Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends, 384 pages
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
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.
What I Liked:
1. Parallel worlds and witches. Loved the alternate world that Lily finds herself in, with witches ruling the world, providing everything to the people in the city, including electricity, medicine, clothes, and food. Science is woefully behind because of witches (why create and build a microscope when witches can perform the same task?) and now Lillian (Lily's other self in this world), the Lady of Salem, has made science illegal. Loved the fact that mechanics take care of a witch's body like a piece of machinery. Loved the willstones and how witches could give power to a person if that person allows a witch to claim them, but that same claiming can also make the person a puppet, with the witch able to control their body. There are rebels who live outside the walls of the city and have to fend for themselves and survive without magic, fighting for their lives from the Wovens, weird hybrid creatures. Such a fascinating, unique world, I could go on and on about it.
2. Lily and Rowan. Lily is a great heroine, used to being the sickly one in her world, but suddenly finding herself very powerful in this one. She's a good person, but she's tempted by the power she has. What lines will she cross? I love Rowan, who was Lillian's mechanic until he was betrayed by her and who is now fighting with the rebels. I love how their relationship grows and changes as they learn to trust each other, but at the same time, he did have an intimate relationship with Lillian, and that's just a bit weird, I have to say.
3. Lillian. Something happened to Lillian. She disappeared for awhile and when she got back, she made science illegal and started hanging people left and right. She then brings Lily over for some reason. Is Lillian actually the villain she appears to be? She does horrible horrible things, but there's obviously something going on. Love the fact that this villain is complex and nuanced.
4. The ending. I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers, and yes, this book has one. But it's soooooo good…cannot wait until the next one!
Posted by: Pam