Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trial by Fire by Jospehine Angelini

Genre:  YA Fantasy
Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 1
Expected publication date:  September 2, 2014

Description (taken from Josephine Angelini's website):
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 cruellest 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 saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

In Lily's world, she's the sickly outcast that everyone tries not to notice too much.  But with her allergies worsening, she knows she's not going to be able to do a whole lot of normal things for very much longer.  And she's dying to get her best friend, Tristan, to notice her.  When he finally does and decides to take her to a party, Lily thinks it might finally be her dream come true.  But things happen and Lily finally gets noticed, just not in the way that she wanted people to notice her.  And when someone offers her a way out of her humiliating experience, she decides to take it.

But where she ends up isn't what she expected.  An alternate universe where the Lillian here is in full control of the world.  Her allergies are suddenly explained as power Lily wields.  She's strong; she's a witch.  And the hesitant Rowan, who's been burned by Lillian already, must teach her how to wield her magic.  As their world fights a revolution against the witches' tyranny, Lily finds everyone trying to use her how they see fit.  But all Lily wants to do is learn enough to get herself home.  No matter how good this world turns out to be, it's not her home.

Josephine Angelini is one of my favorite story-tellers.  The fact that I stayed up hours into the night reading this book even though I wasn't sold on the concept is proof.  After finishing the book, I still didn't know what to think.  I mean alternate universes where magic rules instead of science?  It's cool, but the whole alternate universe thing has been done before.  It seems like dystopians are going to step down and make way for alternate universes, but that's a rant for another day.  Back to the book, I honestly have a love-hate relationship for this book.  The characters kept me very entertained, and I loved their determination to fight for what they believed in.  But I felt like a lot of them gave up too early and lost their flame; plus Lily is just weird.

This is a series that is going to captivate an audience.  Fans of Josephine Angelini's writing are not going to be disappointed.  And after I let the story settle in my mind for a day, I realized I will plan on reading the next book.  I do want more of the story even if I wasn't exactly sold with the first book.

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

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