The frustrating thing about this book is that the first fourteen pages are a recap… and I read the first book earlier this week. The tone is knowing, meta-fictional, and gets you right back into the world — there’s a bit of Cat Valente, a smidgeon of C.S. Lewis, in the way it knows and comments on the characters, and on the world. But it was annoying that in a novella, 7% of it was pure recap. It felt like it took a while to get going… and then stopped short of its destination.
Which is not to say I didn’t find it charming, because I did. I just want more, and wish I had the third book in my hands right now. I saw somewhere that it ends on three, but I’m not sure how that’s going to fit in with the general pacing.
I wondered about some stuff, like whether the iron shoes were part of stopping the Crow Girl from coming apart, for example… but in the end that seemed not even a red herring, just a detail that didn’t mean much.
I think I preferred the first book, but largely because it feels like we didn’t get anywhere much (though some good and interesting stuff did happen). I’m still rating it a 4 because I ripped right through it and enjoyed it; it’s more in retrospect that I’m sighing a little.