Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles {Book Review}

I feel like this book started with me getting hooked on the cover, and rapidly evolved into me getting sucked into this book. It wasn’t entirely a cover purchase, but don’t think it wasn’t close. I was intrigued by the cover, synopsis, and soon after by the story. I think if you’re looking to pick up a book that has magic, darkness, mysteriousness, and some Night Circus vibes this one is a perfect pick!

Synopsis

Where Dreams Descend follows Kallia, a female magician working at the mysterious Hellfire House. She is the showstopping performer that brings customers back time and time again, but secretly she wants more. Or maybe not so secretly? All her plans are kicked into action when she is confronted by the House’s Master, and has to move quickly to join the competition taking place in Glorian, a city that has hardly ever allowed visitors. The competition and the city though, are not entirely as they seem as magicians begin to disappear, or get hurt in the competition.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

This book seemed to start with mystery from the first page as we are introduced to Hellfire House, it’s Master, and finally our protagonist, Kallia. The relationship between these two is introduced as a mentor & mentee one, but slowly the imbalance in power, control, and knowledge becomes clear as the Master tries everything in his power to keep Kallia from going after her one dream; joining the competition in Glorian. She’s a powerful magician, and he knows it, what remains a mystery is the why behind the loss of his show magician. Mystery though, ends up being a constant in this story, propelling a lot of the conflict in the plot even going into the second book, and I have to say, I love it!

Beyond the mystery, or really tied into it are the well developed characters. There are a number of characters I would say are shrouded in mystery, slowly revealing more of themselves as we get further into the book, and then there are characters that appear clear, but slowly show hidden depths. It’s well played considering this is a book about the things unseen. The two characters I would put under the mysterious category would be of course the Master, and Daron Demarco, both of whom are introduced as being mostly unknown to Kallia. The Master is shown to be hiding a lot of himself from Kallia, and Demarco is doing everything possible to keep his past hidden, distancing himself from everyone at the competition. I really like how these characters are similar in that mysteriousness, but it’s more of a contrasting point as we learn more about both. Kallia, on the other hand, seems pretty open and developed in the very beginning, but as things progress that well built exterior begins to be tested. I really enjoyed the characters in this and the little bits we learn for each of them, I do love a slow reveal.

Overall, the biggest pro in this book, and likely the duology as a whole is the mystery. It pulls you in from the very beginning, and keeps you glued to the book. I found myself wanting to know more of the magic system, world, and characters and Angeles slowly gave me answers, all while leaving even more questions at the very end. I definitely need to pick up the next, and final book though I’m a little scared at the same time since nothing is ever as it seems in this series! Have you read Where Dreams Descend? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

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