Title: Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Acquired Via: Publisher
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?
Paranormal romances generally aren't my thing, and I tend to group anything with witches as that or urban fantasy. Josephine Angelini's Trial by Fire really isn't either of those, but I can assure you that it is all good. There is magic, alternate realities, hot guys, and powerful girls - the perfect combination to keep you burning through the pages. There are also moral dilemmas within that really makes you think about what is right, and what kind of sacrifice is too much.
I instantly felt sorry for Lily because the poor girl is always sick and allergic to everything, which reminded me very much of one of my friends from grade school. I remember watching those struggles as a kid, so it was a bit of an eye-opening experience to see the world, even if it was just high school, through her eyes. I sincerely hope that Trial by Fire falls into the hands of hyperallergic people so they can fantasize about what it would be like if their constant struggle was a part of something magical.
The alternate world in Trial by Fire reminded me a lot of the Tales of Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card. This other Salem has a very large population of Native Americans, called Outlanders there, and magic and science have reversed roles. Magic fuels the way of life, and scientists are hung for heresy. There are also quite a few other flips that I think are very, very fascinating, but I want to avoid spoilers. (I really want you guys to read this book.)
What most interested me about Trial by Fire is the aforementioned moral dilemmas. I saw so many similarities between what was happening to the Outlander scientists and various genocides and the Holocaust. I've heard it said many times that "evildoers" think what they're doing is right, and I really wonder how far someone can go to save the majority without crossing into a very dark place. It was not easy to see anyone in this novel as a villain, and I'm looking forward to see where Angelini goes with this series.
If you're looking to read a new spin on witches or like books with alternate realities, I highly recommend Trial by Fire. It's quite unlike all young adult novels that I've read, and I can't wait for the next two books in the series.
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
About the Author
Josephine Angelini is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. Originally from Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband and three shelter cats. Her debut series, Starcrossed, Dreamless, and Goddess, (HarperTeen) are all international bestsellers and have garnered the praise of various major publications, including the LA Times, and have twice won the Reader’s Choice Awards in Germany. Her next series, Trial by Fire, Book One of the WorldWalker Trilogy (Feiwel and Friends, Macmillan) will be out in the US on September 2nd.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Thanks to our wonderful friends at Macmillan, I have an ARC of Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini up for grabs today that you can enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.
Ends at 12:01 CST on September 21st
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book for reviewing purposes from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.