Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Firewalker (Josephine Angelini)

Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)
Title: Firewalker
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 2
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Told: Third Person Omniscient, Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (disturbing situations and images, violence, sensuality/minor sexuality, minor language)
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
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"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.

*          *          *

Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Macmillan!! <3

In a SentenceA rich sequel with lots of magic and mystery that, while it did suffer a little from middle book syndrome, shouldn't be missed if you loved the first book!

After Trial By Fire captivated me with its engrossing story and unusual magic (check out my review of Book 1 here), I was excited to return to the world of the Worldwalker series with this sequel! I'd grown to care so much about the characters in the first book and was delighted to spend more time with them, no matter what they were doing - which proved a good thing because they weren't up to all that much in the beginning as they healed and learned and settled into a new way of life.

The first half was all magic and mystery as Lily recuperated from her previous trials (by fire, hehe). There wasn't a lot of action but plenty of engaging character development and information absorption as we began to learn bit by bit what drives Lillian and what she wants of Lily. It wasn't until exactly halfway into the book that we returned to the action, adding fleeing and fighting and lots of fire to even more magic and mystery as we delved into the enigma of the Woven and what (or who) they really are. I really enjoyed the mystery, although by the end of the book we are left with infinitely more questions than answers as it ended on a soft cliffhanger that will open up a whole new world of sorts in the final book.

While Firewalker was essentially a thrill of a read for me though, I must admit it did suffer a little middle (or second) book syndrome. It seemed to exist mainly so the characters could get from Point A to Point B and so we (characters and readers) learned everything we needed to know for The Big Reveals in Book 3. That said though if you loved the first book you should love the second book, hang the MBS.

Lily and Rowan continue to be my one and only serious ship, despite some serious angst I did not see coming in this book. But Lily and Rowan are so much more than just Lily + Rowan, and I think that's what really makes their relationship - they are so perfect together, but they are also just as amazing apart. Lily is a true pillar of strength in the face of great adversity, growing and adapting but still maintaining her true self even as her similarities to unbalanced Lillian begin to show. Lillian continues to be a redeemable character for me though, and while it feels like a serious long-shot I'll be holding out hope for her until the last page of the series. Rowan strained my emotions something awful in this book as he showed sides of himself we hadn't previously seen before (not all of them good), but he took an interesting turn at the end that I'll be very interested to see play out in the final book.

As with the first book there was a darker vibe to the story that left me tense with dread expecting sexual assault (a deal-breaker for me), this time from the reason behind Lillian's dark change of heart. Luckily it turned out to be non-sexual, but was still rather disturbing - this book is definitely not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach).

Conclusion: I absolutely loved returning to the world and magic of this thrilling series and spending more time with its amazing characters! Although it did suffer a little from middle book syndrome, if you enjoyed the first book you should definitely enjoy this second one. Now, for the long wait until the final book: Traitor's Pyre...

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles

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