Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
BeforeMira 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.AfterThen 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.

Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1) Details

TitleBefore She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 12th, 2017
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Dragons

Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1) Review

  • Jodi Meadows
    January 1, 1970
    Lots and lots of dragons. I'm not even kidding when I say I'm working on a dragon guide for other nerds who want to know all the things about the dragons in these books. --This is a book that I am writing.It now has a title. But I'm not going to tell you what it is . . . yet. Soon, though. Soon!--9/28: I saw a piece of the cover -- an important piece -- and I can't express how beautiful the cover is going to be. I can't wait to see the whole thing! --9/30: TITLE REVEAL ON MONDAY. --10/3: And it Lots and lots of dragons. I'm not even kidding when I say I'm working on a dragon guide for other nerds who want to know all the things about the dragons in these books. --This is a book that I am writing.It now has a title. But I'm not going to tell you what it is . . . yet. Soon, though. Soon!--9/28: I saw a piece of the cover -- an important piece -- and I can't express how beautiful the cover is going to be. I can't wait to see the whole thing! --9/30: TITLE REVEAL ON MONDAY. --10/3: And it has a title!! BEFORE SHE IGNITES!--7-16-18: Do you want a free Fallen Isles postcard from me? Just add your address here and it will come to you: https://tinyurl.com/jodimail
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  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    This was a well-rounded story that delivered some great character growth & action while creating a strong plot for the sequels to build on! But it's definitely an intense read with a lot of trigger warnings for abuse, anxiety, and... it was just kind of stressful in general to read, ok. Most of the story takes place in a prison. But it still felt like a lot of familiar fantasy worlds where an almost-defeated main character has to battle through hell on her own, fight against a myriad of inte This was a well-rounded story that delivered some great character growth & action while creating a strong plot for the sequels to build on! But it's definitely an intense read with a lot of trigger warnings for abuse, anxiety, and... it was just kind of stressful in general to read, ok. Most of the story takes place in a prison. But it still felt like a lot of familiar fantasy worlds where an almost-defeated main character has to battle through hell on her own, fight against a myriad of internal and external obstacles, and decide who she'll be. One thing I really loved about the whole book was the author's ability to really capture a moment. The prison setting was pretty bleak to endure, but also super vivid. Mira has anxiety (and OCD? not sure) and you could completely feel her struggles and determination to persevere. I really liked her character. She's been told her looks are her main asset, so throughout the story she finds her own power/voice and chooses to be more than a political puppet. And I was totally expecting Mira's best friend/bodyguard to instantly be the love interest & main focus, so that was a nice change to see the story go in a different direction.I'm hoping the next book gets more dragons! Otherwise, this was mostly setting the stage so I'm excited to see where the sequel goes. Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC!
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I loved some parts and others I'm not too sure about so I'm going to go with 3 stars for now. I will do a re-read before the next book comes out and maybe that will be better =) Mira is friends to dragons but the dragons are being hurt in this book. Mira also goes to prison because of reasons. She meets some cool peeps there. Then she gets out for a bit and gets back to her best friends only to be sent back to prison with her friends. It's all craz I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I loved some parts and others I'm not too sure about so I'm going to go with 3 stars for now. I will do a re-read before the next book comes out and maybe that will be better =) Mira is friends to dragons but the dragons are being hurt in this book. Mira also goes to prison because of reasons. She meets some cool peeps there. Then she gets out for a bit and gets back to her best friends only to be sent back to prison with her friends. It's all crazy. Most of the time is spent in the prison but I'm hoping that with the way things were headed at the end that the next book will be even better! And it has dragons! And I hope something good comes out of it =) Mel ♥
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  • Cesar
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars“Thre is strength," he said slowly, "in knowing when to speak, and when to listen." His hands stayed on his chest, motionless. "And when to say nothing at all.”Dragons in literature have always interested me in how they are presented. You got the massive ones that can literally set fire to an entire village and you got the small ones that can be on your shoulder.Before She Ignites combines two of my favorite things: Fantasy and dragons. What more could you want from a book? I mean, DRAG 3.5 stars“Thre is strength," he said slowly, "in knowing when to speak, and when to listen." His hands stayed on his chest, motionless. "And when to say nothing at all.”Dragons in literature have always interested me in how they are presented. You got the massive ones that can literally set fire to an entire village and you got the small ones that can be on your shoulder.Before She Ignites combines two of my favorite things: Fantasy and dragons. What more could you want from a book? I mean, DRAGONS!!! Dragons you can pet!!!Mira is the hopebearer, someone who is very important not just only to her island, but to all the Fallen Isles. She was named after a treaty, the Mira Treaty, and she is expected to be the girl who can bring hope and peace to the Fallen Isles. But secretly, Mira doesn't know if she can do it. With her anxiety (OCD), it makes things complicated. When she uncovers a secret and tries to expose it, she is sent to the Pit, an underground jail where she waits for judgment from the people who she thought she could trust.My experience with Before She Ignites was good but there were a few things that made it feel just a tad bit underwhelming.At first glance, you'd expect to not only read about dragons but also learning about the politics of the Fallen Isles. To which I would say, yes. However, most of the story does take place in the Pit with a few changes here and there.ProsI liked Mira as a character. She really wants the best for not only the Fallen Isles but for the dragons as well. It's hard for her to do it with her anxiety (and possibly OCD, I'm not an expert) but she still wants to persevere through it and accomplish her goals for peace. We see her grow from a privileged girl to someone who wants to create change for the better of the people and the Isles. She's very determined and idealistic. What I also like was how she was not defined by her anxiety. She has her moments of crippling anxiety, but she stays determined to try and do what she thinks is right. It made me angry with how the guards treated Mira. But she stayed strong. It is a trope, but Mira stays strong through it all. Especially with her anxiety. She is a strong character not because she was thrown in jail. She's strong because of her beliefs. She's strong because no matter how many times she's put down, she gets back up. "I had knowledge. I had Power. I had a voice.And it was my duty to use them all."Dragons. Dragons! DRAGONS!!!Before She Ignites has dragons and even if they appeared sometimes throughout the book, I still loved them. They played a role in the plot and weren't there just for show. Though I do wish more had appeared, I was glad they weren't completely ignored. Plus, there's this one scene with a baby dragon and I just loved it. We need more baby dragons. It should be mandatory that everyone gets a baby dragon to raise. Who doesn't want that???There is political talk here as well and while I don't think it's like other books that have a focus on politics like the Winner's trilogy, I was intrigued by how the Fallen Isles works. There may be more expansion of the world in the next book and hopefully, Jodi goes into that. ConsThe worldbuilding was interesting, to say the least. But I do wish there was more to it other than the Pit. I know that sometimes the first book in a fantasy series is the building block for further development in the next book, I at least wanted more development in the first book that way I can have more insight when I go into the next book. There should've also been a map. One thing I like about fantasy novels is how expansive a world can be. It has been mentioned that there is a mainland aside from the Fallen Iles and I have a feeling it will be explored in the next book. The Luminary Council was also something I wanted to know more about. One thing I don't like about most fantasy novels is how there is no backstory to certain groups. Verdict Despite the few cons, I did like my experience with Before She Ignites. This was my first book from Jodi Meadows and I'm looking forward to the next book. Thanks for reading my review!-Cesar******************************This is something I've been meaning to talk about for the past few days, but I was a bit worried about how I should write this. After some thinking, I decided I'm going to write this. This isn't a review or thoughts on the book per say, it's about what Justina Ireland had said about the book.Now, I mean no disrespect to Justina or her work. I may disagree with her on some things, but she does help the YA community when it comes to problematic situations. Case in point, The Continent. I'm mainly talking about how she felt about the cover of the book as well as the publishing industry.Now, as you can see, the girl on the cover is Black. You might also notice that Jodi Meadows is white. To me, when I saw the cover, I thought: "Cool. A POC main character on the cover!" Then when I found out Mira, the main character, has anxiety, I was even more intrigued. What sealed the deal for me was that this book has dragons and illegal dragon trafficking. SIGN ME THE FUCK UP!!!I'm really looking forward to this book! It's got political intrigue, a POC main character, DRAGONS! What more could you want?... Then I read Justina's post on this on her blog and my reaction to it was mixed. I agreed with it but also disagreed with it.Here's what she said that I kind of agree/disagree with: "But the fact that the cover appears to be the first of it’s kind and it belongs to a white author serves to reinforce the absolute whiteness of publishing. Because even when it wants to increase representation, publishers look to white authors to fill that need."Basically, what she's saying is is that white authors get a better rep when they're writing a book with a POC as the main character. And while I agree with that, a part of me doesn't. Here's why.I'm Mexican-American (if my name wasn't that obvious about my ethnicity) and I love to read. It's been my passion ever since my freshman year of high school and continues to be to this day. The more I read, the more I got to read about different characters. Sure, some are white, but I've also read books where the main character is Black, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, etc., and I very much enjoyed them! I knew that some of the POC characters came from white authors and some who are POC write outside of their race. That didn't bother me. It might to some people, but not all. If a white author decided to write a book where the main character is Mexican, my first thought is: "Cool, someone is writing a book where I'm the same ethnicity as the main character." Not: "Ugh. A white author writing about a character who isn't the same race/ethnicity as them." I am not that type of person. I'm the former, not the latter.I understand that it's a big responsibility for white authors to learn and understand a race outside of their own. That's why there's research, talking to POC, and having sensitivity readers. I agree with that. What I DON'T do is get flustered if a white author writes outside of their own race. Look at The Book of Life, Moana, and the upcoming movie by Pixar, Coco. The Book of Life and Coco center around the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday, whereas Moana is about Hawaiin mythology. I know that the team creating these movies were white (some, not all), but they did their research well. Obviously, they didn't just write the plot for these movies without research. Hell, the team behind Coco went to Mexico to learn more about the culture and Day of the Dead. To me, if an author or movie team does their proper research and makes the book/movie great, I don't see a problem with it if they're white so long as they did their research and didn't do anything problematic. This brings us back to Before She Ignites and Justina. Yes, Jodi Meadows is white. Yes, the MC in the book is black. But if Jodi her research well and has sensitivity readers, I don't see a problem with it. And Justina's blog post does bring up some valid points about black authors in the publishing industry. By no means am I saying I'm an expert at this when I know nothing about what's going on in the publishing world. I have seen from different posts of how PoC, especially women, get the short end of the stick and that does bother people. I do not think I'm right. Do not take my word 100%. I don't know the struggle, so don't assume I know. Because I might be wrong about this and if I am, I will apologize and say I messed up, not delete the comments or review.Recently, I've been seeing POC authors writing books that have been successful. The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renée Ahdieh. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. And most recently, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. There's also another book by a PoC author called Dear Martin by Nic Stone. There have been lots of diverse books recently that are becoming popular. It shows that diversity is good and promotes learning about a different culture and groups of people. Also, Nicola Yoon, anyone???(Also quick update, The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton has a WOC on the cover wearing a dress and the book is by a WOC.)One other thing: I notice how some people aren't exactly fond of the idea of Jodi writing a black character. I thought that people wanted inclusion. Meaning all authors of any color/race/ethnicity writing characters outside of their own race. That's a good thing because different types of people exist and the world isn't just white. But when an author does that, specifically a white author, the reception is mixed. Let me ask you this: What if a Nigerian woman decided to write a book about a Finnish man? Is it a bad thing if she writes about a white character even if she's black? No, because she is free to do that. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE should write their characters how they want to write. Maybe Jodi pictured the MC as a WoC because that was the first thing she thought about. I'm all for inclusion and diversity. But when people are mad or not happy with a white author writing a book with a POC, that is not diversity. If anything, that's a counter-productive way of wanting diversity. Be happy more POC are being represented in media, not mad. And while Justina has done some good and has valid points, I do wish she wouldn't make a big deal out of this. I've been looking at some written posts about Before She Ignites and some POC are excited to have a Black female main character dealing with a mental illness. Hell, I'm excited to read the book! I just don't understand why Justina has to talk about Before She Ignites with such animosity. When it comes to the publishing industry, that I understand because it's not perfect. But Jodi is not the publishing industry. She's an author. While there are improvements to the publishing industry, I do think they have some work to do when it comes to diversity. I want there to be an improvement, and not let it be a house of just only white authors. We need diversity. This book has a POC female character dealing with anxiety disorder. The anxiety is also important because a lot of people can relate to the main character. Sure, her anxiety may be different than those of others, but we don't see a lot of it or rather, it isn't seen as often. I see potential in this book. I don't want both sides to argue. Let's just wait until the book is released.We can just meet somewhere in the middle. Also, I think it's pretty rude and immature to rate this book 1 star just because Jodi is white and her book has a WOC on the cover. (You think I'm joking, but I'm not. There are people who will rate books 1 star because why the fuck not?) Unless you have gotten an ARC and read it, I don't think it's right to rate a book 1 star just because. It's frankly childish to do that. To all those who are like that: You're better than that. Listen and learn. You may not agree with some, but it's best to listen first.Like I said, I may disagree with Justina, but I don't think she's wrong. As mentioned, she has pointed out several problematic issues in some books. I applaud her for that and think she's a great person. I don't mean to say she is wrong. I'm sure she's a great, nice and wonderful person. You may agree with me or not. You may agree with Justina or not. That's fine. Obviously, everyone has different opinions and are free to talk about them. This is just my two cents on the issue and by no means did I intend to insult anyone. And if I did, kindly point it out so I can learn and apologize.If you want, feel free to leave a comment talking about this. I only ask for respect and no insults. We're all mature people here. I'm more than happy to discuss this.Thank you.
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  • Melody
    January 1, 1970
    I want black teens to know exactly what you're getting into with Before She Ignites. I'm concerned that a black girl will see this gorgeous cover in a library or bookstore and pick it up thinking it will empower and entertain her. This is 300-something pages of a black girl being abused - physically and emotionally - by almost everyone in her life. Does that sound like a fun YA fantasy story to you? It's not to me.The plot: BSI is about Mira Minkoba, a political figurehead named after an influen I want black teens to know exactly what you're getting into with Before She Ignites. I'm concerned that a black girl will see this gorgeous cover in a library or bookstore and pick it up thinking it will empower and entertain her. This is 300-something pages of a black girl being abused - physically and emotionally - by almost everyone in her life. Does that sound like a fun YA fantasy story to you? It's not to me.The plot: BSI is about Mira Minkoba, a political figurehead named after an influential treaty that united the island-nations her people come from. She is VERY important because she represents the treaty. Mira doesn't want to do politics though, she just wants to hang out with dragons and her "friends". When Mira and her "friends" (her bodyguard & a dragon trainer assigned to her) stumble upon a plot to sell dragons to their enemies on the mainland, she feels obligated to stop it. The dragons were put on the islands by the gods and the island people are supposed to take care of them and whatnot. Selling them is illegal thanks to the treaty. Mira goes to the adults, unaware they're part of the scheme, and gets thrown in prison where she must come up with a plan to escape and save the dragons. Because saving the dragons will in turn save the islands from the wrath of the gods.Now I admit this is a cool concept. Unfortunately the author doesn’t fully explore any of the above. We stay with Mira as she moves from one traumatic experience to the next. While Mira is played up as ~*special*~ and ~*perfect*~ and The Chosen One, she doesn't get treated that way.Our heroine is diminished by almost everyone she interacts with. Everyone is using her or hurting her in some way. There isn't a single black woman character in the entire book that's kind to Mira of their own free will. Her mother is overly critical and thinks she's stupid, her sister is jealous of her, her mentors betray her (view spoiler)[One of them literally cuts her face open with a knife!!! (hide spoiler)], her cellmate ignores her for a while and then blames her when things get bad, her work detail boss smacks the shit out of her on her first day, and the only real female friend she makes in prison betrays her too. It's appalling because sisterhood is taken seriously in black girl world. We look after each other. Why is there absolutely no one looking after Mira? Why is she completely alone in this?Her makeup artist is nice to her, but she's a servant. Her doctor is nice, but she only exists in flashbacks and is more of a vehicle to teach the audience about mental illness than an actual character in the narrative. Her dragon trainer "best-friend" from the island is nice to her too but that chick technically works for her (even Mira acknowledges that she's not like a real bestie). A strange boy she meets in prison is kinder to her than the women she's known all her life. Even if it wasn't intentional, this is a book where all the black women are mean to the vulnerable black girl.So! Why does Mira go through all of this? Well, Mira wants to show everyone that she's strong and unbroken. I can't recommend any book about a black girl who "discovers" her true strength by being mistreated. Why exactly does cruelty have to be the way she discovers her strength? Mira is naive and does dumb shit cause she has no street smarts. But Mira is book smart, she's empathetic, she's good with numbers, she catches on fast. All of these things seem secondary to having the tenacity to stand up again after being literally beaten down to the floor. People, that's the strong black woman trope in action.The stereotypes from our world should not be showing up in a high fantasy book. From a racial and mental health standpoint, publishing a book in 2017 with the strong black woman trope hurts black girls. It takes away their humanity. It makes non-black people think their suffering is a virtue or how they push through pain is inspirational instead of a crying shame. Black girls are MORE than just pain and suffering. You can mention shea butter a hundred times, but if you don't understand the culture or our history, you should not be writing about black girls.Some final things you might find useful:-- There are several long, detailed panic attack scenes. Like 2-3 pages long. I don't have severe anxiety but I feel like that should warrant a trigger warning -- About 75% of the book is set in an underground high security prison and no, there aren't any deep, profound statements presented about the prison industrial complex-- If torture upsets you, don't read this book. Seriously-- The main villain who does the most heinous shit in the book is a black man. Of course-- Other reviews mentioned she may have ripped some elements from The Mortal Instruments-- The ending is pretty to visualize but makes no sense-- NOT ENOUGH DRAGONS! If homegirl is willing to destroy her life for dragons I need more of them on the page! How are dragons the main plot point and barely show up on the page?????!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Val ⚓️ Shameless, Skanky, and B*tchy ⚓️ Steamy Reads
    January 1, 1970
    The came with my first ever OwlCrate box. Happy to have really liked the box and all its contents, plus, well...DRAGONS!!!
  • Francina Simone
    January 1, 1970
    There is a review on my channel where I discuss the book and the little bit of controversy around it: https://youtu.be/X7-nJ8BYg0g
  • Ben Alderson
    January 1, 1970
    Be prepared that this book has a slow start... it took till about half way through for me to work out what was going on...BUT ONCE I DID IT WAS GOOD.I think this is a well thought out book. Loved the magic system, although i feel like it still needs explaining. But thats the point of the story I believe, I dont think we are supposed to understand it till the next book. Looking forward to more Dragons I hope! AND LESS PRISIONS
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars Alone. Abandoned. Apart from everyone I loved. All because of one act of trust. One truth. One horrible mistake. I didn't know much about this one before picking the book up other than dragons. Let me repeat that: DRAGONS. And I am more than pleased with how it turned out. I didn't expect a story filled with politics and imprisonment stemming from a treaty made between islands the day Mira was born. This moment. Right here. I had my two best friends and my two favorite dragons, and eve 3.5 stars Alone. Abandoned. Apart from everyone I loved. All because of one act of trust. One truth. One horrible mistake. I didn't know much about this one before picking the book up other than dragons. Let me repeat that: DRAGONS. And I am more than pleased with how it turned out. I didn't expect a story filled with politics and imprisonment stemming from a treaty made between islands the day Mira was born. This moment. Right here. I had my two best friends and my two favorite dragons, and everything was perfect.But I should have known better than to get comfortable. The next disaster was about to begin. Mira, a girl of incredible privilege who is seen as the face of the treaty, discovers a truth and is sent to the deepest, deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles for it. Unprepared for the new life before her, she must find a way to survive while waiting for the Luminary Council to realize their mistake. Can Mira survive the pit and keep the very secret that sent her here with a guard wanting nothing more than to find out what that secret is?And did I mention the dragons? Because that's a large part of the world in this book. While there could've been a lot more with dragons in these pages, they do appear in a few scenes. Even when they aren't present, the dragons are discussed a good amount. Mira loves dragons. They are her passion regardless of what is expected out of someone of her stature. This made me admire Mira because she truly cares. I enjoyed learning about the different species of dragons. I just wish there had been more scenes. Something tells me future books will make this happen.I wasn't sure how to feel about the protagonist at first because it takes a moment to get to know her and really see her personality. It doesn't help that we get to know her at her lowest point being put in prison, pretty much the last place she's equipped to be in. Growing up, her mother always pointed out what she viewed as flaws while stressing how lucky Mira is to be pretty causing Mira to think that's all she is: a pretty face. Her arc is one of growth throughout the novel. I appreciate the development she goes through as she finds strength. Mira is incredibly caring and empathetic. Oh and did I mention her crippling anxiety? It is written very well. And she has OCD and counts compulsively. The panic attacks Mira has are very realistic. This was my other favorite aspect of the novel.I was a bit put off by the before and after stuff only for how often it jumps around in the timeline. It is hard to keep track of the when of things with how often it would jump further into the past, go back to present day, and then go to just a month ago. No, let's go back ten years this time. Now we're going back seven months. It just felt like a lot and had me constantly flipping between chapters to see where said chapter fit into the timeline.While I really enjoyed what world building there was, I want more. There is still so much we don't know about. Things and places were mentioned but not explored even remotely. And I'm a bit unclear as to how exactly Mira's father was the one to write the treaty, yet the Luminary Council had all the control when it came to Mira's situation. I'd like more detail on her family, as well as the political system. Plus, am I the only one who didn't fully understand these noorestones?It's exciting to see a fantasy series with a POC protagonist who is also an excellent mental health rep. And the entire storyline involving the dragons is so fun. Mira's friendships are wonderful to read about. There are a couple big twists. And the book definitely leaves you in need of the sequel - making it easier for me to forget about the issues I had.
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    Love love love!
  • Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
    January 1, 1970
    My reactions to the premise: Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. 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. I'm sorry, did somebody print MENTAL HEALTH all over this fantasy novel? Also dragons, GIVE ME THE DRAGONS. And that's how you turn around a premise from mainstream garbage to something I actually take an int My reactions to the premise: Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. 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. I'm sorry, did somebody print MENTAL HEALTH all over this fantasy novel? Also dragons, GIVE ME THE DRAGONS. And that's how you turn around a premise from mainstream garbage to something I actually take an interest in. And if the heroine is a person of colour, as the cover has us believe, then all the better.
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  • Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
    January 1, 1970
    ILLEGAL DRAGON TRAFFICKING. Why yes please.
  •  ⚔ Sh3lly - Cranky Crone of Rabid Hedgehogs and Fire Breathing Kittens ⚔
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars! Dragons!This book impressed me. Let me first say that it isn't often you see a main character portrayed with crippling panic/anxiety disorder that manifests in OCD-like counting. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it was refreshing to read about a character who has it as well. Kudos to the author!Mira is a girl who has been raised in privilege. She is a pretty face, not very smart, doesn't think much, is uncomplicated, does what she is told. She is "the face" behind the politics of 4.5 stars! Dragons!This book impressed me. Let me first say that it isn't often you see a main character portrayed with crippling panic/anxiety disorder that manifests in OCD-like counting. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it was refreshing to read about a character who has it as well. Kudos to the author!Mira is a girl who has been raised in privilege. She is a pretty face, not very smart, doesn't think much, is uncomplicated, does what she is told. She is "the face" behind the politics of her island. She gives the flowery speeches (never writes them) and is a figurehead. She loves dragons. She and her best friend train dragons and along with her male protector, born on another island, are together as much as possible. Until they discover someone is taking the dragons. When Mira presents the evidence to the political leaders, they send her to a place called “the pit,” the worst jail you could be sent to.Most of the book is spent here, where Mira meets a rag tag band of misfits she inevitably befriends. Mira has a lot of growth! She goes from a passive girl who does what she is told to someone who makes her own choices and fights for what she thinks is right. She ends up with abilities, but she definitely has to earn it and goes through the wringer to get there.This isn’t a perfect book, but it gets extra props from me for the reasons listed above. I ended up liking Mira a lot and think the author did a good job with world-building and the supporting characters came alive for me as well.I highly recommend this and can’t wait to see what happens next!
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  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
    January 1, 1970
    Wowza..this cover. Omgosh. And the summary? I'm SO ready for this..
  • Kimberly Kosydor
    January 1, 1970
    This book was everything I wanted, but even more so, it was what I needed. I loved this world and all the characters! And of course I loved the dragons! Now I will be impatiently waiting for the sequel!
  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    WrensReads Review:This book is about dragons and not going with the flow. So basically, this book is something I will be gushing over for a while.Mira is basically the face of a treaty of peace between the isles. The treaty states that everyone is equal and no one can own a dragon and so on and so forth. But just like we have seen in our own world today, just because a piece of paper says everyone is equal, doesn’t mean that everyone sees everyone as equal. It actually gets pretty political whic WrensReads Review:This book is about dragons and not going with the flow. So basically, this book is something I will be gushing over for a while.Mira is basically the face of a treaty of peace between the isles. The treaty states that everyone is equal and no one can own a dragon and so on and so forth. But just like we have seen in our own world today, just because a piece of paper says everyone is equal, doesn’t mean that everyone sees everyone as equal. It actually gets pretty political which I couldn’t stop comparing it to the discrimination we are dealing with here in 2017. Mira does whatever she is told whenever she is told to do it. She has a pretty face, which she is told her is her only asset, and so she uses it to unite the people. Her real passion is with her best friends: dragons. So when she finds out the reason the dragons (the Children of the Gods) are disappearing and no one will take her seriously...They put her in The Pit, which is where they put their high-watch prisoners. Mira deals with PTSD and anxiety. Being the face of the treaty, and not everyone agreeing with said treaty, she has had some people want her dead. She deals with it by counting. I feel the whole mental-side of this was really well done. The world building is slow but a good slow. There are a lot of different types of dragons, small and big, and the whole gods-aspect is something to grasp your mind around. But like, dragons though. I feel this book could have been a prequel to the next book. It built-up a lot for the series and I am excited to see what unfolds in this series!WrensReads | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Minni Mouse
    January 1, 1970
    Me: I've never once enjoyed a book about dragons.Shortly after: Ooh, look! A book about dragons![adds to TBR shelf]
  • Beatrice (beatriceinbookland)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an arc from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*DNF @ 40%I'm giving it two stars just because the anxiety/ocd rep was good and the little dragon was so cute!so let me introduce you to Mira, our female lead:· she complains because the prison's water isn't sanitary· she worries because she has ONE pimple on her chin ("Even the slightest pressure sent ripples of pain across my face." are you fucking serious???)· she's sad because the other criminals don't like her· she thinks abo *I received an arc from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*DNF @ 40%I'm giving it two stars just because the anxiety/ocd rep was good and the little dragon was so cute!so let me introduce you to Mira, our female lead:· she complains because the prison's water isn't sanitary· she worries because she has ONE pimple on her chin ("Even the slightest pressure sent ripples of pain across my face." are you fucking serious???)· she's sad because the other criminals don't like her· she thinks about all the times her mom told her she was a disappointment· she's basically bipolar: she goes from "I'm so stupid I can't do it" to "I was a brilliant star. It was my duty to shine"· she risks getting punished by the guards in order to keep her (filthy) dress because "the dress is mine so I want to keep it"· she's sad because she wants to wrap her hair but she doesn't have a headband· she just waits around for her parents to save her+ she can't cook and she doesn't know how to wash her clothes, braid her hair and mopso how did she survive for 16 years? it's a mysteryI think it's safe to say I've made my point, I can't put myself through this torture anymore so byeoh I almost forgot: there are silent brothers who live in a place called Idrisnow I can go
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  • Annabel
    January 1, 1970
    this book is awesome!!!
  • Crazy4Books
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the bigger plot with the dragon trafficking, the corrupt government, gods and mythology, but when I first requested an ARC of this I was expecting something totally different. I wanted a kick butt female character going on adventure with some awesome dragons at her side, but after reading a few reviews saying the main character Mira spends most of her time in prison, I was a little wary. I tend to avoid novels that are primarly character driven because fast pace plots are what I I really enjoyed the bigger plot with the dragon trafficking, the corrupt government, gods and mythology, but when I first requested an ARC of this I was expecting something totally different. I wanted a kick butt female character going on adventure with some awesome dragons at her side, but after reading a few reviews saying the main character Mira spends most of her time in prison, I was a little wary. I tend to avoid novels that are primarly character driven because fast pace plots are what I usually find myself enjoying the most.Miras jail time seemed to drag at times, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how much her narrative hooked me. I still prefer main characters who are a bit more cunning and brave, but I found her inner struggle compelling to read about. I understand the author was trying to portray a main character with insecurities and anxiety. Its saddening how much damage her mother has caused, but what's worse is that it doesnt just happen in fictional works. I felt like Miras character growth was realistic considering everything shes been through.Her relationship with the people she meets in prison were interesting. I especially loved the prionser in the cell beside her, Aaru. I also loved the cook Tirta and I thought Gerel was a little rough around the edges but she grew on me. Her guard frustrated me so much when he was cruel for no good reason. He could have went about getting information from her by befriending her, but he made a good antagonist and so did Elbena. We also get flashbacks that show us Mira spending time with dragons as well as her family and friends. The flashbacks really helped established the world. I liked that we didnt know how or why Mira ended up in prison. That mystery element helped get me invested in the story. I did like the authors writting so I do plan on checking out her other books. I enjoyed the action at the end. I have a feeling Im going to like the sequel even more than the first book now that Im attached to the characters and if the plot goes in the direction Im anticipating. You should pick this up if you like character driven books and the premise sounds like something that would interest you.*received for honest review consideration*
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  • ALEXA
    January 1, 1970
    All I really needed to know about BEFORE SHE IGNITES before I read it can be summed up in two statements:1) It's by Jodi Meadows, who is an author I absolutely adore.2) It has dragons in it.Suffice to say that I have been extremely excited about this novel since it was first announced, and I have eagerly anticipated being able to read it as soon as possible. And now that I've read it, I can confidently tell you that it's another really great story from Jodi Meadows. The world was so interesting, All I really needed to know about BEFORE SHE IGNITES before I read it can be summed up in two statements:1) It's by Jodi Meadows, who is an author I absolutely adore.2) It has dragons in it.Suffice to say that I have been extremely excited about this novel since it was first announced, and I have eagerly anticipated being able to read it as soon as possible. And now that I've read it, I can confidently tell you that it's another really great story from Jodi Meadows. The world was so interesting, the plot was really engaging (in spite of the limited setting that the author worked within) but, best of all, Jodi has created yet another main character that I adored and found easy to relate to. I really look forward to seeing what happens next for Mira and her friends, and I can't wait to read the sequel!
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 41%I received an eARC, this in no way impacts my opinionFULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG HEREI tried. I wanted to like this but I just can't. I'm getting so many Shatter Me vibes from this that it kind of hurts. I wanted heaps of dragons because I stared Game of Thrones and am currently obsessed with Khalessi (spelling is probably wrong). There are other reasons I didn't enjoy this. In the first chapter we reference both Idris and Silent Brothers, like, hello Shadowhunters? I understand those words DNF @ 41%I received an eARC, this in no way impacts my opinionFULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG HEREI tried. I wanted to like this but I just can't. I'm getting so many Shatter Me vibes from this that it kind of hurts. I wanted heaps of dragons because I stared Game of Thrones and am currently obsessed with Khalessi (spelling is probably wrong). There are other reasons I didn't enjoy this. In the first chapter we reference both Idris and Silent Brothers, like, hello Shadowhunters? I understand those words are universal and can be used in any book, but you could have tried to be original. As well as this, there are endless amounts do list. Frequent lists. For some reason the main character what's to do one every bloody chapter. The main character, Mira, is also both stupid and dramatic. Never a good combination. I just can't put up with her naivety in this book anymore. I may try this again once the full copy has been released, but for now not enough dragons.
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  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    January 1, 1970
    A POC as the main character in a fantasy book with dragons? I NEED THIS!!!
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | TwitchBuddy read with Jules at JA Ironside! ❤This was in the September 2017 OwlCrate box!
  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    lmao i give up. it's so boring and i'm so tired of the before and after nonsense.
  • Martina Boone
    January 1, 1970
    This is an utterly dazzling and beautiful book with a richly imagines world, fresh wonderful characters, and a story that didn't let me go from the first page to the last. And can I just say that I desperately want a dragon? Remarkable!
  • Farren
    January 1, 1970
    It was exhilarating, really.Exploding.Being shred asunder.Burning like a thousand galaxies. I've been such a moody reader the last few months so it took me forever to finish this book, but I really enjoyed the story. The writing flows well and is incredibly engaging, the characters were all fantastic (including the bad ones), and the settings were described so well I could imagine myself there, even though this took place in an entirely different world than our own. I loved Mira and reacted mor It was exhilarating, really.Exploding.Being shred asunder.Burning like a thousand galaxies. I've been such a moody reader the last few months so it took me forever to finish this book, but I really enjoyed the story. The writing flows well and is incredibly engaging, the characters were all fantastic (including the bad ones), and the settings were described so well I could imagine myself there, even though this took place in an entirely different world than our own. I loved Mira and reacted more strongly to her than most main characters. Her anxiety was realistic, and while it was an important factor it never overshadowed the plot. Mira was admirably strong, fighting tooth and nail for what she believed in, and always managed to persevere despite her disorder and the control others endlessly exerted over her. I also loved her relationship with Aaru, which is built on the need for companionship and support rather than instalove or physical attraction that's more common in YA books. I was worried I wouldn't like this book because of the dragon thing, but they aren't really present throughout the whole story and actually fit into the plot nicely. The story focuses mostly on how much Mira loves dragons, how they help her cope with her anxiety, and how they are involved with the treaty for which Mira is named after.The ending was so good and I cannot wait for the second book to come out. I honestly have no idea where the story is going to go from here!
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  • Sarah K
    January 1, 1970
    Do you want free bookish mail? Get your As She Ascends postcard right here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FA...4.5 StarsAll I knew going in was something about a prison and dragons but that sounded very exciting, PLUS when I first saw the cover I was blown away and so grateful to see a beautiful black woman on the cover of a fantasy book! As someone who has 3 black children and a black tween daughter who is obsessed with reading (and DRAGONS!!!), I was thrilled. I am always on the look out Do you want free bookish mail? Get your As She Ascends postcard right here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FA...4.5 StarsAll I knew going in was something about a prison and dragons but that sounded very exciting, PLUS when I first saw the cover I was blown away and so grateful to see a beautiful black woman on the cover of a fantasy book! As someone who has 3 black children and a black tween daughter who is obsessed with reading (and DRAGONS!!!), I was thrilled. I am always on the look out for books that speak to her and help her see herself in books.The Story:Mira Minkoba is a girl who grew up being the face of the Mira Treaty. The Mira Treaty was created to unify but also give independence to all the Fallen Isles. Dragons no longer were to be kept as pets and would be kept in sanctuaries for protection. Mira, who also loves dragons and helped train one, discovers some truths that she wasn't meant to know and then unexpectedly thrown into the worst prison within the isles. What I loved:Mira - Mira is flawed. From an incident in her past, she developed a coping mechanism of counting everything. I loved this. I've never seen anything quite like it in a book. She also has really low self-esteem. She's told all her life that she's not good for anything but being pretty. This plays into her struggles in the book. Mira's growth is realistic because she does grow but still struggles with her weaknesses. I loved how WEAKNESSES CAN BE SEEN AS STRENGTHS, yet some weaknesses she knew she had to change. She never gives up even when all things seem lost.Anxiety Attacks: Mira majorly struggles with anxiety attacks throughout the book. This element was so well written!The prison/setting: I also wasn't sure what it'd be like to read a book predominately set in a terrible prison but I actually loved it! There are flash backs of her before the incident but the majority of the story is set in this prison and it was dark, scary, terrifying at times, felt real, and many mental and physical battles were born. Mira meets other inmates and I love meeting unsavory characters, they're also super interesting to me!The romance: I do want to say that there is NO love triangle. Some people have wondered and no, there isn't. But I will say there are a few moments in this book that made my heart soar and pages that were burning hot. ;)The world-building: I LOVED the world-building in this book! There are multiple islands and each one of them has a different Fallen God they worship. And each of those Gods have certain characteristics (silence, warriors, kindness, etc.) that are valued. I do hope to see a map and possibly an index describing all these differences. I thought religion was woven in beautifully into the story and it influenced how certain characters behaved, thought and responded to situations. The magic is also a bit of a mystery and I like it when there's more to learn. There are these noorstones that glow and provide light for inside buildings. The theme: I think one awesome theme in Before She Ignites is no longer letting others silence you. Mira spent her whole life being silenced and it's something she deals with in the entirety of the book. I hate when I feel like my voice is taken from me and I found this book very inspiring to stand up and fight back.Quick read: Believe it or not, but I found this book rather quick to read through. I really wanted to know what happened to Mira, all the other prison inmates, her family and friends.What I didn't like:I found it a bit long and slow paced at times, however I still found it to be a quick read. Mira's weakness of being disgusted when she felt ugly, made me a little frustrated at times. I wanted to slap her and say, "You are still beautiful, and get over yourself, looks aren't everything!" But I also know this is one of her personal flaws. When you think your ONLY attribute to world (because others tell you so) is a pretty face than jeopardizing beauty can have major internal struggles. I have hope for her that this will be a flaw she'll work through in the next couple books. No one overcomes insecurities in a month. I enjoyed the scenes with the dragons but would like to see more! I think there will be in the upcoming books.OverallBefore She Ignites was a fiery beginning to a stunning new fantasy series by Jodi Meadows! After finishing I couldn't stop thinking about the characters and was left with enough questions to desperately want more. If you love flawed characters, fighting against injustice, dragons and new worlds, you'll definitely want to pick up this book! I gave it 4.5 stars. I created a Pinterest Board if you're interested in aesthetics. https://www.pinterest.com/thebooktrav...*Thank you HarperTeen/Katherine Tegen Books for sending me advanced copy of the book!
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  • alice (arctic books)
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know, I'm not feeling it. I'm at around 45% into the book, and nothing really has happened?? Mira has been interrogated about dragons, and she's been locked up in a cell and been extremely mistreated, and there's a lot of characters, and my expectations have dwindled massively. I might continue this later or end up calling a DNF. I'm very disappointed right now - I was hoping for a lot more action.
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    “I had knowledge. I had power. I had a voice.And it was my duty to use them all.” Dragons and mental health rep in a fantasy is the recipe for a good book. Mira Minkoba is told she’s special, so when she uncovers a dangerous secret that threatens the Treaty that keeps peace between the Fallen Isles, she thinks the council will listen. Betrayed and alone, Mira is imprisoned and must battle her own demons to discover the truths that will save her world. Things I Liked I love that we got to see “I had knowledge. I had power. I had a voice.And it was my duty to use them all.” Dragons and mental health rep in a fantasy is the recipe for a good book. Mira Minkoba is told she’s special, so when she uncovers a dangerous secret that threatens the Treaty that keeps peace between the Fallen Isles, she thinks the council will listen. Betrayed and alone, Mira is imprisoned and must battle her own demons to discover the truths that will save her world. Things I Liked I love that we got to see some mental health represented in a fantasy story. Mira has severe anxiety and compulsive counting. We see her struggle with both through the story and dealing with panic attacks as well. Mira is shamed by some for her anxiety and counting (especially by her mother) but she also uses her counting to her advantage - adapting and learning to survive in the Pit. I loved Mira’s growth and acceptance of what she perceived as flaws, especially after feeling so helpless . It’s always awesome to see more neurodivergent representation in YA literature, and it’s inclusion in a fantasy setting is something I definitely want more of!Dragons are always a bonus in any books. Now we don’t get to see as many dragons as I was expecting and that was a bit disappointing, but they do have a presence in the story. They are upheld as vital to the peoples of the Fallen Isles. The dragons in the story are approached in a very scientific manner, with proper classifications, which was different but kind of cool. I would have liked more dragons/dragon interactions, but I liked what we got.I feel like we got a very focused sort of worldbuilding in the story. We really only got worldbuilding that was relevant to the plot at hand, but I did like everything we learned. I liked learning about the Mira treaty and its implications for not only the seven Fallen Isles, but the mainland Algotti Empire. I like the bits of information we got about the different cultures and beliefs of the Fallen Isles - how some beliefs are transcendent like the Great Abandoning, and others are independent to their respective islands like how the people of Idris communicate or how the people of Bopha worship. I like that each of the Fallen Isles represent a god with their own views and ways of living. Aaru is such a kind and gentle soul. He was probably my favorite character. He was so easy to latch onto and care for. I loved him a lot and I really loved the friendship that develops between Aaru and Mira. Things I Didn’t Like This was my first encounter with a Before/After format in a fantasy novel, and I have to say it wasn’t my favorite. I felt like the format disrupted the story for me and kept all of the worldbuilding pieces farther apart. For me, worldbuilding is such a huge part of fantasy stories, that I wished it was more cohesive and fluid. I had to remind myself of what I knew, when the characters learned certain information, It just wasn’t my preferred style.The biggest issue I had with the story is that I wanted more. This goes beyond having some unanswered questions, which I’m fine with, but I felt like I was just missing some information. I didn’t feel like we learned a lot about some of the Isles, like I said above we get targeted pieces of information that’s relevant to what is happening to the plot in that moment, but it didn’t help create a full world for me - it still felt very limited. I felt like we also didn’t really know anything about the mainland, Algotti Empire, and why there was a conflict with the Isles. For noorestones being a pretty important feature in the story, I felt like they weren’t explained very well, so when they behave differently I didn’t know why I was supposed to care. I also felt like the political system wasn’t clearly defined. It seemed like there were ruling families, like Mira’s, but also council’s for each Isle that seemed to have more power. I couldn’t tell if Mira’s father was a figurehead and the Luminary council held the real power, or if they were more underhanded and slowly gained more control. While I did enjoy parts of the story, I was underwhelmed by the whole thing. I love Mira’s journey and the neuordivergent representations. And dragons are always a plus. But I wanted more from world, the politics, the characters. Before She Ignites is a fun story in an exciting world, and I look forward to learning more about it in book 2!I received a copy of the book from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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