Before She Ignites by Jodi MeadowsBefore She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Before She Ignites

byJodi Meadows

Hardcover | September 12, 2017

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“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 Plain 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. 

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the Incarnate trilogy, the Orphan Queen duology, and the Fallen Isles trilogy, as well as a coauthor of My Lady Jane. Visit her at
Title:Before She IgnitesFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:496 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.49 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.49 inPublished:September 12, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062469401

ISBN - 13:9780062469403


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sooo creative!! I found it a bit long but it was a great story nevertheless.
Date published: 2018-10-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good! This was a pretty good book! I really loved the elements of the (spoiler) morse code / tapping and the way it meshed with Mira's anxiety and mental health issues. The magic of the book was well built, if a little much. It was a really unique book -- not a lot of YA books I read have mental health as an aspect if the whole book isn't an Issue Book about mental health. That was really nice! There was a lot of reality in this book, even as it was a fantasy novel. It'll be really cool to see where this goes in the future! The set up for the next books was obvious and interesting.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful This book is amazing. I definitely recommend to anyone who loves fantasy and strong heroines. And dragons!
Date published: 2018-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Book Filled with political intrigue and betrayals, a heroine who must overcome her inner struggles and embrace her destiny, and dragons! Jodi Meadows plots out the world of the Fallen Isles and the characters that live within with careful detail. Mira lands herself in prison for no reason other than standing up for what she believes in and attempting to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her dear dragons. The Mira Treaty was named for her, an agreement between the seven islands to be at peace with one another to fight against the mainland. So, she was called the Hopebearer, a light in the darkness. For Mira herself, however, the prison was a place where they try to break any glimmer of hope within. The story goes between the current time while Mira is in prison to flashbacks of her life before. She is a flawed character who must compulsively count, especially when her anxiety grips her. Many have told her she is lucky to be so pretty, that she has no other substance to her, so what can she do to help anyone at all? It is a tale that allows the main character to overcome their fears, embrace themselves, and find their self-worth despite many setbacks. We are introduced to a wide array of characters who both try to help and hinder Mira in her quest to somehow escape the prison and save the dragons. I won't delve deeply into them in this review, other than to say they really round out the story and that I look forward to learning more about each of them and see their interactions in the sequel. As previously noted by a few reviewers - some readers may find the build-up to the main action in the book slow, but the pay off is fantastic and sets up perfectly for the sequel. For me, this allowed me to get to know Mira's inner thoughts and turmoil and just as she felt stifled in the prison and unsure of herself, the later events mirror Mira's own changes and growth, despite the challenges she faced.
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! Going into this book I knew three things: there were dragons, the main character was black, and the main character had anxiety. All three of these things made me say YES! I NEED TO READ THIS!. How often is it that you find a book with dragons AND anxiety? (I don't know if I ever have!) Plus Jodi is a favourite author of mine so I was very excited! Mira was definitely a unique character. As I mentioned above, I've never read a fantasy book where a character very openly has anxiety- she even takes medicine for it! At times she could be so frustrating, she had such low self-esteem and put such an emphasis on her appearance. Obviously when she was in prison she wasn't looking too great and so sometimes that was her biggest focus. Considering she was IN PRISON and being treated horribly I felt like she had bigger things to worry about. Then again, she is a young girl and for her entire life as a figurehead her parents have told her she needs to be beautiful. Years of being told such a message must have made it hard for her to shake! I liked that the characters around Mira were just as well-developed as she was. Sweet, quiet but intensely grounded Aaru; tough, athletic Gerel who has a soft spot for the girl beside her. I just love them all. The thing that impressed me most was that this book did not have a toxic romance! It seems like there have been many books lately where prisoners have fallen in love with their guards who *aren't that bad* (yuck). Luckily that did not happen here! The start of this book had that perfect amount of push and pull where the reader was given information but enough was withheld that you needed to keep reading. As the book went on though I found the plot was a bit slow. There isn't anything wrong with slow plots but I think there is some expectation that fantasy is fast paced so I just had to readjust my thinking. That being said, I found that the other aspects of the novel, like the world-building and characters were engaging enough to push me to keep reading. I LOVED how Jodi created a world where a nation didn't have a singular culture/language. A lot of times in fantasy we end up with vast lands where everyone is the same but not so with Before She Ignites and the Fallen Isles. I enjoyed getting a taste of the nations mythology and religions and a bit of general history (I'm a nerd for world-building!). In a way the Fallen Isles remind me of Japan in a sense- just because of the nation of isles and the differences between the islands etc. This wasn't intentionally done by Jodi but it's still neat that she created a history that is actually realistic (in a sense) Overall, despite some slow spots I would give this book 5/5 starts. It's such a fun, compelling but also important story. I can't wait to share its beautiful cover with some kids who will see themselves reflected!
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Before She Ignites I liked this book, it wasn't a favourite, but I enjoyed certain aspects - mostly the dragons! I didn't care that much for Mira's character, and I found the book to have a very slow start. I sort of enjoyed that most of the book took place in a prison, that's kind of different for Young Adult. And even though I didn't *love* Mira, I was still rooting for her and her friends to overcome their tribulations. I will most likely read the sequel, just to hopefully get some answers.
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love me some dragons + politics I absolutely adore the relationship between Mira and the dragons! I’m very interested in this noorestone magic and want to see what exactly it can do. I also really liked how much the character and awareness of Mira grew. She was so desperate to get out of the Pit but put other things before that. I also LOVE THAT THE COVER OF THIS BOOK WITH A PERSON ACTUALLY REPRESENTS THE MAIN CHARACTER! THANK YOU FOR ACTUALLY READING THE CHARACTER DESCRIPTION BEFORE DESIGNING THE COVER! I really enjoyed the diverse cast and hope that will expand as well (I can definitely see this happening with the political chaos). This book wasn’t perfect but a really fun book overall. I didn’t like how the book formatted the lists/options that Mira would have in her monologue. Just seemed very out of place. I also could have done with some more explanation of Altan and his group because I’m not totally clear on how they are enemies other than Altan being the guard. I also think the weird flash back and present day chapter altering that happened at the start was good but then it was just abruptly abandoned and never used again. This reminded me of Flame in the Mist. It ends with lots of adventure and plot to go but the book itself is a set up to what is to come in the future. Theres lots of focus on politics and what has happened to create this world and it’s circumstances. I’m super interested to figure out exactly how the Mira Treaty was used to trick citizens into thinking everything was fine when it obviously wasn’t. I hope we are gonna get this ragtag group to Algotti cause…shit is def going down if Mira finds dragons there.
Date published: 2017-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Character Growth This was a great story filled with emotion and human endurance. It was a looong book that focused more on character development than a traditional plot, but I'm not about to complain about that. I really liked the world building and the twists that the story offered. Most of the book revolved around Mira, a young woman torn from grace and trapped in a wretched prison. She's a deeply flawed heroine, mentally and emotionally, and it's been a while since I've read a book where the "damsel in distress" was the main character. I liked her a lot, understanding that she was completely unprepared for being alone and literally trapped in a prison of darkness. At times, her constant sabotaging was hard to read through, and I wished she would be a little stronger. But the ending chapter definitely made up for all my well placed hopes. I'm actually really excited for the openings the ending provides. The relationships are fantastic and I have plenty of questions regarding the magic of the world. A great story with a very flawed heroine who I can sympathize with and ultimately cheer for. Check it out!
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A True Masterpiece In a nutshell, why you HAVE to read this book: 1) DRAGONS. (Flying, fire breathing, fluffy, BEST MYTHICAL CREATURES EVER - dragons) 2) Main character suffers from Panic attacks (MENTAL HEALTH IN YA FANTASY. FINALLY) 3) MAGIC AND DRAGON TRAFFICKING AND WAR AND FINDING YOURSELF AND FRIENDSHIP. You’ll have to forgive me if most of my review is filled with capital letters because I just finished this book a few hours ago and everything – EVERYTHING, I TELL YOU (but especially the dragons) – about this book made me SO HAPPY. I missed Jodi Meadows’ writing and her way to twist the very world she introduced to you and EVERYTHING. And now I’m gushing, and sad it’s over and waiting desperately for book two. YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIVES. Let’s break it down: WRITING: Jodi Meadows’ writing has always taken me by a storm. It’s simple and sophisticated and totally eliminated that time you take to get used to a fantasy world, and allows you to simply slip in and out seamlessly. I loved how Mina was scared and made mistakes but she was pure of heart and her character came alive with the writing. IDEA: Let’s be honest – in a book with dragons, HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG? This book incorporates a main characters with mental health problems, in love with dragons even though she shouldn’t be and her growth as she learns about the real world locked in a prison underground. It was a gorgeous idea, and written really well and DID I SAY THERE ARFE DRAGONS? WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? PLOT: While the idea and writing were really good, I feel like the plot could have been better? The book kept switching from past to present and not in a uniform way which slightly shook me. For a majority of this book, Mina is locked in a dark cell. Everything is done SO SO WELL – from the madness that ensures when she’s locked, the starvation and thirst and the need for human contact and communication and the lists in her head and her hallucinations. Jodi managed to capture the intensity of being a prisoner in harsh conditions very well. I can’t shake the feeling that BSI could have had a LITTLE less time in the prison and a LITTLE MORE out there in the real world, actually advancing the plot. I understand why all of it was essential to her character development but I wish a little more happened as well. CHARACTERS: The character of Mira Minkoba was BEAUTIFULLY brought out. The peace treaty between the islands was written with her as the ‘Hopebearer’ and all her life she’s been a pretty doll for the ruling council until she speaks up and gets thrown into a prison for life. She suffers from panic attacks, her self-image is in shambles and she’s never had to survive on her own until the prison, and how she grows (slowly but surely) was an amazing journey to witness. ALSO, SHE LOVES DRAGONS AND I LOVE HER. I loved her best friends as well – every good book needs good best friends and she had friends that would risk their lives for her. Mina’s prison cell mates and the evil guards were also done really well. Her relationship with Aaru was one of the highlights of this book – I loved their method of communication, how they bonded and the powers of theirs that we got hints of. I’m very excited to see how everything goes in book two. CONCLUSION: I LOVED THIS BOOK. It had dragons and mental health and friendship and love and politics and conspiracy and YOU NEED THIS. Another masterpiece from a Queen of Fantasy. 4.5 stars.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping Story About Trust & Betrayal Mira Minkoba is a teenage girl living on Damina, one of the six island nations of the Fallen Isles. She has a sheltered life as the cherished Hopebearer of her people. Her father is the creator of the Mira Treaty that unites the islands against threats from the mainland, but not everyone is approving of it. After uncovering a treacherous and mysterious secret, Mira is taken to the Pit, the deepest prison in the Isles, to await an unknown fate. Mira is a flawed, but admirable heroine. Taught to rely on her looks and raised to be perfect, she privately suffers acute panic attacks. She uses her obsessive counting habit to calm her anxiety. Beautiful and empathetic, she represents hope to others, but needs to develop the confidence to trust and rely on herself. She's been protected and cared for her whole life, but after her imprisonment must find the inner strength she needs to survive her perilous situation. The development of her character is realistic and inspiring. The author pays exceptional attention to detail in every aspect of her world - from the histories, cultures and politics of the people, to the individual isles and their attributes. Damina is depicted as a peaceful place with its scents, sights and sounds. The Heart of the Great Warrior is a magnificent, holy temple of the Khulani people and a huge underground training complex for warriors. It also contains the Pit, with horrific living conditions for its prisoners. The drakarium or sanctuary, with an enormous wall 17 stories high, is impressive. The descriptions of the various species of dragons, their colours, sizes and how they communicate, is fascinating. Meadows wrote a gripping story that I found mesmerising. It is about trust, betrayal and standing up for what you believe in. With its complex protagonist, diverse collection of characters, political intrigue and array of fantastic dragons, I absolutely adored Before She Ignites. I'm very much looking forward to reading the next instalment of the series.
Date published: 2017-09-12

Editorial Reviews

Meadows weaves a taut narrative of loss, betrayal, and friendship, building a politically and environmentally fascinating world that readers who are looking for fantasies that center on people of color will especially appreciate.