review and cover mani: before the broken star

The back jacket from Goodreads:

A fierce young female adventurer battles time itself to claim her destiny in a sweeping new fantasy saga from the author of the Hundredth Queen series.

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.


BEFORE THE BROKEN STAR had everything I love in a YA fantasy, which meant I devoured it. Charging out of the gate with high emotional content—desire for revenge (yay!)—and Everley’s clockwork heart, then sword fights in petticoats and a treacherous journey to a penal colony, the story sucked me in as the world melted away. Like the greats Bardugo and Schwab, there wasn’t a wasted word or wink, each action and phrase driving the plot forward, not a lull to be seen. I burned through chapters with abandon because just when one problem was solved, two more appeared like a metaphorical hydra beast of complications and revelations. 

Cover design by Kirk DouPonce, DogEared Design

The hostile and cursed island, populated by convicts and Everley’s new home, proved to be a formidable malevolent environment that forced Everley to confront family secrets. And oh the secrets she discovered! While the pace moved quickly in the first half, once upon the island, things kicked into warp speed. Adventure, tension, and magic, plus lurking threats along the way kept my heart rate up to such a degree, I was shocked to find my pedometer count unchanged. I adore books that leave me breathless, as if I’d run ten miles, and BEFORE THE BROKEN STAR became the latest addition to that short list. 

I appreciated the end to the storyline (to a degree 😉), as cliffhangers in a series make me want to throw things across the room. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book and will be counting down the days until it’s in my greedy paws. If you love young women who don’t take any crap, zooming paces, and dynamic characters, you need to read BEFORE THE BROKEN STAR. Five stars all the way!

Big thanks to Thomas Allen & Son for a complimentary finished copy!


For this mani, I used:

OPI – Stay Off the Lawn, Fearlessly Alice, Rollin’ In Cashmere, Mod About You, and I Just Can’t Cope-acabana

China Glaze – I Got a Blue Attitude, Born to Rule, Wicked Liquid, Boujee Board, and Up All Night

FingerPaints – Black Expressionism and Paper Mache

So Nailicious – needle and warrior brushes


  1. This book sounds super good.


    1. It really was awesome! Hope you have an awesome weekend!


Whattaya got to say about that? *waits*

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