After I finished this book, I had a lot of feelings. There’s just so much to love about this book and I want to TALK! Or just shove this book in your face. Anyhow, here is why you should read this amazing book:
Title: Before the Broken Star
Author: Emily R. King
Release Date: June 1, 2019
Genres: YA Fantasy
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.
Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.
5 Reasons Why You Should Read Before the Broken Star
1. Everley Donovan is…honestly everything I could have hoped for in a female protagonist.
She is fierce, capable, decisive. She is compassionate and fair. She is willing to look at two sides of a coin without freaking out. She sticks to her values. She knows what she wants and will do whatever she can for it. I don’t normally like revenge stories–I often find the protagonists in such stories to be cold, distant, and emotionless. Not Everley. (…okay, she is a little cold toward other people, and for good reason!) She never felt distant to me as a reader, and she is certainly full of emotion, though she tries to hide it in order to save her clockwork heart. Because of that, I really felt connected to her. I shared in her frustrations, her suffering, her love, her surprise, her confusion, and her victories.
I think my favorite part about her is she’s not perfect. She has her flaws. She makes mistakes. And I really love her for all of them. Honestly, if Everley Donovan showed up on my front door and told me she was going to take me to the otherworlds, I would do it.
2. Jamison Callahan.
Ahh, the man who has a heart of gold and intentions of a saint…but is also incredibly frustrating sometimes. Which makes him the perfect love interest for Everley. The romance between them is a slow, slow, slow burn, but there is so much chemistry. Plus, Jamison is such a fantastic, complex character all on his own. His goals and motivations don’t revolve around Everley (and hers don’t revolve around him btw!), but they complement each other so well.
3. The twisty twisty plot.
If you think you have an idea of what’s going to happen in this book I’ll be the first to tell you… You are Dead. Wrong. Seriously. Going into the first few chapters, I thought I had a good idea of some of the major plot points. But then things happened that completely knocked those ideas away. This happened again and again. By the time I reached the middle, I stopped trying to guess, and I just enjoyed the ride. The tension is ratcheted up every single chapter, every single scene. I kept asking, “How can it possibly get any worse?” Then crap, it got worse. Then I asked, “How are they going to get out of this?” …well, I’m not going to give anything away.
4. The masterful world building.
When Emily R. King drops you into this world of Otherworlds, you will not want to get out. You will want to explore all of the seven worlds…and then explore them again. Every detail comes alive, from Everley’s clockwork heart to Dagger Island and its gate to the Everwoods. The politics, while not emphasized in this book, are complex but not complicated, and I have a feeling they will play a much bigger role in the next books. And the myths. Emily R. King weaves her mythology, the stories and fairy tales that come along with this world, in so seamlessly. Maybe someday she will publish a novella with all of the stories she has come up with for this series (please please please!)
5. Markham is so complexly evil.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, maybe this will? Markham is an awful, awful villain, in a really good way. There are so many facets of him. I’m not going to say much else because I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is a well written villain.
Before the Broken Star blew me away and Evie stole my heart. What an incredible high fantasy novel. The characters are so complex and flawed, the plot is exciting and unpredictable, and the world building is lush and thrilling. I could not put this down, and I will likely read it again soon. If you love high fantasy, you will love this book.