Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: September 2nd 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
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.
I have had this book on my TBR for a while and wasn't sure if I would enjoy the book. I have heard some amazing things about the book but it just didn't catch my fancy right away. I finally decided to give it a go and I liked it. I didn't absolutely love it as I had hoped but It was a very interesting story.
Lily lives in Salem, with her mother and her sister near by. She has a crush on her long time best friend Tristan. Lily has some issues, basically she is allergic to everything and anything. Her dream is to only live life without dying and in the arms of Tristan. She finally feels its gonna happen and then Tristan betrays her trust, breaks her heart, and Lily runs and runs until she hears a voice inside her head and suddenly she is in another Salem. One where things are completely different. There is another Lily (who goes by Lillian) another Juliet (her older sister) and of course another Tristan. Oh and her allergies are better practically gone. Oh and she finds out she is something of a witch. So Lily must find a way to live, survive, and maybe eventually get home but what she really is needed for is to save this other Salem. But save it from who and for who. Everything is new and confusing and nothing is as at seems.
There are some really wonderful things about this book. I love the magic, the way magic exists and lives in this world. I loved world and the world building. I loved the writing. I really loved the main characters. There was just something I didn't quite connect with this book. I found at times I was a bit bored then other times I was glued to the pages... well my seat listening to the book. I can't quite say for sure, it just didn't grab me like I wanted it too. I did enjoy it though. Enough to read the next book when it comes out and enough to recommend it to others who enjoy contemporary fantasies.
The good about this book, It was very original. I have never read another book that mixed sci-fi and fantasy together, meshing it to make magic make sense and seem so real. I absolutely loved the idea of magic in this book. It was very unique. I liked the writing. It was written well. The issue I had was the pacing.
Like I said earlier, there were times I was bored and fighting to pay attention and other times I was on the edge of my seat. The slow moments for me were important to the story I believe but as with many fantasy with lots of world building I tend to lose focus.
Now onto the world building. I thought this was an amazing world with complex magic and I didn't feel there was enough world building. I don't normally ask for more world building and as bored as I got throughout moments in the book, I would think the world building would have been complete. I had some issues with confusion and questions about the world. It may have been me, maybe I spaced with some of the explanations. Not sure. But this was another of my issues.
On more issue I had with the story then I will get to the good stuff. There were some awkward moments for me that involved touching will stones that people wore around their necks. It was supposed to be a pleasurable thing and something sensual. I just got awkward. It didn't appeal to me at all and it just felt awkward and strange.
So now the great parts.. The characters absolutely rocked in this book. I loved them all. Lily was extremely well developed and I loved every aspect of her. I loved her quirkiness, her allergies, her need to be good, her determination and her stubbornness. She was very well rounded. Not perfect, but just right. I also adored Rowen. He was a great other half for Lily. He was serious and intense, charming and brave.
There were also other good guys... Juliet in the new Salem. She wasn't seen much but she was super sweet, loyal, and concerned for everyone. There was Tristan of the new Salem. He was a sweetheart, also charming, and just so darn cute. Caleb was also a sweetie pie.
The evil were just evil and I like books with a clean line between good and evil. The only one I didn't see a clean line for was the Lillian. I am sure I will see more of her in the next book and maybe see more of what's she about.
So the characters rocked. The world rocked and the story was just amazing. I loved everything about the story. I loved the multiple universe, I loved the reason behind Lily's allergies. I love the witches, the crucibles, the mechanics and how they all worked together. I can't explain that in my review because it would take forever and it would take away from reading the book. SO you have to read it to understand. I also loved the entire save the world but idea comes down to science vs. magic. SO yes loved the story.
The romance. The romance worked well and I absolutely loved it and only wished I had more of it. It was important to the story but between the fighting, the running, the surviving, the training and all that stuff, there wasn't much time for romance. But the romance was just perfect, addicting, and I need more.
Even with the issues I had with this book I am still very excited to read the next book and I hope some of the issues I had will disappear as the second book is less of a buildup and more of a get on with the story kind of book.
It was a very intense and complex story that takes some patience to get through but in the end worth it. I really did enjoy it and will continue with the series.
Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. She graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband.