Okiee dokiee. I'm intentionally not going to go into any of the things I wrote in my review of the first book, Ashes. But just assume that pretty much everything I wrote there also applies here. Yay for setting and character. Boo for pacing and bad science. Good? Good.
This book had some all new problems of its very own. Multiple POVs. Yay right? Nope. Not so much. This structure ends up diffusing a lot of the tension, and reinvesting me in any one storyline. Which leads into the other problem with this book, which is by far the most damning in my opinion: it's predictably grim. What do I mean by this? Put simply if something can go wrong it will, to the point where you are jumping from one bad thing to another with no pause. And interestingly enough this nonstop strife actually makes the story boring. There were several threads of this book that I simply didn't care about, and I found myself fighting the urge to skip ahead or put the book down entirely. Ouch.
Don't misunderstand: this book was not all bad. But it was disappointing. And, like Ashes, it ended on a cliffhanger. While I happen to have a copy of the third book (it was a gift), I'm in no hurry to read it. I may even skip it altogether. Still, I do feel some investment and curiosity, which speaks to just how well Bick has formed her characters. Even after this mess of a book I find I am still curious to find out what happens to these people.