Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Janella Angeles
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: October 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
The competition has come to a disastrous end, and Daron Demarco’s fall from grace is now front page news. But little matters to him beyond Kallia, the contestant he fell for who is now lost to this world and in the hands of a dangerous magician. Daron is willing to do whatever it takes to find her. Even if it means embarking on a dark and treacherous journey, risking more than just his life, with no promise of return.
After awaking in darkness, Kallia has never felt more lost. Especially with Jack by her side, the magician with who has the answers but cannot be trusted. Together, they must navigate a dazzling world where mirrors show memories and illusions shadow every corner, one ruled by a powerful game master who could all too easily destroy the world she left behind — and the boy she can’t seem to forget. With time running out, Kallia must embrace her role in a darker destiny, or lose everyone she loves, forever.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.
I am struggling with duologies lately. It’s like every time I go into the second book it feels way too dragged out as if there wasn’t enough plot for an entire new novel. I would rather read longer standalone fantasies than muddle through 75% of a book to get to the ending.
I wanted to love this, the beginning picked up almost right after the ending of the first book. Things got moving and I saw where things were going. My satisfaction dropped off when I realized how slow the pace was. I hate when a relationship is set up and confirmed in book one, then the couple doesn’t see each other again until 80% of the way through the last book. Where is the rest of the chemistry and romance?!
There was too much information thrown into this one. An entirely new cast with new relationships and villains. A dynamic that didn’t match all of the cast from the first book. Why couldn’t they have taken more center stage? [As you can see, I have many questions on the choices here]. By the time the ending rolled around I was through with it all. It was a bit confusing and with the devils at play I’m still not quite sure what happened.
I just missed the overall vibes that I felt with the first book. A lot fell flat. It’s an interesting world and I adore the magician set-up. The characters were initially great and I’ll hold on to what I liked about them in the beginning. I’m curious to see what books this author has next and hope to give those a chance.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Fantasy
- Language: a little strong
- Romance: kisses to closed door scene
- Violence: physical altercations, magical attacks and illusions