This 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.
Trial by Fire is the first book in a new series called The Worldwalker. Truth in reviewing, I have not read any of Angelini's previous works, but was eager to read this book because I do enjoy alternative reality stories and anything to do with witchcraft and the Salem Witch trials. You could say that Trial by Fired is a mixed genre novel that incorporates science fiction, with paranormal.
My review lands me right in the middle of the pack of those who either loved Trial by Fire, and those who have decided to leave it alone and move onto something else. When it comes to reviewing Trial by Fire, the overall story and characters aren't necessarily awful, I just don't personally like preach-y books and never will.
Underlying everything that Lily Proctor does in this story good or bad, is the fact that she finds it necessary to preach the gospel according to Lily even when people look at her as though she has two heads. She truly believes that she is better than everyone else because she chooses not to eat meat. (She even wears a T-Shirt saying so). She shows up for protests against basically everything and anyone, and truly believes that Polar bears are eating human beings in order to survive. OK, well that last one was a bit over the top but you get my meaning.
Reading books for me is an escape from every day life and a passion, and I don't want to waste my time being preached at for half the story by a supposed fictitious character on the shoulders of her human creator. On top of all this, Lily is pretty much allergic to almost everything and her mother is a bit off the wall. Which means Lily can't have any sort of a normal life, or friends, not even when she finally goes to a party with her "supposed" best friend Tristan Corey.
When she does finally attend one, she ends up having an epic episode that leads her to be taken away to an alternative reality Salem, Massachusetts by her doppelganger, Lillian. Lily finds herself in a world where there are only 13 walled cities, where witches are all powerful, monsters called Woven terrorize the so called Outlanders, and apparently there are doppelgangers of her sister Juliet, and Tristan.
As Lily learns more about herself including why she has been allergic to nearly everything, her surroundings, and those like Rowan, Tristan, and Caleb she surrounds herself with, she becomes a much more rounded character, and one that I hope will continue in the sequel and not the HOLY SHIT, I AM DEFINITELY BETTER THAN YOU!
Lily becomes focused on helping people, learning about magic and how to use it to prevent herself from being sick and not just telling them that they are wrong in doing what they're doing. One thing remains the same in both worlds, her sister Juliet is a wonderful and sweet character who couldn't harm Lily even if she wanted to. She doesn't agree with Lillian's plans, and she stands up for what is truly right. She even warns Lily that she really isn't safe in this world.
I am happy to say that while there is a bit of romance involved in Trial by Fire between Lily and Rowan, it isn't insta-lust, nor does it involve multiple other characters. The romance grows from mutual dislike and hatred, to understanding, caring, and uniting for the goal of keeping Lily alive, and returning her home. You could say that Tristan is the same character in both worlds. He is a glorified man whore who enjoys playing the field. But, he isn't
I do want to apologize to anyone who truly believes that this review is rant-y, or an attack on anyone. That is absolutely not the case, and I think if you take the entire review for what it is, you will agree as well.
Trial by Fire has an interesting world building that hopefully will continue to impress in the subsequent sequel. I am happy that this story was told in the third POV because it allows you to get a grander idea of the world that Lily has been forced into, and trying to escape from.
I am thankful to the publisher (Macmillan) for sending me such an awesome package that the book arrived in! I will be looking forward to the sequel, and hopefully even more actions, adventure and surprises.
Author - Josephine Angelini
Title - Trial by Fire
Series - The Worldwalker Trilogy # 1
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Releases: September 2, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback ARC 384 pages