Feiwel & Friends
September 2, 2014
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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 started Trial by Fire a while after getting it on NetGalley, so I had mostly forgotten what it was about, except that it was a paranormal tale. I'm glad I didn't refresh my memory prior to starting it.
While the beginning did not draw me in and worried me that it was going to be some kind of cheesy story, it's a necessary part of the book. Once we move past that introduction, Trial by Fire becomes a more enjoyable read. (The beginning also helps us understand Lily and the differences in the worlds in a way that wouldn't have been possible without it.)
Once Lily is in her new surroundings and we're introduced to some of the new characters, Trial by Fire is much more readable and entertaining. It is a world, that in some ways, mirrors our own, but is vastly, vastly different. I really enjoyed the 'why's behind some of the differences. Some was due to it being a world with magic, but some changes were brought on by that magic's influence. I enjoyed that we see some of both the good and bad effects of the magic as well as how the society functions.
Though I did like Lily more after the 'our world' beginning, she was probably my least favorite character. Her 'allergies' and how the affect her, was something that set her apart. How she reacted at times, however, was just annoying. More so when they were less of a problem, actually.
Lily's character is vegan, which fine. Whatever. But her reasoning behind it didn't seem to make much sense when it became a hindrance to the story, characters and their safety. It may have been another necessary thing, like the beginning of the book.
Despite not really liking Lily - she could be quite immature and uppity - I liked her relationships with the other characters. Some was the strength of the other characters, some that when she wasn't alone, thinking about things or trying to prove herself, I rather liked Lily.
Rowan is easily my favorite character here. He has an interesting background which not only serves to create a compelling character and story, but where it puts him with Lily is also enjoyable. I like his skepticism, the troubles his past presents, and that he doesn't have it all figured out.
There are also some secondary characters that I worry may not be a part of Book 2. I really enjoyed their contribution this time around and hope we haven't seen the last of them.
After an opening that didn't quite work, Trial by Fire becomes a fun, exciting and easy to read story. The main character, Lily, can be off-putting but as a whole there's great chemistry between the characters (Lily included) is great.The roles the characters play along with their history - and that of their world - come together for a great read and I'm anxious to see what happens next.
thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my egalley for review