|Photography credit: Mei Lin Barral|
Friday, November 26, 2021
JASMINE's THOUGHTS on Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Kingdom of Cards, #1
August 25, 2020
(Imprint of MacMillan Publishers)
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Kingdom of Cards, #1
August 25, 2020
14 hrs and 37 mins
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.
Praise for Where Dreams Descend
“A lush, captivating blend of The Phantom of the Opera, and fresh, new magic…As the romantic tension ratchets up, so deepen the mysteries. Readers will ache for the next installment.” ~Kirkus starred review
Praise for Where Dreams Descend audiobook
"Vibrant imagery, jaw-dropping set pieces, sizzling romantic tension, and unstoppable heroine Kallia bring this ambitious debut novel to spectacular life. Fans of Caraval and The Night Circus will be delighted!" ~Claire Legrand, New York Times best-selling author of Furyborn
"[A] spellbinding melody of a book, and the true magic is how Angeles puts all the best parts of an enrapturing theatrical performance onto paper and ink. From the gripping twists in the first pages all the way to the final, heartbreaking crescendo, Where Dreams Descend will surge you to your feet in a standing ovation." ~Sara Raasch, New York Times best-selling author of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy
"Narrators Imani Jade Powers and Steve West team up to deliver an emotionally engrossing performance of this YA fantasy...[They] hook listeners from the first page." ~AudioFile Magazine
**About the Author**
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, Book 1 in her debut fantasy Kingdom of Cards duology, will be out August 25, 2020 from Wednesday Books.
Stay connected with Janella Angeles
Note: This review contains NO spoilers
Well... Not bad at all. I actually did a read-along with the book and audiobook. And, DANG, it made this read even more entertaining and enjoyable. The narrators brought this book to "life." Where Dreams Descend is a debut novel by Janella Angeles filled with a good amount of mystery and magic. For being the first book in the duology, there was an abundant amount of introduction of this world and characters which made this an intriguing and poignant read. However, the pace at the start was slow and it felt a bit random; but, I just had to continue reading since I was already sucked in with its charm.
In addition to this introduction, I felt that there could be more character development for the entire "cast," in particular the "supporting cast." With that, I feel that it would have given more depth to those secondary characters, and to their journey and "performances." Moreover, the way the book is set up as "Acts," I think it was fitting for its theme and the plethora of information this book provided to set up the story. Yes, it felt confusing at the start, but then, as I continued reading, the story continued to develop and gained focus. I would have to agree with some other reviews that Where Dreams Descend had the feel of Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge musicals, and Christopher Nolan's Prestige. I did find the intertwining of card suits, into the magic and mysticism of the story, made it enchanting. I also liked that the developing romance was so subtle that it was a slight "gasp" when the first sign(s) of romance came about... Ha! Overall, this is a decent first novel for Janella Angeles' debut as an author.
In regards to the narrators of the audiobook, I absolutely loved their narration of this story. Their reading added to the melodrama by their changing the inflections of their voices to match the characters and the tone of the story's atmosphere. They read at a good pace despite the beginning being slow. They made up for that as their animated voices added to the storytelling.
All in all, Where Dreams Descend is a debut novel filled with beguiling and captivating storytelling. It is a good start for new author Janella Angeles. I look forward to reading and listening to Where Night Breaks, the sequel and final title in the Kingdom of Cards duology. I just might find myself becoming a fan of author Janella Angeles' books!