Book Review

ARC Book Review: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2) by Janella Angeles

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

BOOK SUMMARY:

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.

SOMETHING BROKE.

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

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blog tour, Book Review

ARC Book Review & Blog Tour: Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 464 pages
Author: Janella Angeles
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

Thank you to Wednesday books for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

WONDERFUL DEBUT.

You hear this has some The Night Circus aspects and you’re immediately drawn in. I am definitely in agreement. The magician, circus, and romance aspects were soooo good. Soooo good that I can’t wait for book two. There’s a lot here to unfold!

One of my favorite pieces is that I still haven’t decided who’s on what side. The ambiguity of characters and story leave much open to interpretation (in a good way). While plenty is revealed and you’re not left hanging, I love how much isn’t revealed.

Since I’m always a fan of romance in books, I am setting sail of Kallia and Demarco’s ship. I absolutely LOVED how this relationship moved. It’s one of the textbook slow-burns that are my faaaavorite. It was believable and they have true chemistry between them. I really can’t wait to see where they move on next.

Kallia is an amazing heroine. Goodness, I thought she was spectacular. Kallia was brave and bold, confident in her abilities and was striving to better her life. She was also flawed, and got herself wrapped up in tough situations. The conflict made her seem real and truly like someone you can root for her, and root for her I did!

This book reminded me why I love reading young adult fantasy. I would love to see a map to further expound on the world, but I thought the overall development was good. The magic system was interesting and all of the mystery kept me on my toes. The atmosphere and creepy vibes were some of favorite aspects.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: very little light
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Violence: physical, magic, elements

Author Bio:

JANELLA ANGELES is a Filipino-American author who got her start in writing through consuming glorious amounts of fanfiction at a young age — which eventually led to penning a few of her own, and later on, creating original stories from her imagination. A lifelong lover of books, she’s lucky enough to be working in the business of publishing them on top of writing them. She currently resides in Massachusetts, where she’s most likely to be found listening to musicals on repeat and daydreaming too much for her own good. Where Dreams Descend is her first book.

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