This book was so disappointing after Unspoken, which I had loved. It dragged for the most part, and I found myself getting incredibly frustrated throughout the book. A war is supposed to be going on in this book between the sorcerers, but it sure didn't feel like a war was going on. There was none of the urgency that you'd expect. The characters were going to school, publishing newspapers, holding stakeouts, angsting over romantic decisions, and reading through records. All while waiting for the solstice to arrive, which is when the other side planned to make a sacrifice to gain complete control. There was training and planning in there too, and they talked about how little time there was to prepare, but it never felt like they were actually on a time crunch. It's supposed to be a war, but they know exactly when the other side is going to attack and have plenty of time to prepare. Granted they're horribly outnumbered and outmatched. Which actually makes the whole thing more frustrating.
I could not understand why Rob would give them time to prepare better against him. He had the upper hand. He didn't need the solstice to launch an attack. He sent someone to tell Kami to stop writing articles against him, but she refuses. He then does nothing. It's hard to feel like he's a real threat when he only makes grand gestures of power, but doesn't do anything truly menacing. He threatens people and kills animals, but that's it for most of the book until real fighting happens. No killing of those who resist or even just injuring them. And the conclusion to the big battle was just ridiculous and stupid.(show spoiler)
There was more focus on romantic relationships than the actual war as well, which was annoying because the romantic relationships got tedious really quickly. More time was spent worrying about romance than the war. That really shouldn't be a thing.
There were other things that bugged me throughout the book:
Kami's mother's lack of communication on anything, which resulted in her marriage starting to crumble apart
The almost constant snark. I loved it in the first book, but didn't feel like it really worked in this book when things were supposed to be so serious and dire. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any snark whatsoever, just that it felt like there was too much.(show spoiler) (show spoiler)
This book just dragged along. A war is going on, but after the initial scarecrow attack at the beginning of the book, it just didn't feel like a war was happening. It didn't feel like anything big was happening. I felt no sense of danger or urgency. Things in the village just moved along as if nothing was happening. School continued on like normal; the post office continued to operate; people continued to visit the tavern. This war that was supposed to be over control of the village seemed to have no effect on the people of the village. And if there's no effect, I have a hard time caring about who wins it.