Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1)
By: Emily R. King
My Rating: Three out of Five Stars
Best for: 12 and up
I think there are probably some teenage girls who’ll really enjoy Before the Broken Star. This dad of teenage girls, unfortunately, did not.
At some point, the book must have been on sale and the premise and positive reviews were enough to get me to add the ebook and the audio book to my collection—where I promptly forgot about it. The other day I found myself needing an audiobook to listen to while I mowed the lawn, re-discovered it in my collection, and gave it a listen.
It wasn’t awful. The premise of the story is intriguing. I liked the idea of a girl with a clock for a heart, tying her to Time and making her mysterious. I also found the creationism and the duling theologies a worthy element to the worldbuilding. It was enough to get me to the end of the book, anyway. In the end it wasn’t fully fleshed out though, and there were some Duex ex Machina moments that rubbed me wrong.
The biggest offense was the characters. I found them terribly uninteresting—plug and play stereotypes, one and all. They made bad decisions, didn’t learn from mistakes, and were exactly the same at the end of the book as at the beginning.
The end left me unsatisfied and frustrated, and I didn’t have any [positive] emotional connection to the characters that made me want to continue to book two.
I did appreciate the attention to steam-free content. There are no concerns here at all. I suspect my frustrations will be overlooked by teenagers and their parents who love YA fantasy but want to avoid the violence, sex, or language that is often found in them. In fact, I suspect the strong reviews for the series are likely driven by readers in a different demographic than I am. I’d be happy to share this one with my own advanced preteen or teen readers.
Best for 12 and up.