By Cynthia Bujnicki
Everly Donovan lives on borrowed time with a clockwork heart. Bent on revenge for the death of her family against the man who took everything from her, Everly trains in secret, even at the cost of her own life. When the opportunity rises, Everly is whisked away to a forbidden island filled with magical secrets and passages to a hidden realm that holds the key Everly’s destiny.
There is just something about steampunk novels and watches that makes reading such an enjoyable experience. Combine that with the fantastical, and you have a winner. Such is the case with Before the Broken Star that follows one Everly Donovan, a girl with a clockworks heart on a quest for revenge.
Everly is a hard character, which is to say that the world she lives in has hardened her, left her for dead, her family taken from her in a single night. If not for the luck of her uncle stumbling upon her, she would be dead. Moreover, her clockwork heart restricts her, limits her ability to live a normal life. So, she is a bit bitter and angry. King makes sure, however, to ensure that the character is likable. Her Everly’s attitude is not off-putting, but somewhat understandable, and as hard as her character may seem, she can show compassion, to be kind and thoughtful. She is also intelligent and grows throughout the novel. Her new experiences influence her greatly, changing her perception and allowing her to grow as a character. She never loses that sharp edge, of course, but that is okay because she would not be herself without it.
As for the story, what is interesting is the mythology of the novels and how they intermingle with the fairy tales the author has worked to create for the novel. It is a world of its own in this novel and makes for a fantastic read to see the fairy tales develop and come to life for the characters. It adds the fantasy into the story, creates tension and mystery, and makes for a fantastic read. (★★★★☆)