ARC Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows


*I read this in September 2017 and reviewed it then. I read it as an arc, and as always this is my honest opinion.

I was so excited for this book. Meadow’s The Orphan Queen is one of my favorite fantasy books and I was hoping for something similar in this book. Not so.


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.

Nothing happens in this book.

It’s divided into 4 parts and I generally try to read a part per sitting. But the enviroment and scenarios don’t really change between parts so there’s no reason for them to be there.

I read the first 150 pages fairly quickly and I was interested, even though nothing had truly happened. After Mira’s been in prison for 2/3rds of the book, it all becomes kind of tedious and repetative.

By then, I didn’t care for Mira, or Aaru, or any of the characters. There was so much waiting around and wanting to escape/be rescued, that when it finally happened, I was already skimming.

And if you’re going to give me a book about DRAGONS….ACTUALLY INCLUDE DRAGONS. They’re important to the story, but they hardly show up, and are barely mentioned.

I can’t express how disappointed I am with this novel. It didn’t have the snark I enjoyed in The Orphan Queen, it barely had dragons, and it didn’t have reason to be 400 pages long. The pacing is slow, the characters are just there, and there’s nothing keeping my attention.

I almost didn’t finish it. I was missing 8 chapters (roughly 1 hour of reading) and I skimmed through it to finish it. The ending had a plot twist I had seen coming, and maybe that’s why I wasn’t a fan of Mira. There were some pretty obvious things happening around her, and she didn’t see them coming until they smacked her in the face (LITERALLY), and maybe that’s a part of her character….at the beginning, but after 30 days in prison, you’re not going even suspect the bad in people?

My problem with this book is that it’s long without reason, not a lot happens, and the selling point of the novel-THE DRAGONS-are barely mentioned or in the novel. At this point, I’m so disillusioned with this novel, that I might not pick up the next one.


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