Worldwalker #1: Trial By Fire

Book Information
Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781250050885
Pages: 374

Lily Proctor deals with life-threatening allergies every day until one day she is suddenly taken from her world into a frightening, alternate world similar to Earth but with many terrifying changes. This Salem is full of terrifying creatures and alternate versions of her former friends—and even an alternate version of herself, a girl called Lilian who is threatening the future of the world and wants Lily’s help to do it. With the help of Rowan, this world’s version of Lily’s former ex-boyfriend, Lily discovers that she is the most powerful witch the world has seen. With her powers, she and Rowan try to stop this world’s Lilian from killing lots of innocent people and find her way back home to her world. During the final battle, she and Rowan escape to another world.

In many ways, this book is a mess of underdeveloped, unclear ideas. Lily is a Mary Sue: perfect, self-sacrificing, almost an orphan, delicate, hated by everyone in the beginning, and incredibly beautiful but doesn’t realize it. In her world, Lily is sick and weak. In this world, without spending the years it is required for natives of the world, she is incredibly powerful and her sickness is a manifestation of her power. This treatment of disease as power makes light of real issues that aren’t cured by magically being transported to another world. The love triangle is forced and awkward. When they first meet, Rowan tries to kill her, and then the relationships goes from hating each other to being crazy about each other with no transition. Tristan has no real value to the plot and is only there to play the part as a male best friend, part of a love triangle, and to make sure there are lots of attractive guys. The world is confusing, with some parts fantasy, some parts historical, and some parts science fiction. The book ends with many things that are not explained, like why Lilian wants Lily in this world so badly. There is never any real tension because the reader knows that Lily will make it out unharmed because of her amazing powers. Overall, there were so many weaknesses that enjoying the book may be difficult for some people.

*Contains nudity, violence, and sexual content.