Title: Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1)
Author: Janella Angeles
Audio book narrator: Imani Jade Powers, Steve West
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 21/11/2020– 10/12/2020
Ever since I heard of this book, and its comparisons to Moulin Rouge and Phantom of the Opera, I knew I had to read it.
This book is beautifully atmospheric, with incredible descriptions of the mysterious nightclub, Hellfire House, and the city of Glorian and its buildings and inhabitants. Main character Kallia’s magic acts were always described vividly so I could see it all play out in my mind.
Kallia herself was a difficult character to figure out sometimes. For all her insecurities, she sure had a lot of bravado, to the point where she sometimes came across as quite arrogant. This made sense sometimes, when she was up against male characters just as arrogant, but felt just plain mean when she was doing to characters like Demarco or Aaros, who just wanted to be there for her. I get it, she’s putting up walls because she’s been hurt before, but still.
Need to shout out to Aaros, who is a perfect, sweet, precious boy and so far he’s got away unscathed. If anything happens to him in the second book, I will be Having Words.
Demarco is a good guy, well-meaning but awkward. I was glad when his secrets were explained in more detail towards the end of the book – up until then, there were just references that didn’t mean much, and I wondered whether that was going to be held over until book two, which would have been irritating. There are definitely connections between his own past and where I think Kallia has ended up through the disaster performance at the end of the book, so I’m definitely intrigued to see how their paths converge more as the story goes on.
Jack comes across as a bad boy, but I think there’s more to him than that. While it seems his whole relationship with Kallia is based on lies, or at least lies by omission, it seems there are bigger things at play that he is trying to keep at bay. There was a big reveal about him at the end of this book and it seems he’ll be playing a bigger part in the next one, so hopefully we’ll learn more about him then.
All in all, this was an evocative fantasy with a fun cast of characters and a mystery that I look forward to resolving. Can’t wait for book two!