Book Review: When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards #2)

Title: When Night Breaks

Author: Janella Angeles

Pub. Date: October 5, 2021

Pages: 480

Pub: Wednesday Books

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


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

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. I also listened to parts of this on audio via Audible, so I could continue reading while at work. If you’d like to check out my spoiler free review of Where Dreams Descend, I’ll link it here.

So, while I enjoyed this, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book. I’m definitely still way more interested in Jack over Demarco. I thought maybe my opinion would change, but I kind of grew annoyed with Demarco. He just wasn’t interesting. His backstory was kind of meh. But Jack? His backstory that comes to light – that’s so much more interesting and it adds this whole other element to his relationship with Kalia. And I think the progression of their relationship throughout this book is much better and more captivating that her and Demarco’s.

I will say that is book took a while to get started, despite picking up where book one leaves off. It’s also really long and takes a while for things to happen. And because I found it to be long, parts of the plot kept getting lost. I kept forgetting things and then being slightly confused as to how things related. I did like the whole mirror realm – the other side. I found it interesting how that world worked and existed alongside the true side.

As for Roth – he fucking sucked. Figured him out the moment he stepped onto the page, but his whole conflict felt a big obvious and it didn’t really hold my attention. The reveals he makes about Kalia kind of get lost in the story and I didn’t really get the importance.

A lot of what I loved about book one, seemed to be missing. This book just didn’t give me the same feelings. It’s not quite as atmospheric, but it’s still a bit dark and moody. The chaotic energy isn’t gone, in fact, it’s ratcheted up. The use and exploration of magic in the other side is really interesting and cool.

But the whole Mirror Gate aspect felt a little thrown in. Again, the major conflict of this book was just kind of lost and rushed for me. It all happened so quickly and then, poof it was over.

I liked the epilogue and thought it was cute, but the events that transpired at the end, just before the epilogue kind of broke my heart. I get why it ends the way it does, and I didn’t hate it, but with who I like more and who I wish had been a love interest instead – it felt a little bittersweet.

Overall, this was a pretty good conclusion to this duology. I’m really glad I read it and enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend them to read and pick up.

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