With Ghost Light, Stevens doesn't really offer anything new, but she does develop the themes and characters of the first book. We get to see more of her world, and more of the magical creatures that inhabit it, which is probably my favorite aspect of the series. There's a real depth to the mythology here, with faeries, vampires, and mermaids falling into their own roles in society. It's not just a bunch of monsters dropped into the 'real' world, but a subtly different world where race extends beyond just skin color.
Ivy is better developed here as well, coming across as a significant participant in the world around her, rather than just an outsider. I felt her struggles to understand and come to grips with her powers were better defined her, giving her a much-needed strength that seemed to be somewhat lacking in the first volume. The characters around her come to life a bit more this time around as well, particularly Jinx, who breaks out of the generic 'someone to confide in' role. Torn is a fantastic new character, and once it became clear he wasn't being introduced solely to fill the hunky bad boy role, I really took to him.
The storyline this time around is a bit more of your standard urban fantasy tale, but it still has enough touches of originality to keep it fresh and intriguing. Stevens' vampires are subtly different from what we've become used to, and she does a great job of handing the touchy subject of putting children as risk, which is something of a relief for me, since stories of the fae almost demand a child-stealing element. There's a much better balance of emotions here as well, creating more of a connection with the reader, and moving beyond mere intellectual interest.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins