Having thoroughly enjoyed the first series, I was excited to discover that this second series existed. Leading pretty much straight on from where I left off (minus a small adventure with the Vespers in some sort of bridging book I seemed to have missed), Amy and Dan are thrust into yet another difficult situation as the evil Vespers kidnap their friends and force them to carry out certain crimes if they ever want to see them alive again.
One of the things I loved in the original series was the way characters started out as complete stereotypes (the cunning Lucians, the strong Tomas, smart Ekats etc) and gradually, as you got to know them, they grew and became more complex. Now that their infighting is (mostly) behind them, it's fun to see the young Cahills banding together to fight a much bigger external threat. All of my favourite characters from the last series are back and there's mystery and adventure a-plenty to keep me entertained.
Another thing I loved in the original was the way you got to learn about history without even meaning to. This time, we are on the trail of some famous (and somewhat more obscure) artists in Italy. While never intruding on the pace of the story, I enjoyed discovering places and paintings I'd never heard of and losing myself (along with Amy and Dan) in the catacombs beneath Rome.
All in all, an amazing start to what promises to be an even more exciting series (if that's possible). Can't wait to get stuck into book 2!