Please Note: This review may contain spoilers for Worldwalker #1: Trial by Fire. If you wish to read that review instead, you can view it here. I received a free copy of Firewalker from it’s publisher Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way, and all thoughts expressed are solely my own.
“Haven’t you learned yet? Someone has to be the villain so everyone else can stay alive.”
Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.
Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.
So you might already know that I was pretty severely disappointed by Trial by Fire. The story itself lacked that oomph that makes a great story , and the characters never clicked with me. Whilst I knew that the rest of the story held great potential, I didn’t have very high hopes for Firewalker. So imagine my surprise when I found myself actually enjoying it.
Directly following the epic battle between Lily and the evil version of herself – Lillian – Lily finds herself back in her own world, and she’s brought Rowan with her. But being home again doesn’t bring an end to her problems. Before she can deal with the repercussions of her three-month-long disappearance, she must first heal from the burns she sustained on the pyre that almost cost her her life.
Whilst Lily is in an unconscious state as she recovers, her other self shares memories with her to try to explain and justify the decisions that she has made, and why she doesn’t want to use technology stolen from other worlds to destroy the Woven that plague her own world. As Lily slowly discovers the truth, she must decide whether or not to leave the safety of her own world, and return to Lillian’s Salem to prevent it’s imminent destruction.
One of my biggest problems with Firewalker was that Lily was accepted as a witch with no questions asked. As Lily begins to settle back into her normal life, she finds herself making new friends with some old acquaintances from school. It’s not long after that we discover that all of these friends possess their own magic, and have the potential to become a Mechanic. When she explains to them that she’s a witch, they just accept it as easily as if she’d stated tomorrow’s weather forecast. I just found this to be rather lazy, tbh. It was almost as though the author didn’t want to waste any time on these problems, and would rather hurry up and get on with the rest of the story.
I’m glad though that Lily became a much more likable character this time round. The biggest issue I had when reading Trial by Fire was that I was unable to connect with her in any way because she was just so dull. But it seems that the events and experiences she went through in the other Salem has helped her grow, and shaped her into a much stronger character. I actually found myself beginning to care for her in this novel, which is a vast improvement, let me tell you.
I even began to find myself sympathising with Lillian. As you start to understand her actions, it becomes hard not to feel sorry for her about everything that she’s been through. Whilst I wouldn’t say that I 100% condone her actions, I still can understand why she’s done the things that she’s done.
I am loving that we’re learning more about the Woven. It starts to become apparent in this novel that the Woven play a bigger part in everything than we previously assumed, and I love that we get to explore them more! They’re such a fascinating creation, and it turns out that they might possibly be more than just blood-thirsty creatures.
Oh, don’t forget the love triangle! I will quickly mention that the love triangle isn’t completely unbearable. More.. unnecessary. Whilst I don’t love love triangles in books, I can totally understand when they play a big part in the story. This one didn’t. There was so much angst and pining, and I honestly just could not see where it was meant to be going, nor could I see any other reasoning behind it other than to just throw in a little extra drama. As if the whole end-of-the-world thing wasn’t enough. Amirite?
I never thought that I would have found myself so drawn into this story after my rough start to the series with Trial by Fire. But despite my mixed feelings towards it, Firewalker has really made up for what the first book was lacking, and is a really great setup for the final installment to the series. The cliffhanger at the end has left me really excited to see how it’s all going to end in Witch’s Pyre, and I’m eager to dive in as soon as I have the chance!
I would like to thank Pan Macmillan Australia for kindly providing me with a copy of Josephine Angelini’s Firewalker.
Have any of you guys read this series? Did you find Firewalker to be a vast improvement on Trial by Fire? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time,