Kallia has broken free from Jack and the life of performing at Hellfire House to enter a contest for the Conquering Circus. She almost doesn’t make it, being a female in a male-driven world and competition. Thankfully, Daron Demarco sees something in her. And thus begins the tale which is riddled with disasters from the very start.
When I requested this to review from St. Martin’s, I didn’t know this was a book 1, which was a bit disappointing when I got to the end with no resolution. I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but I will be anxiously awaiting book 2 because I feel like we had just gotten into some very important things. Also, I’ve been chasing the high of The Night Circus since I read it last year, and it’s not quite. That isn’t to say anything negative about this book, I just don’t feel it’s a fair comparison.
I can’t quite tell if Jack is being a jerk because there’s something we don’t know that spells doom for Kallia, and we haven’t gotten to it because this story isn’t finished. Or if he is being a jerk because he is jealous that Kallia is spending time with someone else. I didn’t love his constant meddling, but if he’s doing it for reasons other than jealousy, then I can see reason. I will have to hold out judgment on him. I adore Aaros as her assistant and friend. I want to see more of him, and I want more in life for him. He understands her perfectly, and I see a lifelong friendship with those two. I love Demarco, and I want to see where things with him can go for Kallia. And I really liked the reporter, Lottie. She could have a book all her own, and I would read it the day it released.
This book is highly character-driven, but mostly with just the main characters, as the other magicians in the competition are just there. We were given Kallia’s performances, and that was it. And while they were magical, and we are supposed to *know* she is the best one here, it would have been fun to “watch” the other performers, even in their giant-flop-glory. I feel that sometimes we had too much fluff, things that seemed repetitive, and didn’t move the story forward. Then other times, we were at a place without really knowing how we got there. There wasn’t a balance.
I think there is promise in the series, and I think as new books are released, the writing will become fine-tuned, and readers will get more out of the series. This was a fun read, I liked that when she was on stage, Kallia was the badass she promised she was. It’s nice seeing a female take stage in this male-driven world where magic can make things happen, and I want more of it.
Where Dreams Descend is available for preorder on Amazon for $9.99, it releases August 25th.