ARC Review: When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles

About the Book:

Title: When Night Breaks

Author: Janella Angeles

Series: Kingdom of Cards

Page Length: 464

Publication Date: Oct. 5, 2021

Publisher: 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. 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |  

My Review:

Even in a world of illusions, the truth will come out.

When Night Breaks is an intense and immersive conclusion to the Kingdom of Card duology! The story picks up where Where Dreams Descend left off with Kallia and Jack in a world beyond the mirror they fell through. An alternate version of Glorian, Kallia and Jack face stakes that, if possible, are even higher than the first book. In the meantime, Demarco remains in Glorian frantically searching for any clues to Kallia’s whereabouts as Kallia tries to survive in her new surroundings and find a way home.

The story is captivating and immersive and so vivid. I love the author’s writing style and how quickly the story pulls you in. This is a unique world of magic, wonder, and danger, and the shows, the magic, and the fanfare are dazzling, vividly described, and easy to imagine. Everything is larger than life and glamorous and heightened, but nothing is as it seems. This concept of illusion versus reality is fascinatingly explored throughout the story, especially considering how much these lines blur. Kallia can’t trust anything or anyone, even the man she came through the mirror with.

I love that Jack’s character was expanded on in this book because I was so intrigued by him in the first book. Why does he try to confine Kallia? Is he good or bad? What are his true motives? This book delves more into his past, his connection to Kallia, his motives, and more. I like that he is so morally grey, and you never know if you should love or loathe him (though, I admit I LOVE him!!). His story is fantastic, as is Kallia’s.

Kallia is a great protagonist, and she goes through so much in this duology. I love her strength and grit and the way she faces her troubles head-on. Kallia is a survivor, and she is sharp, astute, and a bit cunning. These traits come in handy in this alternate world where competition is fierce and deadly, magic is incomparable, and deception is at an all-time high. Her character arc is so well done, and I enjoyed her growth throughout the duology.

We are introduced to many new characters in this alternate world, each mysterious and full of secrets. I thought I’d be disappointed that some of my favorite minor characters from the first book didn’t have bigger roles in this book (they’re in the book, just not a ton), but the new characters made up for it. Kallia and Jack meet some intriguing people in the alternate Glorian, and I enjoyed learning more about them, how they got there, and their roles in the story. Happily, has a large role in the story even though he is not with Kallia.

The story switches from Kallia to Demarco’s experiences, so you learn a lot about what happens after the debacle in Glorian. Demarco, who is still in Glorian, is relentless in his search for Kallia, and I love that he never gives up on her. His journey to find out more about Glorian, its history, and its connection to Kallia’s disappearance is so intriguing, and Demarco quickly learns that there are some secrets that powerful people don’t want revealed. Demarco’s journey is dangerous, but his love for Kallia fuels him.

Finally, I want to mention the author’s skillful use of symbols, imagery, and foreshadowing throughout the book, all of which add to the suspense and intrigue. Mirrors, in particular, are a strong symbol in the duology, and the imagery brings the setting alive. If I were still an English teacher, I would totally use passages of this book to teach these literary elements and show how much they add to the story.

I’m so thankful to NetGalley and Wednesday books for giving me an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. This was one of my most aniticipated reads of the year, and I really enjoyed it.


Favorite Parts:

  • The magic.
  • Jack!

Favorite Lines:

Intent was a false shield when the harm was already done.

The only way to stop a monster is to give it another.

Nothing killed an old headline better than a new one. People forgot just as swiftly as they condemned.

The dent I left in his little heart is the kind that’ll never go away. Love is a scar like that. And pressing on it can only come in handy sometimes.

No matter how strong, the lone wolf rarely survives against the pack.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book!

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