Review: Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

  • Pub. Date: September 12, 2017
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
  • Pages:496
  • Series: Fallen Isles Trilogy #1
  • Rating:3/5
  • Goodreads/Amazon


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.

Review:  Mira Minkoba had the fortunate or unfortunate fate (depending on how you look at it) by having a treaty named after her signed by all the islands, which makes her the face of the treaty and therefore she is deemed important by many as well as hated. Mira has a way with Dragons and that's all I'm saying because that's all I know. Clearly, she really is special but we get maybe a glimpse of what it could be in the entire novel.

I loved the dragons in the story, I just wish there was more time spent on them. There are various types of dragons and I really wanted to learn more about them but most of the story was spent with Mira in prison and when the chapters alternated to the past we got bits of dragons but not much. It wasn't till the end we saw more of them but still nothing to what I expected. I'm hoping the next book will focus more on the dragons because they are the reason I even picked up Before She Ignites.

Okay, so I'm pretty sure most of you can agree that a book about dragons if there is going to be romance in it, it better be epic because dragons are epic right? Well, the romance that is developing is lackluster and the guy is not someone I even cared for he was just mind-numbingly boring. Is it wrong to say that when I realized he was the guy Mira was going to fall for I was secretly wishing the author would kill him off (I know harsh, sorry) because I just didn't get it and I still don't. I never like to wish death upon characters except for the evil ones of course but even those I sometimes love and want them to be kept around anyways I don't see myself picking up the next book if he continues to stay the love interest because it kind of killed it for me in this first book already as it was.

Mira was the only real complex character in the novel. She suffers from severe anxiety and has OCD where she has to count everything due to an incident that occurred to her when she was younger. It was impossible not to like her I just wish there was more character development with her along the way. Throughout the whole book she is so focused on her appearance, how must everyone see her, she isn't pretty anymore etc. and I get that it had to do with her upbringing and how she was constantly reminded that it was her beauty which was most important but I wish she would have grown out of that mind set. I didn't understand how anyone could still be so worried about their looks in life and death situations. Mira also had the habit of putting herself down, that she wasn't smart enough or good enough and I really felt for her, I was really hoping she would eventually realize how amazing of a person she really is and how capable she is. I really hope she develops more in the next book I think it will be interesting to see her transformation throughout the series and how she deals with her anxiety.

Mira also had two best friends, Hristo who was also her bodyguard and a girl named Ilina. I can't say much about them though because of no real character development, they were in the "before" chapters and in present day when they do finally pop up we still don't get to know them. The only thing I really know is they are loyal to Mira. There was one other character who really caught my attention and that was Gerel, she was imprisoned in the Pit as well and has been there for quite some time, she is still a bit of a mystery but what I did learn about her I loved. Gerel was a total badass, I really hope to see more of her in the future books. Then there was the villain Altan, I expected more. Not sure how else to say it but he was supposed to be Mira's torturer in the Pit which is made to be this horrific underground prison but he never really physically put his hands on her, he did make her suffer once greatly when he wanted information but not in the way I would have thought. Now that I think about it, Altan I would say was another complex character. Still, don't know much about him or his motives but you can tell there is more to him.

I do give credit to the author for going out of the norm though, usually books in this genre you expect a kick-ass fear nothing type of heroine, instead of one who suffers from anxiety, has self-esteem issues and doesn't have a clue how to fight. So I can see some becoming a little frustrated with that and others admiring the deeply flawed character.

Overall Before She Ignites was a fast read for me, I had my issues with it and I am still conflicted on whether I will be continuing the series or not. If I do it will be for the dragons the mythical creature lover in me needs to know how things turn out for them.

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