Before She Ignites is an extended prisonbreak story, with dragons. On the surface it doesn’t sound exciting, but I ended up adoring the book.
Mira is a political figure by birth, and lives a soft, seemingly untouchable, life. Then she uncovers a horrifying political scandal and finds herself in jail. Why was she put in jail? Will she be in jail forever, or will she find a way to escape? What do dragons have to do with this story? There aren’t many questions to answer, but the story still ends being compelling.
It must be the writing. The book is half over before you know the full details of Mira’s imprisonment…and yet I found myself completely engaged with the story throughout. Mira’s prison sentence was somehow fascinating enough to keep going. Somehow, astonishingly, it was more fascinating than the political scandal Mira uncovered. When Mira gets a few moments reprieve from jail, I was less interested in what was going on.
Best of all, despite my interest in the going-ons of this prison, I’m happy to say that status quo is uprooted by the end of the novel. Where is the story going??? I can’t begin to guess! I love reading books that do things that surprise me. This book had many of those.
I’m surprised I enjoyed the prison setting, and that most of the book was in the prison. And though I love dragons in anything, I didn’t believe they would play much of a role in this book. But they did!
My only complaint is of world-building. I hope the next book explores more island culture, and history. Some of that would have helped in the understanding of this world. This book, however, was about setting up the political climate, and establishing conflict. From what the ending gives me, I have hope that I’ll get more of the historical exploration in the sequels.
Mira is badass in her own right, and manages to be as much while also very feminine. Though feminine badassery is starting to get recognition in books/movies, it’s still new enough that I found Mira’s status as one to be unique. The rest of the cast is also fun, and though motivations were unexplored for many, I enjoyed Mira’s prison friends a lot.
Jodi Meadows is a Lady Janie, and so I instantly adore her for that reason, but this is my first time reading one her solo books. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I love this one! I eagerly anticipate the sequels, and plan to read Jodi’s other books soon.