SynopsisLove burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and 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 cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.
Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.
But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?
I know Josephine is a talented writer from her first series Starcrossed but this really cranks it up a notch. Lily suffers life endangering allergies , has a schizophrenic mother and absent father. Her rock and support system is her older sister Juliet and best friend Tristan. The plot speeds on at a crackling pace with Tristan becoming her boyfriend, cheating on her at a party of which the stress ends up with her have a seizure.
This calamitous event sends her to a new alternative world to which her doppelganger Lillian, a powerful witch, has called her for help. But why has Lillian called her here? Why does she push her away into the arms of her old lover who now hates her and Lilly because they are one of the same? So many twists and turns in this book I really don't know where to begin but it had me hooked from the beginning. The love/hate relationship with Rowen positively sizzles and I loved the developments through the book. Lily grows from peace loving sensitive girl into a strong powerful witch is totally absorbing . The brewing romance and doomed love hover over the book filling it with tension. As does the question mark of why Lillian has become so evil? What future has she seen? Why did she push Rowan away and make him hate her so much? Some reviewers have said that for the arch enemy Lillian is under developed but I didn't feel that way at all. Her motives and what she sees in the future are the linch pin for the whole plot of the book and I just felt (and hope) that Josephine will build up her role in the future books. In this one it wasn't necessary.
There are also many attractive secondary characters that you want to follow, Sweet sister Juliet, Rebel leader Alaric, Tristan in both worlds. Also her world building are rich in detail and not one dimensional. A brilliant start to a new series and I can't wait for the second one as you feel invested in the characters.
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