It follows a similar structure to the first: September gets to Fairyland and spends the next few hundred pages wandering around, meeting various characters, then being given a quest. In this book, we visit Fairyland below. Here the shadows of Fairyland's occupants have been gathering, depriving Fairyland of its magic. September seeks to stop this before Fairyland ... well, therein lies the single biggest problem: the stakes aren't good enough. They sound big enough, but in the writing they aren't, so the whole thing feels like a bit of a trudge. By the end I didn't really care, in contrast to the first book where I cursed the fate which stopped me reading at a crucial moment.
The new ideas here are good, but too much felt recycled. It was ... *thinner* than the first book. There aren't any new characters as good as the Marquess.
I also had a problem with a particular moment in the book and I'm going to mention it because it's not really spoilery (more that it happens a good way in) and it would effect my decision to give this to a child to read: September's first kiss. The problem I have is that it's stolen from her - and yes, that's the way it's put and it's significant for the scene. It doesn't sit right with me, but then *that bit at the end* from the first book didn't sit right with me either. I really feel strongly about having a female heroine who isn't defined by her relationship with the male characters and the stolen kiss bit - and the other things to do with that character - would stop me passing this book on to the younger version of me.
The first one was worth 3 stars (which for me is doing what I expect it to), but I'd probably recommend it less as this book is so much weaker. I don't think I'd be interested in reading the next in the series.