I just finished this book and went blazing right into the third one because Mead books( as for this series) are that good! First of all I loved how Rose(main character) has improved from the first one, I almost found myself hating Rose in the first one because even though she keeps going on and on about how she is suppose to be this big important, wise guardian some day she found herself getting caught up in a lot of immature / she shouldn't be worrying about these types of things .....um situations but she is showing that she is growing up and I like that in a main character(especially a young one like her). Lissa( other main character) to seemed stronger in this one which is a good thing because I hated how weak she was in the first one. She always seemed like she couldn't do anything without Rose which was annoying to me. I love the chemistry between Rose and Dimitri( her 7 yrs older than her teacher). I usually don't get to see a relationship like there's , usually if there's a love interest for the main female character than that love interest would be either a yr older or a yr younger but I have never seen a whole 7 yr difference between two characters and yet they just seem perfect for each other, it was a refreshing change of pace in a book like this! I love Christian's attitude(really, no sarcasm intended!) he so truthful and in your face but at the same time completely a loner and with his parents reputation and his attitude it just makes him so wrong for Lissa that he's right! Finally I felt really sorry for Mia and Mason, at some point I had thought that Mia was going to go strigoi because the lost of her mom and Mason.... well I never saw that coming... wow...the way he died ..terrible. I thought Mead was going to keep him around like the rest of the characters but wow. His death was so sad but I guess she might had killed him off because it was always going to be the same sorry with him and Rose( he wanting her but she's too caught up in Dimitri, so he would still go out of his way to defend and love her and she would probably never feel the same for him). Hmm... all in all the characters I would give a thumbs up, the setting did improve some so yeah a thumbs up, the plot a somewhat thumbs up and the over all experience a two thumbs up! I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!