"'Please,' she sobbed quietly. 'Just kill me now.'"Oh, Helen, my dear. I would if I could, if only so this book could end sooner and I didn't have to suffer through a month of reading it.The main thing I can recall about reading this book is that it was so incredibly boring. It took me so long reading it, trudging through it by bits and pieces at a time because it was so completely, utterly unabsorbing. I'm always amazed at how a plot-driven book can be so dull, but this book proves that it can be done. Everything I loved about the first book was nonexistent in the second. I should be able to say more about a book of this length, of this depth, that requires so much of an investment in time but I just can't. It's about 50% longer than it needed to be.For a book of this length, it has a surprising lack of depth. Some books have such complexity of plot that I can hardly sum it up in a page without feeling like I'm leaving out some minor but utterly essential segment of the plot. This book suffers from no such problems. I can summarize it in one sentence and you probably wouldn't miss much. Helen goes to the Underworld nightly, and tries to solve the mystery of...something on the grand scale of wars between the gods and the mysteries of the Furies and shit. Every day. Repeat for weeks. That is the entire book. I don't even know anymore. The plot is just bogged down with unnecessary teenage angst and the overall lengthiness just muddles up the plot so much that I don't even know what's going on.Second book syndrome, thy name is Dreamless.Some things I loved in the first book that went down the crapper in the sequel:1. TWOO WUV: First book: Ok, a tad clichéd. Fine, very clichéd, but I like the straightforwardness of it. Romeo & Juliet plot, Lucas and Helen can't be together, but they're devoted to each other and each other alone. Fine with me, I'm all for that. Second book: half-assed love triangle.Lucas: I CAN'T LOVE YOU BECAUSE IT'S NOT FATED FOR US. Therefore I shall pretend to hate you and make you hate me by being absolutely deplorable and an altogether despicable piece of shit and do stupid things like beat up my own father because I can't have whom I want! Wah!!!!!Helen: LUCAAAAAAAAAAAAS. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS? I LOVE YOU. I know we're cousins and that's totally gross but we're meant to be together so why are you being such a jer---Why hello there, handsome, what's your name?Orion: I'm Orion! I'm gorgeous and I hold a bunch of titles and I've got Aphrodite's blessings, I'm perfect!Lucas: Sup dude :(Orion: Yo, man. :|Helen: BUT I LIKE YOU BOTH D:Lucas + Orion: Ok2. Characterization: First book: loved it. Helen's character turned from stupid silly Mary Sue to someone I could actually sympathize with. Second book...not so much. What leftover sympathy I had for Helen from the first book disappeared quickly. She does not change at all within the book. Still blaming herself for everything, still making mistakes, still taking on too much, and now, she's even more of a martyr. Same with Lucas, same with the rest of the cast, really. This book is heavily plot-driven, and considering the plot is weak, it fails in keeping my interest because of the lack of character development. The newly introduced characters are similarly flat. Orion is the gorgeous (aren't they all) golden boy, with a tragic past, but always with a smile on his face to hide his pain! Clichéd, clichéd, clichéd. Automedon is a mindless bot, out to kill. You could call Automedon "the Terminator" instead, and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch. Well, besides for the fact that the Terminator had more personality.And Hector. THERE IS A SERIOUS LACK OF HECTOR HERE. I'm not talking about his presence, considering it's bound to be lacking considering his exiled status, but his personality. The take-no-prisoner attitude is gone, the no-nonsense attitude is gone, there's no telling Helen to suck it up and be who she was meant to be. Hector's gone soft on us, people.3. Random-ass plot: First book: heavily mythology-driven, well-explained history of the Houses, good basis of Greek mythology that's not too far-fetched from anything you can find in Bullfinch's. Second book, let's throw everything into the mix, let's screw up the gods and goddesses and make them into random creatures that fit the plot, rather than the other way around. The inaccurate depictions of the myths and the gods and goddesses here bring to mind The Goddess Test and we all know how much I absolute loved that book. /end sarcasm"'Ares,' Orion whispered to Helen over his shoulder as the god skipped off, giggling hysterically, to hide among the bones. 'Don't be afraid, Helen. He's a coward.''He's insane!' Helen whispered back frantically. 'He’s completely and totally insane!'"Ares? The god of war? Really?By the end of the book, I don't even know what the plot is anymore, what started off fairly simply in book one turned out to be a convoluted mess in book 2, and I honestly have no idea what the big mystery that they're all fussing over is due to the gigantic mess that became the backbone of the book.