Review: Before The Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1)

*I received this ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.*

Synopsis | 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.

Review | Rating: 5 stars

Before the Broken Star is a story of revenge, love, and redemption. Everley Donovan was given a second chance at life when she was given a new clock heart and she’s spent every minute of it seeking revenge for the lost of her family and her innocence. This story was full of adventure, budding love, and strong friendships. Everley was only seven years old when her father’s expedition partner came to her home in the night and slaughtered her entire family and stabbed her through the heart, leaving her for dead. She survived because her uncle pulled her from the wreckage and fashioned her a clock heart.

Before the Broken Star starts a decade later and brings you right into the middle of the action. Everley comes face-to-face with Governor Killian Markham for the first time since he slaughtered her entire family and left her to die right along with them. She understandably wants revenge. She doesn’t confront Markham then and is forced to take drastic measures to get to him which leads to her being on a ship headed for a penal colony with other women who’ve been sentenced to the same fate. She ends up married to Lieutenant Jamison Callahan who has a sweet and caring disposition. He wanted to save her from a more dreadful fate that she would have hated and he had his own ulterior motives as well. On the ship she also meets Quinn—a twelve-year-old girl who’s been sentenced for stealing something minor. She and Quinn form a bond that was amazing and so sweet to see grow. She’s also on the ship with some of her friends she met on the streets of Dorestand.

The story progresses from there and some hard truths and secrets are revealed that Everley has to decide if she will believe or not. Myths and childhood stories come from somewhere and that’s what Everley and her friends learn once they get to Dagger Island and Everley is finally able to confront Markham. She will have to decide if vengeance is the truth path she must take or if she is destined for bigger things.

I enjoyed Before the Broken Star so very much. The story and world that Emily dreamed up was so detailed and remarkable that I would love to be able to visit it. She has a way with making creation stories and myths sound like something that we would hear growing up. I loved the detail that she put into this story to make it feel that much more real and engaging. I have come to love stories that take place on ships so that was a great element of Before the Broken Star that I appreciated a lot. I also enjoyed the characters in this story.

Everley was a strong, fierce, and stubborn heroine who was single-minded in her pursuits and could not be persuaded off the path she’d charted for herself for nothing and no one. She annoyed me on more than one occasion because she wouldn’t change her ways. I felt like she was so focused on revenge that she squandered away the second chance she was given. I understood her need for it but I also wanted her to have a good life. Everley is now one of my favourite female characters and I can’t wait to see how she grows over the series. I liked Jamison a lot as well. He was the perfect love interest and I loved how slowly his and Everley’s relationship blossomed. It was natural and not forced at all. I enjoyed Quinn, Claret, Laverick, and Vevina. I liked how sassy, funny, and strong the women were in this book. Emily is great at creating strong female characters that form sisterhoods and support and fight for each other.

Markham and Harlow were the perfect villains and annoyed me to no end. Markham and Harlow’s callousness and selfishness was astounding. They did not care about anyone but themselves and were willing to sacrifice whatever they had to in order to get what they wanted. Nothing mattered to them other then that. I look forward to seeing how their character arcs play out and how they ultimately come to their ends. The other minor characters were all well done and made this a more well-rounded story that sucked me in from the very beginning.

Before the Broken Star is a top read for me in 2019 so far! This was such a beautiful, moving tale that showed what the thirst for vengeance can do to a person and what happens when they are finally face-to-face with the person that took everything from them. Everley proved she is a strong, relatable character that will do anything for the people she loves and care about. I loved every minute of it and cannot wait to see what is next for Everley, Jamison and the rest of their friends!

Get your copy today and dive into a magical story that will have you so engrossed you won't want to put it down!

*This review was originally posted on The Nerd Daily!

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