First, let's start off with the fact this is a sequel. I haven't read the first book, but having read this one, I wish I had. Don't get me wrong. This stands alone perfectly fine. There's just enough information to keep you from being confused without it becoming redundant. The main reason I wish I'd read the first book is that I enjoyed this one so much. It's kind of like getting to watch the second season of a television show you fall in love with. You have to go back and watch the first season in order to find out what all you've missed.
I don't have any complaints here. The characters are great. You care about them from the beginning and feel a connection with them. The storytelling factor is great. It's easy to get swept away and not want to return to reality. It flows smoothly to the point that you don't even realize you've nearly finished it until you flip the last page wondering how you possibly read the entire thing already. It has great escape quality. It has a wonderful other worldly factor. There are politics and religion, but not enough to bore you, just enough to keep you intrigued. Honestly, I can't find a single thing wrong with this book.
Now, let me tell you what I loved. This book has great 'BAM!' factor. You're reading along and the scene is set and you think you know the direction it's going to take, when all of a sudden BAM! You're wrong. Something insane has happened that makes complete sense, but you totally didn't see it coming. I despise cookie cutter writing. The main reason is that it's predictable and dull. I like an exciting read where the writer can take me somewhere and I can't see the future, I can only guess. Then, "BAM! I was wrong! I had no idea that would happen! Well, what's going to happen next? Holy Crow! Did that really just happen?" You get so excited reading that you find yourself bouncing up and down in your seat because it's just so thrilling! Falconer is a genius at this. It's an amazing escape from reality with the truth of reality still being vibrantly alive. One moment we're in a sweet, loving scene and the next the blood is flowing freely! There are a few gruesome scenes, but they aren't over the top. The purpose isn't to gross you out, it's more because that's what happened in Falconer's head. That's simply where the story went. There's just enough to give you a shock factor.
A surprisingly well-done book. I'll happily review the first in the series, L.F.! *hint hint* For those of you who like a touch of everything and a whole lot of excitement, this is a great read. It's fast-paced and enjoyable. Don't let the book cover fool you!