Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
Publication Date: November 2012
Hardcover, 384 pages, Feiwel & Friends
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and 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 all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

My Review

Burn baby, burn! This book was definitely sizzling, and in so many different ways!

I had no idea what to expect from this book. I know that Josephine Angelini is a talented YA author. I loved her Starcrossed series, so I knew that this book would have me falling into a love-type relationship. While Trial by Fire isn’t quite as amazing as her first books, it’s still really good.

The plot of this story is incredibly unique. I’ve never heard of anything like it. There are not just paranormal creatures in this book, but alternate realities and weirdo science, too! It’s like some sort of dystopian-paranormal-fantasy-sci-fi mash-up. So basically, if you love any one of those four genres, you’re going to enjoy this story.

Lily isn’t the strongest female lead character, but she definitely isn’t anywhere close to being the worst. She’s a little hard to connect with at times. Her emotions always seemed a little too strong. However, I’m a fan of emotions in books; I don’t like it when authors don’t put enough of them in a storyline. Lily did come off a little strongly at times, though. Rowan, the love interest and Mr. Mysterious Hunk of Manflesh, definitely managed to perk my interests more than once. And I especially love the interaction between Lily and Rowan in the beginning. Rowan is most definitely a swoon-worthy lead, he’s got the brooding attitude, a tragic past, and the good looks to make me seriously want like 5 of him. The villains of the story were complete enigmas. I had no idea what to make of them. The lack of reasoning behind their actions, and sometimes the few reasons that were given, really had me second-guessing who was the real bad guy.

The only major downside I could see to this book was the world-building. Sure, it was an amazing concept with a fantastic layout, it just needed more explanation. It sometimes became hard to understand why the magic worked a certain way, or why Lily could do one thing but not the other. I think some firm rules could have been established in order to really let readers know why the events were panning out as they were.

Oh, and before I forget, that ending was most definitely not satisfying. A cliffhanger, really? Grr… I’ve got to stop reading books until the whole series is released. It would make my life so much simpler.

All in all, Trial by Fire is a good, almost great, read. The characters were fun and entertaining, the plot was quick and twisty, and the fantastic background was incredible! So, as long as book #2 continues to build on the magic and the dos and don’ts of Lily’s story, I’ll keep on reading.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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