“I have to.” A regretful sigh. “And it’s best if you don’t remember any mermen.” He tucked a strand of wet hair behind her ear. His voice stroked her skin like velvet. “Forget me.”
And she did.”
Title: Throught Fire & Sea
Author: Nicole Luiken
Series: Otherworlds #1
Publication: May 5, 2015 by Entangled Teen
In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm’s most powerful lords. She’s hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she’s a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.
In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.
As Leah and Holly’s lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they’ve ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…
I had high hopes for this book, and in some ways it did not disappoint. The impact was there, it started off really strong but soon faded into sort of a convoluted mess. It’s hard to explain, in a way, this book could have been separated into three different books – maybe even more so. There were too many plot lines for the one novel, and that made it extremely confusing to read.
Like I said, it had a very interesting start. We being in this so called Fire World with the main character Leah. Leah is the Duke’s illegitimate daughter, and he forces her to swap places with his true heir in order to keep this woman, Quetrah, from getting her within grasp. The story held my attention through the first ten or so chapters, but as soon as Holly – the mirror image from the Water World came into play, things started getting confusing. I feel like if it had just been kept from Leah’s point of view, and we only slipped into Holly’s mind when Leah took over, it would have helped clarify a lot of things. At first, actually, I almost started enjoying Holly’s story more so than Leah’s. When we first meet Holly, she is drowning and is saved by what she thinks is a merman – which then turns out to be her soul mate, the other self of Leah’s soul mate, and the son of the ocean.
The concept of these other worlds was very intriguing to me, and I especially loved the mythology behind the creation. The creation of the other world’s is a myth also shrouded in truth, as all myths are. There were two Gods, one named Aesok and the other Besok. Aesok loved making things, and one day he created something so beautiful he wanted to preserve it. He added to it every day, making it more and more complex until it eventually became what is called the True World. His younger brother, Besok, became jealous and tried to create a world of his own. The first world he made, he used too much heat and gave birth to the Fire World. The second attempt, he used too much water and created the Water World. The third attempt, too much mud and it hardened into the Stone World. And lastly, he used too much breath to create the last world and gave birth to the Air World. We never see anything of the Air World or the Stone World, but we get to visit both Water and Fire and have small glimpses of the so called True World. What really confused me with this aspect of the worlds was that the Water World was our world we live in now. There was Hollywood, regular high school, and every thing we are used to in our everyday lives. On the other hand, the Fire World was this medieval place full of dukes, castles, and dragons.
Another confusing aspect was the constant shifting in point of view. In the same chapter, it would switch between Leah and Holly in small fragments probably about twenty or so times. It made figuring out what was going on really difficult, especially in the last few chapters of the book. I don’t know if the fragments were meant to indicate a time jump or something, but all I got out of it was a jumbled mess. I had to force myself to finish the book, which is not something I enjoyed. I loved the start of it, it was so powerful to be thrown into a completely separate world and forced through the pressure of what Leah had to go through. I feel as if the story lost its impact the moment Leah stepped into the picture. She destroyed this aspect of a foreign world by living in our own. I think if it had just been left at the solid fantasy it would have benefited the story more, if we could only glimpse the modern world through Leah’s eyes, I think it would have made a more powerful statement. By immersing us within our own world, it took away the availability of a new view.
On the bright side, I absolutely love the cover and enjoyed everything else within the book. I loved the characters, though the insta-love with the soul mate thing sort of put me off. Each and every one of the characters seemed well thought out and had a specific purpose to the story – I liked that. I also loved how all of the magic within the book was done using only mirrors, it sort of reminded me of our modern day magicians and their illusions. All in all, Through Fire & Sea was an exciting read and I would recommend all to try it. This is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones or the Graceling series, and I think this will eventually rise up to that rank. I think this book is appropriate for ages thirteen and up, there is nothing that would make me want to raise the age higher.