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Trial by Fire


Trial by Fire

Lily Proctor lives in Salem, Massachusetts. She is allergic to many things and has an elevated body temperature which is normal for her but would kill most people. She can’t enjoy many of the things her classmates take for granted, like going out to eat and going to parties, and she has few friends. When her closest friend, Tristan, betrays her, Lily is very upset and wishes she could just disappear --- and unexpectedly, her wish comes true.

Lily is transported to a different Salem. She doesn’t travel back in time; she goes to an alternate universe, one that exists alongside her own. Instead of a sprawling metropolis, she finds herself in a strange place with tall buildings, surrounded by ancient woods. The people living there wear unusual garments and have stones hanging around their necks. In this universe, witches weren’t hunted during the Salem Witch Trials, and over the centuries, they have become more and more powerful.  Now, people are dependent upon them for medicine, power and most everything they need in their daily lives.

[The author] has a lively writing style that is a pleasure to read.

Lily encounters an alternate version of herself (a powerful witch who calls herself Lillian) as well as Tristan and her sister, Juliet. Lily also meets Rowan, who is involved with Lillian. In this universe, Lily’s liabilities become her assets and she finds she has great powers. Her elevated temperature enables her to create energy from any heat source, which she learns how to harness in order to do amazing things.

Lillian has brought Lily to this Salem against her will so she can use Lily’s powers for evil purposes. But Lily doesn’t want to help Lillian in any way. She and Rowan team up against Lillian. The end of the book leaves the reader wondering what will happen next, as this is the first installment in a trilogy by author Josephine Angelini.

I generally like science fiction and fantasy books, but I’m up in the air about how I feel about this one. Normally, I would be anxious to read the next installment to find out what happens next. In this case, I’m ambivalent. For the most part, I liked the story --- the author created an intriguing premise where someone is sent to an alternate universe and encounters an alternate version of herself. And, she has a lively writing style that is a pleasure to read.

However, there were a couple of places where things happened that seemed out of place. For instance, there is a scene where Lily wipes steam from the bathroom mirror, but on the page before that it says the water in the tub was “a perfectly cool temperature.” So, why was there steam on the mirror? I found several typos throughout the finished copy of the text, which I found distracting.  If I get a chance, I’ll probably read the next book in the series, but if I don’t, I won’t lose any sleep wondering about it.But, that’s just me. If you’re a fan of science fiction and fantasy, you might want to read this and judge for yourself.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on October 15, 2014

Trial by Fire
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #1)
by Josephine Angelini

  • Publication Date: September 2, 2014
  • Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • ISBN-10: 125005088X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250050885