Firewalker by Josephine Angelini is the epic sequel to Trial by Fire and brings even more awesome world-building for me to love! I can’t get over how much I love the world that Angelini has built by combining actually accurate science with fantasy elements. Combine that with deliciously grey characters and just the right amount of romance, and you have a trilogy that will hold a place of honor on my shelves. Now if only I could get a hardcover of the redesigned first book…. There are spoilers for book one below, so check out my review of Trial by Fire instead if you haven’t read it!
Note: I received an advanced copy of Firewalker from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (The Worldwalker Trilogy #2)
Published by Feiwel & Friends on Sept. 1st, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.
"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.
- SCIENCE! Sorry all, just had to get that out there. My absolute favorite thing about Firewalker is how skillfully Angelini has brought real science into her fantasy world. Lily uses her power to undifferentiate cells to heal!!!!! At this point I don’t even know how to classify Firewalker because it uses science so wonderfully that it is definitely a sci-fantasy ;-).
- My other favorite thing about Firewalker is definitely the questionable characters. There is very little black and white in this story because the “villain” has actually really good motives for her actions, even if they are questionable at first. I love Lily’s distress at what the right course of action is and how she grapples with the question of ends justifying means. Nothing makes me happier than all characters having good and bad to them!
- I’ve honestly been straying away from a lot of YA these days because the romances just tire me out. I really appreciate Firewalker recognizing teens have strong emotions for each other, but not going over the top. Lily’s romantic relationship is certainly not bump-free, which of course is delightfully realistic, but she deals with things with less angst than I often find in YA.
- Lily makes new friends! It’s always fun to meet new characters with different backgrounds and perspectives halfway through a series and it was great getting to know Breakfast and Una as things got crazy.
- Firewalker is quite fast-paced eventually. The last third is really freaking cool, but even before that, the writing is just very fast to read. I ended up reading it in two sittings since I was on a roadtrip and that was with the radio blasting in my ear! Definitely a great book to pick up when you want fun and interesting without overly dense writing.
- Firewalker does unfortunately suffer from middle book syndrome. It doesn’t have its own plot really and very much feels like it is just there to connect the first book to the final. I’m really excited for the final book now of course, but I couldn’t diagram out the essential plot of Firewalker.
- If you’ve already read and enjoyed Trial by Fire, you’ll know if the writing style works for you or not. I find that the writing seems a weak point of these books that I otherwise love and I know a number of people who disliked Trial by Fire for that reason. Basically, Firewalker has the same writing style and you know if it works for you or not.
- The start of Firewalker is pretty slow. Lily is convalescing and things are being set up, but rather little happens. If the writing wasn’t so fast to read, I probably would have been more frustrated instead of just mildly disappointed. It does pick up though, so stick with it.
Firewalker builds the world of of the Worldwalker books wonderfully, but does suffer from some middle book syndrome. Since the writing is easy to get through, it is worth continuing the series if you enjoyed Trial by Fire. I suspect the ending is going to more than make up for a weak middle and I can’t wait!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
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