Title: When Night Breaks
Series: Kingdom of Cards #2
Author: Janella Angeles
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: October 5th, 2021 (Wednesday Books)
Synopsis: 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, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
With the chaotic conclusion of the Spectaculore, Daron Demarco’s secret has been revealed and is headline news. But he is more focused on finding Kallia, who fell through a mirror during her final performance and is now trapped in another world with Jack, whose motives are still suspect. This mirror world is a dazzling place, but it also has its dangerous side, ruled by a powerful magician known as the Dealer who has sinister plans. With her magic depleted, Kallia must survive in this new world as Daron sets out on a deadly journey to reach her. But time is running out quickly and Kallia has to figure out a way to escape.
This is definitely a long overdue review as I’ve been trying to piece it together for ages. It was a hard one to write, because while there was a lot I liked about this book and series and the concept had so much potential, the execution was lacking and it made for a very frustrating read. It has been a very long time since I’ve struggled this much with a book. However, I loved the world building in this sequel, and I must admit, it’s the first time I’ve seen a sequel build a second world from scratch. The author has done a fantastic job of it, creating a parallel mirror world to the real Glorian outside and the descriptions are rich in detail, really bringing to life the illusions, duels and more.
Kallia’s arc was definitely the more interesting one and I honestly didn’t care about what Daron was doing until over half the book was done. In Glorian, Kallia was the star of the show, so it was interesting to watch her find her footing in the mirror world where she is just one among many. The connection between Kallia and Daron that was such a great part of the first book was almost entirely missing this time as they are separated until well past the 70% mark. Jack’s story was finally revealed too – and it was quite unexpected, nothing even close to what I’d predicted after book one – along with more details about Kallia’s origins and the truth behind Daron’s powers, or lack thereof.
Now for what didn’t work for me. For starters, this book was entirely too long and between the painfully slow pace and a lot of what felt like filler content, I was thoroughly bored for a significant chunk of this and it frankly ruined the reading experience. With a new world also came a whole new cast of characters, very ambitious for the finale, and while they were intriguing characters, there simply wasn’t enough time to fully understand and appreciate them. I’m hoping much of this is because I read an ARC, but this one fell pretty flat for me.
The ending was pretty exciting and I liked how things were wrapped up, it’s just a pity it took so long to get there, and there wasn’t much left by that point either. Overall, while the plot behind this book was a good one, it didn’t live up to expectations and it just did not work for me. Nonetheless, this series was an interesting read, and if you’re a fan of Caraval, I would recommend checking it out!
When Night Breaks released on October 5th, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.
Other reviews in this series: