Bookgab: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

by - January 17, 2018

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Publisher/year: 2014 PanMacmillian
Genre: Fantasy/ Sci-fi

What’s it about?
Lily Proctor is allergic to virtually everything, and growing up in Salem she’s never been able to do the things her friends take for granted... which is why she’s 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 when she wishes she could just disappear – she does.
Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem- a terrifying new world where she is overwhelmed by new desires and new experiences, and her weakness is replaced with extraordinary power. She soon discovers that this world is ruled by dark and powerful witches, and that the strongest and cruellest of all is LIlian... Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. Trown into war 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?

The Review

There comes a day when every girl loses the stars in her eyes. And then she can see clearly.
This is Lily’s day.

Unlike the quote above I can not exactly pin point when the stars in my eyes were lost while reading this book but I can confidently guess that it had been somewhere in the beginning. I’m strangely disappointed that I didn’t like this book and it’s not because it was badly written or just plain horrible because it was none of the above it just wasn’t for me I guess.
The story was weird but interesting! I’ve always found witchy books to be AMALZING! (Yes I know it’s spelled wrong, but doesn’t that just sound better?NO?OK) Witches are bad ass and if they existed I think feminism would never even have played a role in our society but alas they’re not real and feminism has to exist so we don't all lose our minds. I digress. Witches! Yes, they are awesome but even though this book is set in two different Salems and instead of witches being wrongly persecuted - scientists and doctors were in their shoes instead. I didn’t really get the whole witchy vibe.

This might be because Trial by Fire was both a fantasy and a science fiction book and although I admire the fact that Josephine tried something different the two just didn’t match in my opinion.

The Setting: The novel was set up in two different Salems but most of the story took place in the second Salem after Lily, the main character, stupidly agreed to leave her world for another because of a boy. Leaving behind her sister, Juliet, to manage on her own with their sick mother. Sigh, I’ll get to them later! Anyway, the first Salem was basically just a normal town in the 21st century but the second... I have no idea where that was supposed to be and neither did our protagonist. People were wearing gowns like kings and queens in the olden days while there were genetically engineered monsters running about? Ok so the monsters, also known as the Woven, weren’t created through science but still it didn’t mesh well. The setting and the costumes almost made it seem like the author wasn’t really sure what to do so she basically just did everything that popped into her head. Uhm confused much? Because I am!

The characters: Ahh Lilly. I don’t know where to start with this one. Our protagonist does have some redeeming qualities but all through out the novel her childishness and fragility worked on my nerves. Even when she lost the right to be called fragile she still managed to hang on to the title of number one damsel in distress which is not something I appreciated. I absolutely loathed her double Lillian but at least she had some back bone. Lilly was described as stubborn but she was almost stupidly stubborn and I honestly couldn’t deal! Over all I found it hard to really connect with the characters. Most of the characters were very one dimensional. If a character was bad you rarely saw any other side of them which bothered me because as we all know people are rarely born bad and neither are characters! It’s good to show both sides or just the origin of the assy-ness. Am I wrong?

Romance: This was not an ista-love kinda book which I appreciated but you pretty much knew off the bat who Lilly would be falling for and as most YA love stories begin for some reason it started out of a mutual fiery hate. Rowan, also known as Mr. Love is the typical brooding but handsome love interest. This didn’t surprise me at all and once the obvious chemistry, which was a tad bit forced, reached its maximum peek their love was down right irritating. Edward and Bella anyone? Sigh, and it started out so promising. (Bows head in defeat)
And if the love between those two wasn’t forced enough they had to throw in a second Mr. Love who is the double of Lilly’s best friend back in her own world. I suppose this was made with the intent to have us thinking will they won’t they but it did nothing of the sort. He could have just been a friend Josephine!

Final thoughts: As I mentioned earlier guys I really did want to like this book but getting through it was more like a chore than anything else I went back to reading the first chapter of Fangirl simply for enjoyments sake. Trial by Fire had a very interesting concept, I’m just bummed that it wasn’t carried out better. Because this was the first book of the World Walker Trilogy there was way too much explaining going on and the worst part is even after all the explaining I was still scratching my head like what? The book wasn’t written badly though and I do think that others might enjoy it a lot more than I did. I looked up a few other reviews and some people were really into it so I guess this one is more of a personal preference read. Sadly I will not be continuing with this trilogy.

Who Should Read this Book?

 This book is for people who like very complicated worlds that don’t really care whether they make sense or not (the characters are what they are after) and enjoy reading books where there is a strong over arching love interest where you are teased until you basically want to smash their faces together out of frustration.  If you liked reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner you will find the familiarity of the Woven quite comforting and you will enjoy this book

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