stubborn and she is not doing the right thing by keeping secrets from her best friends and loved ones – it made her so much more annoying sometimes – but I still would not want to be in her position. There are no real good guys and I so much more get why Lillian felt like she had to become the villain of her own story.

Another thing we learn more about are the Woven and I am so intrigued now. I am pretty sure that they are going to be the focus in the last book, seen as they are a major part of the cliffhanger ending. Which was cruel – AGAIN! I hate that I have to wait until September for the finale, which has a title (Witch’s Pyre) and sort of also a cover, but not yet the Macmillan one. Since I find them to be the most gorgeous out there, I NEED to know how the last one looks like in that particular edition. I want it in my hands like ASAP! I am so hooked, I can only recommend this series! 

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A gripping sequel to a really great story. I cannot wait for the final book!

4stars

Have you read Firewalker? Did you have the same thoughts as I did? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (Book Review)

trialThis world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Publisher: Macmillan
Page Count:
 373

This was quite honestly one of those books that I saw and didn’t know what it was about AT ALL (besides witches obviously), but I was so fascinated by the cover, I had to have it. Man, am I glad I followed through on that gut feeling, because I am really surprised this isn’t a more popular series.

First off, I really have to give Trial by Fire credit for its originality. Lily Proctor is allergic to … well, everything! So, the book starts off with her vomiting and is followed by other strange incidents. I was frankly a little weirded out by the beginning of the story, but as soon as she was brought to the different Salem, everything simply fell into place.
New Salem is a mix between our world and a place where magic has survived and become the most important thing. The air isn’t clogged, there is no pollution – just imagine how great that must be! Every machine and the drawbacks and dangers that come with them in our world weren’t ever even invented there, because it could all just be handled with magic. And the magic is so wonderfully scientific! Everything has it’s own rules and purpose and I thought it was so well put together. The most intriguing part to me were the willstones (basically a necklace that lets you channel your powers, but is like an additional limb or organ at the same time) and I hope to explore the customs for those even more in the following installments.

One thing I was really glad about was the fact that there was no insta-love. Rowan hates Lily because he thinks she’s Lillian, her evil-doppelganger in New Salem. He kidnaps her and doesn’t even care when she gets hurt – you can feel in the hostility on both sides! And then there is another person who existed in Lily’s world as well, whom she trusts much more than Rowan. So, instead of rushing into this, the feelings that they experienced were the kind that transcends dimensions, a love that develops with time. It is even sort of a mix between cosmically-belonging-together and enemies-turned-lovers, which was great to read.

The dialogue in general was quite funny and all the characters multi-faceted, even the evil ones. There is still a lot to explore, though they’ve covered a lot of ground in Trial by Fire. What I hated a lot of course was the cliffhanger – I can’t deal with those!

I guess there really isn’t anything bad that I could say about the book, but somehow I still can’t give it 5 stars. I want to know more about Lily, Rowan, Tristan, Juliet, Lillian and all the others. I don’t even know if the next book will take place in the same dimension and it drives me crazy! As I’ve said in the beginning, I wish that more people would read this series. It is definitely underrated! Why haven’t you read it yet!?

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A very fascinating spin on witches and the world of magic, yet with another cruel cliffhanger!

4stars

Could I convince you to give Trial by Fire a try? Do you enjoy stories about witches? Why don’t I have the sequel right here with me, can you tell me that? At least I can check off another book from my TBR!

February 2016 TBR

FebTBR

As promised in yesterday’s Wrap-Up, here is this month’s TBR! I am going to aim high again, because it surely doesn’t hurt to plan to read a lot. As I’ve mentioned, I am starting work though, so no promises from my side. Here is my target book count for February:

  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
    This is my first Patrick Ness book and I am really excited. I’ve heard people saying that it’s not his best work though, so I am keeping my expectations in check! I will buddy read it with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books and it’s all very informal with us discussing on Twitter. So, if you want to join in with us you are more than welcome to.
  • Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty
    I wanted this book for so long! Contemporary Sherlock stories are the best! (Hopefully that’s true!)
  • Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
    I bought this book because I fell in love with the cover and when it finally arrived it was even more beautiful than I thought it would be. I have no idea if I will have the same sentiments about the story though, so I haven’t ordered its sequel yet. Let’s all hope together that I will love it!
  • Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
    I’ve been waiting a long time to get the sequel to A Thousand Pieces of You and will buddy read it with Marie as well. Our schedules are busy, but I am sure we will make it work!
  • Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame
    This month we will actually read it! And by we, I mean Cristina @My Tiny Obsessions and I. We were huge fans of the first book in the series, Did I Mention I Love You? so hopefully this one will be equally good.
  • Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach
    I guess it entirely depends on my reading speed if I will get to the book. I am in no particular rush because it’s release is in May, but I would like to read it with Cristina as well, so maybe we will tackle it this month as well!
  • S. by J.J. Abrams/Doug Dorst
    As a little remainder from last month, this book will stay in my TBR as a filler in between books until I finish it.

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Click on the covers if you want to know more about the books! What are you planning to read this month? Share your thoughts in the comments below!