The second book picks right up where Fire & Flood left off, so no picking up in the middle of the series. The pace is just as fast as the first one and the obstacles to overcome are even more harrowing than the first ones. No sophomore slump here. Tella gets a backbone finally, and doesn't need quite as much rescuing, but her inner monologue is frustrating, at times. While the Brimstone Bleed race ends in the novel, the plan Guy shared with Tella hasn't yet had a chance to start or even begin to be implemented. I can only hope there is a third book to continue the series. I have unanswered questions about the animal helpers.