by Josephine Angelini
Published by Feiwel and Friends
on September 1, 2015
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good. Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.My take: I was a huge fan of Trial by Fire, the first book in this series. I really loved the way the story blended alt-history with alternate universes with magic/science/witchcraft and was excited to see where the story went. I must confess that I didn't love this installment quite as much as the first. I like it when second books really raise the stakes and complicate things to a seemingly impossible degree. I thought Firewalker started a bit slow, spending a lot of time on Lily's recovery from the events from the end of book two. Then there was the assembly of a Scooby Gang (okay, technically they are Lily's mechanics, which are, if I'm remembering correctly, those she can control and communicate with through her willstone.) Finally, though, there are some revelations -- shocking ones! But the conflict that arises is also due to one of my least favorite plot devices: two characters who refuse to talk to each other. Or rather, Rowan becomes a huge butthead and refuses to talk to Lily, but mostly because he is annoyed that she is keeping things from him in an attempt to protect him. I didn't love their dynamic as much in this installment, which ranged from cutesy to silent treatment with little in between.
That being said, I'm still in love with the imaginative world building in this series, and even though I thought Firewalker suffered from a touch of Middle Book Syndrome, I will still be eagerly awaiting the final installment in the story.