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Early Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Fallen Isles #1)

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Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows // VBC ReviewBefore She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)
Jodi Meadows
Published: September 12, 2017 (Katherine Tegen)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Seventeen years ago, the Mira Treaty was enacted to bring about peace between the seven isles and unite them from the corrupted mainland. The treaty’s namesake Mira Minkoba has long been of symbol of that peace. Known as the Hopebearer, Mira has always been lauded for her perfection and beauty, despite in her own mind feeling anything but perfect.

When Mira and her friends uncover a conspiracy involving the island’s disappearing dragons, Mira immediately brings it up to the Luminary Council. When Mira winds up on the island of Khulan in their prison known as The Pit, she understands just how far the conspiracy reaches, and the lengths someone will go to keep her silent. But Mira no longer wants to be the face for a council that betrayed her. So Mira, along with a group of prisoners, and reluctant new friends, are determined to escape their confinement, and bring to light the corruption that runs deep within the Fallen Isles.

Right away, I really liked Jodi Meadows’s characterization of Mira. She’s the embodiment of the popular girl in high school that everyone wants to be and hang out with. Beautiful, seemingly perfect. Mira is the classic case of their being more going on beneath the surface, and this comes across clearly as we see Mira’s penchant for counting everything. Although Meadows doesn’t specifically touch on this, I see Mira also suffering from emotional abuse from her mother who never falters from letting Mira know that no matter how great she did something or how beautiful she actually looks, she should have done/been better.

Meadows takes a character whose self-deprecations throughout the book could have gotten a little repetitive, and made her someone who you empathized with. Someone that you wanted to see rise up out of her despair and triumph against the person(s) who put her in her prison.

Mira tries so hard, but (and here’s the downside to this read) she’s pretty much fighting a losing battle, at least at first. Jodi Meadows certainly builds a very interesting world, and I know this first book is a set-up for what is to come in the rest of the trilogy, but there is too much being set up. I felt like I was reading in a fog because things just weren’t really making sense. We have the issues with the dragons disappearing, which caused Mira to be sent to the prison, but we don’t know why. Then we discover a secret that Mira is determined to keep, and there’s the prison guard who’s determined to get that secret out of her no matter the cost. I just felt like Mira was kind of getting hit from both sides, so to speak, and the intersection of these sides didn’t really make sense to me, even when things become clearer toward the end of the book.

On the plus side though I have one word: Dragons! I know dragons are in right now, but Jodi Meadows certainly makes the legend of these creatures very colorful and interesting. The varying types are so cool from huge Rex size all the way down to little dragons that fit in the palm of your hand.

While, the jury’s still out for me in regards to the main conflict of the trilogy, I’ll definitely give the second book a try just to see more development for Mira as well as the dragons.

Sexual content: None

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