Firewalker by Josephine Angelini Review: Don’t Listen to the Voices in Your Head

October 13, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini Review: Don’t Listen to the Voices in Your HeadFirewalker by Josephine Angelini
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #2
Published by Macmillan Children's Books on August 27, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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.

'You think I'm a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.'

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.

Firewalker - the follow-up to Trial By Fire - is another sexy, fast-paced thrill ride from internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini!

I love the blend of witches and alternate dimensions in this series, but Firewalker wasn’t as good as the first book. A few scenes had me suspending my disbelief and the whole book lacked emotional connection.

Connecting to the main character is a major part of enjoying a book, and even in the second book, I still couldn’t connect to Lily. She has Lillian, her evil alternate self inside her head, talking to her and showing her memories in an attempt to justify her evil decisions. Lillian is evil, she kills without a second thought, and wants to manipulate Lily in coming back to her world. But instead of confiding in the people who care about her, Lily keeps it a secret. And this leads to the drama in the book, especially when it comes to Rowan.

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

Although Lily is a powerful witch, she still needs a knight in shining armour, whether that’s Rowan, her best friend Tristan, or her coven who can look out for her. That’s something I admired Lillian for, as evil as she was, at least she was strong, fearsome and could lead. Lily has a long way to go before she can be a worthwhile opponent, because of her extreme dependency on others. She’s still a rather passive character and her character growth is very slow.

The romance was a major part of the book, and many of the problems between Rowan and Lily could have been solved with open communication. For most of the book, they are really sappy, avoiding the problems that matter, but I just wanted them to be open with each other. Rowan came from an alternate world where he was in love with Lillian, until she turned evil and killed his father. So it’s kind of weird how he justifies his love for Lily, in that “maybe I always loved the Lily in Lillian”. Because although you’re the same person but in a different world, it’s the choices that really make you who you are. I also wasn’t a fan of Tristan’s intense jealousy over Lily and Rowan. D-r-a-m-a.

“While my life was perfect, every person who I owed that life to would be fighting and dying.” 

Some of the scenes weren’t believable, particularly where Breakfast, Una, Tristan and Juliet easily accepted Lily and Rowan’s explanation. Imagine if someone walked up to you and said “I’m a powerful witch, and my friend here is from an alternate dimension. Want to join us?” My immediate reaction would be disbelief and I’d think it was a joke. But nope, these guys just went along with it, it felt way too easy, and the explanation here is purely because they “felt drawn to the willstones”.

Another scene is where one of Lily’s family members is killed, and there is absolutely NO emotional reaction whatsoever. Lily or her sister didn’t react. I felt nothing. She didn’t even check in with the rest of her family to make sure they were okay.

Despite all this, I enjoyed the world building with the alternate dimensions of different extremes based on ruling ideologies – one with an extreme dictatorship, one as a ruined wasteland. There was more development of the willstones, where they’re like an extension of one’s Will and entrusting a witch with it is like the ultimate trust. I also enjoyed contrasting ‘present’ world with the fantasy one, and bringing across the coven from one world to the next. The secondary characters were also enjoyable, although I didn’t get to connect to them very deeply.


The lack of emotional connection, scenes that made me suspend my disbelief, and the romantic drama in Firewalker affected my enjoyment of the book. This sequel wasn’t as good as the first, but I did like the unique premise and the deep world building. I’ll still continue with the series, but I’m definitely less excited about it than I was.

Rating: 3 out of 5


This is a weird cover, I mean why is the tagline so big and the title so small? Not a fan of the cover redesign!

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this review copy. 

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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31 responses to “Firewalker by Josephine Angelini Review: Don’t Listen to the Voices in Your Head

  1. Thanks for the honest review! It’s disappointing when a sequel falls short, but your insights on character development and plot inconsistencies are helpful. Still, the world-building sounds intriguing. Looking forward to your next review!

  2. danielleisbusyreading

    When reviews for this book started coming in, I decided to drop the series from my TBR. The romance sounds awful! I hate when characters don't communicate, and the jealousy is just petty drama and weak attempt at tention that so many YA authors turn to. The world does sound interesting, but I don't think I could get past the other things.

    Great review! Sorry you didn't like this as much as the first.

    • I know, it's such a shame about the romance because I really enjoy the premise and everything! Oh well, sometimes it just goes that way…so hard to find a good witch book.

  3. Romi

    Okay, yeah I'm confused with the tagline being so huge! I thought that was the title so I was completely bewildered when I learnt it was actually Firewalker. WHAT? I do love that tagline, though. I think it makes for an awesome title *laughs* and the cover is so interesting. I actually had thought this sounded fairly fantastic, so it's pity you had difficulties with it, Jeann. I'm thinking, from the way you discussed them, I'd have the same issues, so I think this one is a pass for me, too, unfortunately. I'll have to find my witch stories somewhere else!
    Lovely review. xx
    My recent post Cloud 9 by Alex Campbell…

  4. I haven't read Trial By Fire, and I'm sad to see that you thought the sequel wasn't as good. But I think I would still like to try the series at one point.

    Ok and yeah, that cover is really weird? At first I thought it was an alternate title, but apparently not? hum.

  5. Lisa @ Lost in Lit

    Oh darn. I hate when the sequel doesn't live up to its predecessor. A lack of emotional connection? That always affects my enjoyment of a story so I can totally relate to that issue. I've honestly never seen this cover before. I like the other cover SO MUCH more! Great review!
    My recent post Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

  6. I liked the first book okay although I didn't like Lily either. I don't think I'll be picking up this sequel. I honestly can't handle romantic drama that could have easily solved with communication.
    And the fact that it wasn't easy to form an emotional connection is pushing me away too. How do you not react when a family member is killed?
    Thanks for your detailed review, Jeann. I will certainly not be picking this one up. For your sake, I hope the last book is stronger!
    My recent post BFF Blog Hop : My Favorite New Blogger + Giveaway

    • Yeah, it was kind of frustrating with all the drama they were having when there were more interesting things happening in the background you know? Man that family member thing, it was crazy. I wrote a whole discussion post about it that will be coming up in the next few days. Thank you NIck!

  7. aentee @ read at midnight

    I need to jump aboard the train for this series, as I love the Australian cover for it! Sorry to hear that this book isn't quite as good as the first one D: But I think the world sounds interesting enough that I am still intrigued.

  8. I loved Trial by Fire last year, and I think part of that reason is because it was in the alternate world. I'm a bit hesitant about getting back to the "real world" in this book, and what you said about the romance makes me nervous because I loved the tension they had in the first book! I don't do mush very well, especially when mixed with angst and lack of communication. But I still have to read it, of course, because I'm horrible like that xD
    My recent post Reviews: The Falconer and Lock & Mori

    • I know, I really liked the alternate world in that one, and how it was mostly fantasy. The real world here wasn\’t the funnest, but it only lasts for half the book. Hehe yeah, I would have read it too 😉

    • I KNOW! I actually didn't realise it was the sequel until I opened up the pages. It's definitely annoying with the romance. Hopefully the next book is better.

  9. Aw, this is sadness. I hate it when that emotional connection is missing. *sigh* I DID like the first book but I honestly don't remember many details about it (apart from that Lily totally was a bit of a damsel there) and I'm not exactly jumping to read this…but at the same time I'm a bit curious?! I wish they hadn't changed the covers though. D: WHYYYY DO THEY DO THIS TO US.

    • I knowww, it's a shame because she's meant to be this powerful witch and she DOES act like a damsel! Such a shame. I KNOW WHat IS WITH THE COVER

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