Okay, first of all, let me say, I thought this was going to be a continuation of the first book. So... it wasn't and that's okay. Kind of wish it had been, but oh well. That said, this story was totally different than the first. It was much darker, even the writing itself. There were quite a few very deep subjects: drug abuse, rape, abuse. The writing flowed well and I enjoyed it.
Plot is tricky just because ink Exchange isn't what I thought it would be, and honestly, what I was looking forward to. So, I'm already bias. Still, this was a strong stand alone story. I didn't like it as much as Wicked Lovely, but that's okay. There were a lot of places where this story dragged for me. It was like Marr was caught up in flowery language or too many descriptions. Maybe I'm just being picky lately, but it's not my favorite.
Leslie is an easy character to feel sorry for. She's been abused, raped, abandoned. Yeah, it is pretty sad for her. But she's resilient, or at least tough, but that's only the exterior. She is pretty desperate on the inside for someone else to take care of her for once. She's pretty understandable. Irial was a pretty complicated character. For so much of this book and through nearly everyone's perspective, he's absolutely horrible, but there are rare occasions where he is actually pretty decent in his own way.