Way better than the previous book! The story picks up fast and magical creatures start showing up right away, which surprised me as I had thought there would some boring preamble before the characters' return to Fablehaven. Nice character development, specially on Seth. The story is filled with intrigues, scary magical creatures and interesting new characters. To be honest, while reading this book I was constantly reminded of Harry Potter 4 & 5; I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. I don't mean to compare or bash any of the two series, but I did see a couple similarities here and there. Oh well, I'm certainly reading the rest of the series.