I have to admit I flew through this book. I also have to admit the characters are far from likable. While the pace and the storyline keep you hooked, apparently every boy in this book has to fall for our heroine Henrietta Howell. MMmmmmmmmmkaaay.
While the first book established characters and what role everyone would be playing in the supernatural war, this book focuses on the actual battles and finding any way to win. While that may be well and good, the romance undercurrents were a huge turn off. I have always hated Rook, who is the main love interest, but she wanted to parade Magnus (who I like), through a playboy phase, and Blackwood (who I wanted her to actually end up with), turns into a power hungry, misogynist, crazy person. There are no main male characters in the series that can be viewed as having any solid redeeming traits at this point (Magnus, slightly).
Third wave feminism has started to drip into everyday reading, and although I don't think it was an intentional artistic choice, the female characters in this iteration only really come out strong because the males are corrupt or weak. Henrietta does make some brave decisions, although they are usually rash and never well thought out.
Obvious "tells" throughout the book have to be explained even as they become revelations. This IS YA, but it doesn't have to be dumbed down.
The writing is good, the newer characters and fae are not well developed, but if you want a quick romp through an alternate Victorian London, give it a shot. You may not love the characters, but it's worth hanging in there for the overall plot.
I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.