Review – Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King


Title Before the Broken Star

Author Emily R. King

Description from Amazon

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.

Initial Thoughts

I fully admit that this was a Bookstagram influenced purchase.  The cover and under the dust jacket binding of this book are so beautiful.  I had to have this one on my shelf (regardless of the contents).

Favorite Quotes (this book had two)

“Could you become a monster to destroy one?”

— Page 24

This quote is so essential to Everley’s journey.  She constantly finds herself straddling the line between wanting to slay monsters and becoming one herself.  This book has her question her motivations so often and it feels so authentic.  I feel like I’m always reading books about characters who never doubt themselves (please see Kammani from Gravemaidens).

“This was not a day for forward progress.  Some days push us ahead into better times, while others pull us back so far nothing can reverse the damage.  Those are the days that redefine our future for the worst.  Those are the days where I despise time the most.”

— Page 102

I love the writing in this book.  Emily R. King has a real way with words.  Special shout out to the fact that she is using first person narration.  It’s very difficult to make a young, naive, headstrong main character sound so wise.

Cover Art

I love this cover 😍.  The colors are so pretty (blue and purple, so up my alley).  And, the clock covered in thorns is so interesting.  There is so much symbolism and meaning behind it.  As a special bonus, under the dust jacket is even more beautiful.  It’s like a beautiful combination of tie dye and outer space.  I love it so much I almost want to display the book without the dust jacket (I know, crazy right?).

Series Value

This book sets the trilogy nicely.  We have several fun characters to work with, there is a master plot beyond just the first book, and there are several other unexplored worlds mentioned throughout the story.  I am definitely eagerly awaiting the next installment coming in August 2019.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

Once again, I find myself missing the romance factor.  Jamison was so perfect for Everley and the slow burn of their love is literally killing me.  Although it is perfectly written, my impatience forces me to criticize it for not moving faster.

Final Thoughts

Since this book was purchased entirely for its outer beauty, I did judge this book by its cover.  I enjoyed the story and characters so much and I have already preordered the next volume (I don’t even care what the cover looks like 😉).


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – although Before the Broken Star is not a tale of pirates, a large portion of it takes place on the sea and travelling.  Also, Alosa and Riden remind me so much of Everley and Jamison.
  • Everless and Evermore by Sara Holland – I think these books are similar to Before the Broken Star because of the time element.  Everley constantly worries about living on borrowed time and not knowing when her time will run out.  The setting of Everless has an interesting take on life, immortality, and the idea of borrowed time.
  • Dark Breaks the Dawn and Bright Burns the Night by Sara B. Larson – this is another story with an interesting concept of time.  Also, there are strong parallels between the plot through elements such as romance, curses, and family legacies.


Before the Broken Star on Goodreads

Buy Before the Broken Star on Amazon

**Look out for the next book in the series, Into the Hourglass, coming in August 2019.**


4 thoughts on “Review – Before the Broken Star by Emily R. King

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