This one was just ok. After starting out strong in the first book, Anna has fallen prey to what I'm calling the "second book trap" in young adult fiction. It's a classic bait-and-switch, where the author creates a strong female lead in the first book, then makes her needy, whiny, jealous, and insecure (not to mention REALLY annoying) in the second book, when the love triangle emerges.
Authors of YA, STAHP!!! For real. Dropping your main character into every dumb female stereotype doesn't make your character likeable or vulnerable or even realistic, and just sets terrible standards for younger people reading these books. A lot of girls read these books and think this is how they're supposed to act, think and feel, and it's terribly destructive. Ugh.
Jumping off my soapbox and back into the actual book review, this installment didn't really add much to the overall story of Anna's powers, her relationships with Cole and her mother, or her abilities as a magician (not to mention the question of her paternity).
Anna moves to London and meets very briefly with the Society, gets nothing done there, then goes on tour with her magic show. She has some good shows and makes some progress in her career, only to be undermined by her mom and one of the other female performers, because BABIES! Doesn't every woman want babies? Isn't that the only way to define yourself as a woman? Nevermind that you're only 17 (ish) and want to pursue your magic career, you'd better get on tying down some man and making some babies. (I get that this is set in the '20s and the era was not a hotbed of choices for women, but DAMN, did you have to lay it on so thick, Ms. Brown?) The actual plot (someone is murdering & kidnapping Sensitives) is an afterthought. The last 50 pages or so actually deal with that in a rushed manner, like Ms. Brown was typing away about how jealous Anna is and how dreamy Cole and Billy are, then suddenly realized "oh crap, I forgot to actually give them something to do! Uh, I'll go back, sprinkle in a murder, then wrap it all up in a few pages." And the villain? Surprise -
Because that wasn't totally obvious from their first meeting.
Maybe the last book will resolve some things? Hopefully without making me roll my eyes so much?