Average series continues to be average. I will say that Nikolai is a welcome addition, even if he is very much a Type. The drama with Mal, however, was predictable and frustrating. Is it a love triangle or a love square at this point? I don't even know. I don't even particularly care. Blah. I would very much prefer more magic and nifty Russian folklore and less romantic drama. At this point I'm invested in seeing how it all comes to a close though, so I'll read the third book.