Friday, September 22, 2017

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Title: Before She Ignites
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss


Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.
Review by Nara

I think the main downfall of Before She Ignites is that it is incredibly slow. The majority of the novel is set in a single cell in the Pit, the prison where Mira is sent (for an initially unknown reason). And literally almost nothing happens throughout the novel except a number of descriptions of meals, showers, torture scenes etc. The Before vs After did add a bit more flavour to the novel, but I definitely think a lot of the scenes in the prison could have been compressed, as they individually didn't add a lot to the story.

I'm not too sure about the characters as a whole; and not sure that they're particularly rounded characters. The villains especially seem pretty shallow, and I didn't really think their motivations were well thought out or creative, more of a "I want power because I want power" sort of motive. Mira was probably the most well developed character, and it will be interesting to see how she changes throughout the trilogy, hopefully for the better.

Meadows says that she is working on a dragon guide for the nerds who like to know a lot of detail about the different types of dragons portrayed in Before She Ignites, and I do hope she releases this online or something because I would be very interested to read it. It seems like many details of the dragons are quite well thought out, although we only managed to get bits and pieces from the main novel itself.

I am definitely going to be reading the sequel, because things are finally getting exciting. Mira has shown hints of very interesting things to come. In all her series, I've found that Jodi Meadows is much stronger is series conclusions, and I'm hoping the same will apply to this trilogy.

Liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 2.5/5