The other thing I liked better in the first book was the world-building of the intriguing dystopian society where everything was backwards and the vampires were in charge while the humans were near wiped out. The social structures and vampire society were great in the first book. Unfortunately in this book the vampire characters/society don't feature much at all. This book focuses on the humans. The vampires feature much more peripherally, When they do appear, they are largely slavering monsters rather than the intelligent articulate characters from the first book. I believe there's supposed to be a better balance of vampire versus human characters in the final book and I'm looking forward to that.
I also found that the plot in this book spent too much time going around in circles. A lot of history was built up only to be reversed toward the end of the story. Some of the reversals were effective and surprising but others were annoying after spending so much time building up the lore of the mission society before demolishing it. Also, the young band of heroes spent a lot of time being generally tied up, locked up, and lied to, which became a bit tiresome after a while.
The ending saved the book in a big way by setting up a premise for the next book and providing some new surprises that I hadn't seen coming. I wish the rest of the narrative had lived up to the strength of the last few chapters. I suspect the third book will pick up where this one leaves off and be stronger for it. It's still an interesting and intriguing series, but I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first. I have higher hopes for the final installment and hope I'm right about it. Another case of the "book two blues" here.