This was a very long book, that I feel could have used some shortening down. There were a few scenes that could have been re worked, and some that could have been removed completely. It was at times tedious to read.
There was also some depth missing to it, the emotion we got in the first wasn't there in the second. There is a great love story going on between Gavin and Amanda, but it's not used at all. We get more scenes between Amanda and Donovan, than we do the couple in love. (I would have loved some Gavin stepping up and putting down some rules there actually.)
The building of the relationships between Skip and Cirena and Skip and Noah were missing too. Lots of potential lost there.
The jumping between point of views in this didn't work as well as in the first. Following Donovan was not fun at all and I found myself skimming his parts.
The jumps in the middle of the battles (Gavin at the gate and Donovan at the Olympics) were especially disorienting, just as we find momentum with Gavin and start seeing the battle happen on the page, we jump to Donovan.
You cannot argue that Vera is a talented writer, the world of Theia is beautiful and he paints it vividly. The battle scenes are clear on the page and easy to follow.
Despite the lack of emotional depth, I still really like all the characters. Well maybe not Donovan. But that is Vera's intention (I think), so mission accomplished.