Last month I received an Advanced Readers Copy of Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini.
As many of you may know, Josephine Angelini is one of my favourite authors in all of history. Her Starcrossed series is one which I have read multiple times, and I fall in love with it in a new way every time I read it. Angelini is such an incredible author, and I was so excited for Trial by Fire to be released.
Can you imagine my reaction when I was sent an ARC?
It went something like this:
When I got the book in the mail, my first thought was how beautiful the cover it.
I know it's just a proof, but it is gorgeous.
Back of box/cover:
Isn't that just the most incredibly stunning cover you've ever seen? No? Well, you need your eyes checked.
"This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is 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 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 cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.
Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world 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?"
"I also remember what I owe for my life - what I did to keep it. I remember what I must do, even if it makes me the villain of my own story" - page 37
When I first heard about Trial By Fire, I was so excited. I am a huge fan of witches, magic and all things supernatural. The synopsis itself tied my stomach in knots with anticipation of reading this book, so it's safe to say I had pretty high hopes for not only the book, but the characters and Josephine Angelini herself. I had no idea how she could top the Starcrossed series, and I was slightly worried that the first book in the Worldwalker Trilogy would fall short of my expectations.
From the very first page, my nerves were calmed and my expectations met. For the first two chapters, the book follows modern-day real world Lily Proctor, who is dying of her allergies. In the very first line, we are introduced to this incredibly sick girl, running in to the girls bathroom at school in need of vomiting intensely. Not the most pleasant of introductions, but for some reason, it shone Lily in an endearing and humbling light.
From the first chapter, it became obvious how much family would be a vital part within this book, and that is something that I adore. Family is the most precious gift we are given in this world, and when we lose our family, that is when we are truly alone. Angelini manages to create family bonds throughout all of her universes within the World Walker series, talking about how no matter what universe they are in, there isn't a single Juliet (Lily's sister) that doesn't love Lily. It is very clear to me when reading that Lily's Mum, a diagnosed schizophrenic in one world, is actually able to see through the dimensions and see other versions of the people around her, whilst everyone else just assumes that she is crazy.
As the book unfolds, the story grows more complex and fascinating. I felt compelled to read page after page, even into the early hours of the following morning. Bravo Josephine Angelini. It is very rare that I will give up my precious sleep for anything less than genius, and in all honesty, genius is what this book is.
Within the writing, Angelini has included little gems of writing and quotes that rival the likes of J K Rowling.
"She'll be back."
"How do you know?"
"Because you can't run from yourself forever." - page 51
This is one of my favourite lines from the whole book. It is completely true, because even in a world without magic, eventually you have to stop running from yourself. You need to step up and accept who you are, and be proud of it.
A conversation I regularly have with my friends is about fictional boyfriends and relationships within book series. I find it extraordinary that someway, somehow, authors can make us fall in love with a boy that doesn't exist. In some books, I'm not that bothered about the romance or the love. I really don't "ship" Katniss and Peeta, or Katniss and Gale. I didn't fall in love with either of them, however I completely fell in love with Rowan, and even more so with the relationship between Lily and Rowan. With every page turn, I was desperate for romance, desperate for the relationship to be taken that much further. His character infuriated me, made me laugh, cry, scream and at one point, my ARC even took a flying trip across the room I was so aggravated. And honestly, I loved it. Angelini took me on an emotional rollercoaster, turning me inside out and making me question everything I thought I knew about relationships and love.
Trial By Fire is, a Doctor Who style concept book, with magic and parallel universes. It is a must read for fans of Harry Potter and Doctor Who.The series revolves around the concept that there are an unlimited number of parallel universes, each one slightly different from another. This is a theory that has actually been explored by many scientists before, and I am so fascinated by the concept that I couldn't wait to start a series that revolved around something that I am always eager to delve further into. Josephine Angelini successfully managed to take something that has been argued over for decades and turn it into this wonderful mashup of science, fiction and magic.
In every book that I read, there are always certain lines and paragraphs that make me desperate to read more and finish the book, and this was certainly no exception. I finished the entire book in one sitting, and it took me just over three hours. The time flew by, and as it did, the book crept its way up my top ten list, surpassing the Covenant series by Jennifer Armentrout.
In under 400 pages, Angelini manages to pack everything that any reader could ever want into a perfect combination of ingredients, forming what is without a shadow of a doubt the book of the year. Action, adventure, magic, science, romance and family bonds are all present within this mind-blowingly awesome roller coaster ride of a book.