Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

Title: Firewalker
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Worldwalker, Book 2
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: 1 September 2015

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

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

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!

I raved about the first book in this series, Trial by Fire. It absolutely blew me away and I have been extremely excited for the last year for this book, the second in the series. I'm not sure if this affected my feelings about this book, or if I would have felt the same regardless, but it didn't - quite - live up to my expectations.

**Warning** There will be spoilers and references to events in the first book. It can't be helped. Honestly, it's going to be hard enough to talk about this book without spoiling everything in it. If you haven't yet read Trial by Fire, please check out my review for it.

Because the last book ended with Lily and Rowan world-jumping back to our world at the end of Trial by Fire, I knew I could expect that we would be spending at least some time in our world and I wasn't really looking forward to it. I enjoy being in Lillian's world. It's fascinating and I have been absolutely dying to know why Lillian ended up as tyrannical as she did. This meant that the first quarter of the book was ... well, boring for me. I wasn't into it, and I was could easily put the book down. Added to that, it was obvious what was going to need to happen - the fact that it was being danced around and not being done just frustrated me. Lily never was one to back away from what she knew was right, and I totally understood the break that was needed, the respite from the insanity that they'd come from, but I knew there was still too much to resolve. Lily and Rowan knew it, too.

After that, though, things really started to pick up. I loved that we got some answers - that blew my mind - about questions I'd had, but at the same time Josephine Angelini introduced new questions that I'm so incredibly interested in. I love that Lily doesn't just accept things at face value, she challenges and questions nearly everything, even when it frustrates those that surround her.

Speaking of the people surrounding her, well, things are starting to really build. I love that there aren't any clear answers. That maybe there's not a single person that's right in this, and that Lily has to find her own way, her own answers, and trust herself more than anyone. I love that. It's so nice to see that - even if someone she loves dearly doesn't agree - Lily doesn't shy away from doing what she believes, in her heart, to be right. I love that she still struggles against becoming like Lillian, and realizing that it's so possible because she is Lillian. I love her relationships with the people around her, and her struggles in the power imbalance between the majority of them and her.

What I didn't love so much were a few of the people surrounding her. One, I thought, was forgiven a bit too quickly. Another completely pissed me off. I'm 99% certain that something is going to be revealed to be not quite what we were shown there, but I'm still furious. The treatment, the reaction, the inability to trust....Grrr. I literally put my Kindle down and swore at my book.

That being said, the ending? Oh.My.God. My mouth was hanging open and I'm - once again - dying for the next book in this series. I'd begun to suspect, along with Lily, that things weren't quite the way they'd been portrayed and accepted, but that ending left me salivating for more. I have to see how this resolves itself.

There were some heart-wrenching moments in this book. I had to set the book down multiple times to give myself time to collect myself. There haven't been a lot of books that have been able to affect me so deeply, and I love that this one can.

Grade: B+

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