I’m completely, one hundred procent biased when it comes to anything written by Jodi Meadows. Her latest release, Before She Ignites, is no exception. I actually preordered this back in August, but I was absolutely devastated when I had to cancel it! Thankfully, it was my birthday and I got some gift cards, so I was finally able to pick up the book! I finished it less than 48 hours after starting it because I was loving it so much! Here’s my spoiler free review.
“There are no shadows without light, Mira. And where there is light, there are always shadows.”
Before She Ignites is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. We always read about heros and heroines who save the day in fantasy stories. Well, not in this one. It’s was refreshing to read about Mira. She’s been told all her life that’s she’s important, special and perfect. At the same time, she has crippling anxiety and she counts compulsively. She counts quite. literally. everything. I love her for it, for all her imperfections. I felt her anxiety and panic attacks and I counted with her all the way. Her mental illness was genuine and realistic. It was always present, but never overly done. I often found myself relating to her by the way she deals with her anxiety, which is something I’d never experienced before while reading Fantasy. It was a really special kind of feeling!
She’s imprisoned in the Pit, the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. I’m not sure what I expected from this prison, honestly. Maybe I thought she’d be out of it really soon? Which definitely wasn’t the case. Before She Ignites mostly takes place in the Pit, and it makes for a very interesting setting. Some moments were absolutely terrifying, but not because they were actually scary. It was very impressive to read about how Mira (and her friends/alliances) were treated down there. It was awful and heartbreaking.
We were promised illegal dragon trafficking, and it was delivered right onto our bedside tables. Or onto whatever other piece of furniture’s near your favourite reading spot, hehe! I have to be honest here, I never really cared for dragons. Yeah, shocker, I know! Every bookish person seemed to LOVE dragons then there was me just like “Okay. Sure. Whatever.” But it’s because of this book that I got excited about them, and oh my goodness, it was absolutely epic. I didn’t expect to love the dragon aspect of Before She Ignites so much, but I really did!
Most of my notes that I took while reading Before She Ignites were something like “I don’t know what to say. I just love it too much.” Because I really did love everything. There wasn’t so much world building in the way of how things looked. I got vibe of how things looked through the story itself. I felt like most world building was done through the explanation of religions and beliefs. The Fallen Isles have that specific name for a very interesting reason. I just loved reading about it so much! It’s such a wonderful way to build a world and it’s honestly one of the most interesting worlds/religions/beliefs in YA to me.
I absolutely love everything about Before She Ignites. It’s easily one of my favourite books I’ve read this year! I say this a lot, but it’s 110% true with this one. Mira is an incredibly interesting and flawed character, the Fallen Isles and the Pit are a very interesting settings and of course the DRAGONS! Guys, I really need the next book in this trilogy like… right now?!
About Before She Ignites
“A fully realized fantasy world complete with dragons, treachery, and flawed characters discovering their courage. I couldn’t put it down!” —C. J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen
From the New York Times bestselling co-author of My Lady Jane comes a smoldering new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Kristin Cashore about a girl condemned for defending dragons and the inner fire that may be her only chance of escape.
Mira has always been a symbol of hope for the Fallen Isles, perfect and beautiful—or at least that’s how she’s forced to appear. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret, Mira is betrayed by those closest to her and sentenced to the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles.
Except Mira is over being a pawn. Fighting to survive against outer threats and inner demons of mental illness, Mira must find her inner fire and the scorching truth about her own endangered magic—before her very world collapses.
And that’s all before she ignites.
Have you read Before She Ignites or any other of Jodi’s books? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!
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