Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
**We received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Janella and Wednesday Books for the opportunity. This book came out on Aug 25th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: we watched Hercules tonight and then had a power hour and then more to drink and I’ve probably had a bottle and a half of wine. At least. (Sober note: It was two bottles…)
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.
Drunk Overview: this is marketed as phantom meets moulin rouge but i feel like it’s more phantom meets phantom. There are only a few female magicians and the main character, Kallia, was a show girl in a casino or something. Her bff is a phantom-like, person. He’s clearly been holding her there captive without her knowing. She finds out about a magical competition and she escapes to go compete. In walks in our judge, another natural-born magician, Daron. He’s immedately enamored obviously. creepy things start to happen.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: This was… ok. The asthetic was amazing, the descriptiosn were beautiful, the writing was stunning. But it was incredibly slow.
Characters: I do like some of the characters. I think i’ll get out of the qay quickly that our phantom is the actual worse. we get perspectives from him, and instead of trying to help Kallia from whatever world-ending thign she set off, he’s all “i tried.. but wasn’t enough, not my problem anymore” WHATEVER. Kallia is actually a pretty dopec haracter. She is feirce. She does have this whole “my against the world” thing going for her, but I do like she is like… idk.. she’s vary relatable I guess. Occassionally she reacts to things tha are almost exactly how I’d react. Especially when people say you can’t do something. Daron is so pure haha. He’s a nerd trying his best. he keeps fucking up but it’s all clear that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing. There’s also the side-kick and I love him too. I don’t like how quickly the loyalty happened, but i LOVED the character.
Plot: This is where the book falls short. It was only good after the first third or so. It took FOREVER for the sotry t start.
Writing Style: It was really beautiful. I tdo understand why they said moulin rouge but like, whatever, its not. The setting was beautiful though.
World Building: I want to know what the thing is in the mirror, OK?! I need to meet this aunt. I wanna find the sister. All of these thigns are a smll amoutn of lefotver questions. SO MNY QUESTIONS
What to pair it with: I’ts like a Yellow Tail Merlot. Not the best, not the worst, a bit dry, but it does the job when you’re in a pinch.
Rating: 3/5 shots
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.
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,