Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Title: Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)

Author: Jodi Meadows

Pub. Date: September 12th, 2017

Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 400

Formats: eGalley 


Filled with political intrigue, betrayal, and well fleshed out characters, Before She Ignites is the start to what I’m sure will be a epic Fantasy. We get introduced to our MC Mira Minkoba who comes from a prominent family & whose father wrote the Mira treaty. Because of this she’s also been groomed to be the face of the treaty aimed at creating peace & unity among the 7 islands against any outside threats. On these islands, people co-exist with dragons who are respected and known as the children of the Gods. For their own protection against humans, dragons were relocated to the Sanctuary (large piece of land separate from civilians) & it is there that Mira and her two best friends go to train with dragons.

Mira is passionate about dragons & when she discovers some nefarious dealings concerning dragons, she takes it to the Ministry thinking they will get to the bottom if it all. When she is imprisoned without rhyme or reason and taken to the Pit, everything & everyone she thought had her back are no where to be found. Worse of all, Mira is left to deal with her crippling anxiety in a dark & lonely prison cell. Almost the entirety of this book does take place in prison & so, although above ground there is a lush & mystical world, below ground for Mira it is a completely different way of life. While the lover of dragons in me really wanted to see Mira bust out of prison, hop on a dragon & kick some a** haha! I understood by the end of this book that the time Mira spends in jail is crucial to who she will become in the next book. This essentially is the catalyst for her transformation, she is broken down & left raw. There were some scenes that were hard for me to read as a person who also deals with anxiety & mild OCD. The Mira we meet at first is no where near who she is by the time you read the last sentence.

Before She Ignites is Mira Minkoba’s story through & through. We do get a set of amazing secondary characters both before her time in the Pit & underground. However, the focus is Mira & I’m glad for this because never before have I read a book with an MC who suffers from crippling anxiety & seen it play center stage like it does for so many in real life. Also, our MC is a woman of color as seen depicted on the books cover, & as I am a proud advocate of diverse MC’s, this made me very happy.

A little bit about Mira… she is someone who prior to being imprisoned, was used to a comfortable life enjoying routine. She has a skin & hair routine in order to maintain her beauty and servants tending to her every want or need. The cushy life however, hasn’t changed her heart towards those around her. Mira at her core is someone who believes in the foundation of the Mira Treaty. She comes from the island of Lovers & as such values friendship above all. Having been sheltered all her life & treated as a puppet by her own mother, the Pit seems like the end of life for her. Seeing this character grow & really come out of her shell was so empowering! her episodes felt so real & my heart broke to see her be reduced to the littlest version of herself but the come up was so worth it. Her anxiety is very much a part of her & we see her continue to deal with it til the very end. Stand-out Secondary character: Aaru, a prisoner from a neighboring island known for its silence. This character is just as broken as Mira & he doesn’t speak, instead he communicates in a different manner. I’d like to see what becomes of him in this journey.

Although the time we get on the island is brief, the description of island life was so appealing. The reader most definitely does time in the Pit along with Mira, which now that I’ve had some time away from it, realize how much more rewarding the sequel will be. Although it may seem slow paced, there is always something happening with our MC. She is learning her new environment & we get to see a side of her that she hasn’t herself yet explored. There’s cruelty all around her but there’s also humanity in the darkest of places. The time she spent with the dragons although brief is enough to let us know they will play a much bigger role in the next book. There’s also more to Mira than meets the eye but first we had to see her transformation. This is a heroine I can get behind & root for!

Interestingly enough, although the majority of this book is set in prison, Meadows did a FANTASTIC job of world-building above ground. We get the history behind the 7 islands and the Gods they were named after. Each island has something they’re known for & it made for a richer world. I am really looking forward to continuing on with this trilogy & can’t wait to see what’s next for Mira…

*HUGE Thanks to Harper/Katherine Tegen Books, Edelweiss, & Jodi Meadows for the eGalley of Before She Ignites in exchange for an honest review.

Hello Readers! has anyone read or plan on reading Before She Ignites? I’m really hoping for some more on the page time with the dragons in the sequel & have a strong hunch that it’ll be the case *fingers crossed* 🙂

Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

29 thoughts on “Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows”

    1. yea I was hoping for the same but I actually liked the direction it went & can see that the dragons will def play a bigger role in the next book. so much shady ish going on in the background though lol, I have questions! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review for this book Lilly. I think this will be one that’s arriving for me in a little while (I have a strong suspicion it’s going to be the September Fairy Loot book) so I am so glad to see you enjoyed it because yours is an opinion I 100% trust when it comes to books so now I know it’s likely going to be a book I enjoy as well. 🙂
    Mira sounds like a great character, and it’s always good when there is great development of a character the story revolves around more than anything else. Also really glad to hear the world building was well written. That is always a major thing for me in fantasy books! 😀
    Again great review. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww 🙈☺️ thanks Beth! I’m glad you enjoy my reviews! I’ve heard from a few others that it is very likely the Fairyloot book, we got it for the September Owlcrate as well. This is one I’m really looking forward to seeing through to the end. I mean they put the MC through it! Which I found surprising for a YA book & it legit hooked me. This is going on my list of fictional places I’d like to live in…well the island is not so much the Pit 😂 can’t wait to see what you think of this one 💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right. 🙂 Hopefully my September Fairy Loot box will arrive on Monday and I’l know for sure whether it is the book or not.
        It sounds really good, and I’m actually hoping it is the book in the Fairy Loot box because I really want to read it now! 😀


  2. I am not sure I am in the mood for this one right now. I think we were both discussing a change of pace is needed, but your review has me adding it to GR. It sounds pretty dynamic! I love the idea of tackling an MC with anxiety in a story such as this and well, add what sounds like successful world building and it is hard to say no ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea this is one you’d pick up when you’re in the mood for Fantasy not so much if you’re burning out (such as I am lol). The characters in this one and the world building were on point! I’m actually really anticipating the sequel cause that’s where we’re set to see the Phoenix rise from the ashes & the action is setup to deliver 🤞🏼save it for later 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohmygosh! That is mighty long! 😱hope you enjoy it though 💙and sometimes a change of pace is just what we need. I’m craving some psychological thrillers & today was the first chilly autumn day so 🤗🤗🤗 eeeeK!!! Gotta get on that lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I’m so sorry to hear that! 😕 but there’s some good news. I recently won a box of arcs from a Booktuber & I’m waiting for it’s delivery…whenever that will be *sigh*…anyways in it is a copy of Library of Fates which I don’t need. I’ll send that your way when it arrives 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh you do spoil me!!!! I think I have more ARCs from you than anyone haha. I wish I had something to send. Maybe soon 😉 I have had no luck with giveaways and not been requesting or contacting anyone with all of these headaches. I have a sick kiddo here right now, but text me tomorrow if the day allows so we can catch up better. You have been in my thoughts and I feel like a terrible friend ❤ I have been in bed A LOT.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Lol no worries, stories are meant to be shared ☺️ I was surprised to have won and am hoping it’s snail mail holding it up. It’s a well known Booktuber so I doubt it’s anything but that 🤞🏼lol. Oh that sucks, I hope you and the kid feel better soon 💓 I will text you at around 1pm my lunch tomorrow…I just realized I never hit the “reply” button smh 🙈😂

        Liked by 1 person

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