Monday, September 14, 2015

fw Firewalker by Josephine Angelini | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

Love is being willing to become the villain so that the one you love can stay a hero.

As most of my readers already know Trial By Fire, the starting point of the Worldwalkers series, was one of my favorite 2014 releases. It was full of everything that makes a fantasy novel good and captivating. Needless to say, I was excited to see the expansion of the planned-trilogy with this years release in Firewalker.

(I’ve been waiting to just throw my money at Josephine Angelini. JUST. TAKE. IT. ALL!)

For me, my reasoning for checking it out to begin with was simple: I am, and always will be, attracted to stories that center around witchcraft. But what made my attention never stray was that Trial By Fire was smart, fast paced, romantic and the world created was just breathtaking and mysterious.

It was a magical read in more ways than one.

Fortunately for readers, Firewalker was all that and more. And for readers looking for more action packed sequences than the last, you’re in luck! In place were the mystery, the fantasy, the power and the romance. Josephine simply builds onto what we already know with changes, heartbreak and new mysteries and memories.


With this installment, we watch Lily struggles for her life right where Trial By Fire ended. It’s a painful road ahead for our leading lady and that much is clear from the first few pages. Lillian, of course, isn't willing to let her other self go this easily and has a few upcoming decisions to try and lure Lily back.

Back in her own world–at last–with Rowan by her side, she has a long road of recovery and a lot of explaining to do when it comes to her three months long disappearance. Things back home haven’t been easy for anyone in Lily’s life: they all seem to be suspects in her disappearance and it certainly disrupted Tristan, her best friend and maybe-ex-boyfriend, and his plans for life.

While Lily was away, Tristan became the number one suspect in her disappearance. He seemingly became an outcast–but found himself worked into the mix of a new group of true friends: Breakfast, whom readers will remember from Trial By Fire, and Una. All three have the potential to be mechanics and soon join Lily and Rowan in their own little coven.

Lily missed her best friend, too, while she was away and it’s obvious there is still the slightest bit of tension between the two. This is mostly due to Tristan’s remaining romantic feelings for Lily and his initial annoyance at Rowan’s sudden presence. Nonetheless, the two begin to work together and find that they actually get along–something that is easier for Rowan, given that he misses his-Tristan.

Reunited with her mother and sister, Lily notices that Juliet seems skeptical about her explanations and her mom Samantha is oddly clear headed. Even so, it’s nice to see interactions between the three and we even get the briefest glimpse of Lily and Juliet’s father.

But when a force (that shitloaf, Carrick) sent from Lillian, the other version of Lily we know from Rowan’s world, comes around to stir some trouble–lives are put in serious danger and the trouble is only beginning to brew. After working on their powers together as a coven, Lily, Rowan, Tristan, Una and Breakfast are forced to jump between worlds.

Jam packed with plenty of action the group of friends travel to find their way back to Rowan’s home and are trailed quite often by Carrick. Lillian continues to reach out to Lily by showing her memories–but what is real and what is just a ploy to gain Lily’s trust?

Along the way, they find themselves in plenty of sticky situations but the group meshes well together. They are each different, but the trust and love and respect between them is something to look out for. Even in the midst of awkwardness when Rowan is reunited with Alaric, Caleb and his-Tristan; Lily with this worlds Juliet, things are tense but wonderful and looking up.

It’s lovely–until it isn’t.

After admitting Lillian has been reaching out to her, Lily tests a theory of hers and confronts Alaric about something Lillian showed her, things become breathtakingly painful (your heart will BREAK!) and stay as such through the end of this second installment.

Just after Lily and Rowan make love for the first time, truly opening themselves to each other, Rowan decides not to trust Lily at her word and takes away her willstones, her voice, and locks her in a cage and let me just say…

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

It’s one of the ultimate betrayals in this world and it leaves Lily in a state of darkness until her friends break her free. With the help of her friends and some of her claimed–including Caleb, Una, Breakfast and both Tristan’s–they begin to travel in an effort to kill Woven and discover more.

During this time, and surveying her heartbreak and Juliet’s, Lily and her-Tristan begin to study Woven. With each discovery, with each attack and the fact that one has been tailing them much of their trip; Lily cannot help but to be curious and ask what they are.

I have my theories. Do you?

Woven aren’t the only things following them; it would seem Carrick has been trailing the group by Lillian’s command. Of course. And–wait… is that Rowan? There’s something fishy going on with the Rowan plot. I cannot figure out if he had something up his sleeve from the moment he took away Lily’s power or if he realized he made a mistake.

Either way, I’m not really sure if I’m interested in them mending things. As much as I adored their relationship at the start, it feels like it’s at such a difficult place by his betrayal and Lily’s secrets. Not to mention that he was in love with Lillian first.

I was kind of rooting for Tristan especially now that he has matured and understands what was right in front of him all along, to tell Lily how he feels and see if they could, eventually, work things out.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for both relationships in spite of their flaws. But it seems pretty dim to hope for either relationship to work out in the long run–especially with that ending. I will not spoil it, but someone dies.

Possibly dies. I have some theories if it turns out this character isn't dead, but I won't speak of them because with my luck they really are dead.

Anyways: it left me in shock and heartbreak in the same way it leaves Lily. I’m just… WHY.

Obviously Firewalker ends with a cliffhanger, right after a battle. We’re left with questions and lives in jeopardy. And the only things we can do is look at the signs and exchange our theories.

There’s so much that could happen next, so much that needs to be answered and it’s just…

Ah.

And readers? Let me be honest: Trial By Fire’s cliffhanger was bad and suspenseful enough, but Firewalker takes the cake. I’m going to be stressing out waiting for next year to see what happens next. Do you hear me, Josephine? I am STRESSED. I am pumped.

I’m so scared about the fate of characters and what could possibly happen next! But I’m ready for the wait.

(I’m not ready for the wait. Excuse me, I’m going to cry now.)

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