A little bit of mixed emotions about this one, but all together a good first book in a series. It checked all the boxes for me, I'm interested and invested at this point, I only wish there would have been a bit more solidity in certain things by the ending.
The writing was quite beautiful, it skirted the edge of purple prose at times but ultimately I felt it wasn't too over the top for me. I thought the author did a great job at setting the scenes. There was a captivating contrast between the cold bleak backdrop of a dying town and the invigorating colorful splashes of magic at play. The fact that magic also held this undertone of mystery and danger only made it that much more exciting and intriguing.
I could see some having issue with how boisterous and exorbitantly headstrong Kallia can be. Honestly, I loved every minute of it. I loved how daring and passionate she was. In the face of a world where magic was a man's game, she unabashedly held nothing back when flaunting her talents. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the story. Were there times where she used excess bravado to push back? YUP. Were there times she could have let someone in and shown a bit of the worry she struggled with? Uh huh. But I honestly totally get putting on your game face and not letting your haters, and even sometimes your friends, see the obstacles get you down. I think it made a lot of sense after Kallia was so deeply violated recently for her to be more on guard for awhile in who she let fully in.
I really enjoyed a bunch of the other characters too. Jack is a big ole mystery that I really want to know more about. He falls pretty well into this dark grey place right now, he's not the hero but I'm not sure he's the fully the villain either. There's so much to be learned about him still. I would have liked to get even a few more morsels of information about him before the end, the few crumbs we got really only made like 20 new questions emerge. Demarco was one I wasn't quite sure if I'd end up liking or not for awhile. I was glad more about him was revealed towards the end, it gave him depth that seemed to be lacking the first half of the book with him being so closed off and broody. Aaros brought a much needed cheeky lightness to the fold. I hope to see even more from him in future books. Also, the entire magic circus, more of that whole troupe please, because they were fabulous!
There was a ton of intrigue throughout this one, but ultimately not many revelations by the end. I would have liked at least a few of the many mysteries to come to some sort of fruition, but as I said before, this author can really set a scene. Where Dreams Descend set the stage for the second act and it is full of many deliciously wicked possibilities!
I received an arc of this book from Wednesday Booka via Netgalley and this is my honest review.