While this book is about Ivy and Vasic, it is also about the aftermath of Silence. There are repercussions from Silence's fall and people are dying. There was a big learning about regarding the empaths and what they can do.
I did enjoy reading about the Arrows and how they are choosing their jobs and what they do (and I'm excited for Aden's book). This is a Psy-Psy pairing (as is the next book) and there are some Changeling bits in this one, but not much. Overall this is much more serious in tone. The sexy-times are fairly tame from previous books too.
I did take a little bit of time to get invested in this one, but once I did, it was hard to put down. There is still a threat from Ming that (I assume) will be dealt with in a later book. I did think the ending was a little rushed (with regard to Ivy's solution regarding the Infected).
Each empath can "link" with a certain # pending on their gradient, creating a "Honeycomb."
I had an uneasy feeling about it when confronted with the heroine's anti-human attitude. Fortunately, she got over it pretty quickly.
I... think maybe some of the issues some had with this was due to a new setting and completely new cast of characters. Sure we saw a few familiar faces but most seem to be new. OTOH, I didn't hear any complaints about Aiden's book - similarly isolated for a good part of the book. So I can only guess that since the book seemed to be almost entirely from Bowen's pov, that perhaps there wasn't a good enough feel for how everything worked. Or maybe BlackSea isn't that interesting to people. Who knows. I didn't mind. I did find it a bit bemusing that *both* the changelings working with the Dr were moles. That seems a bit of a stretch there.
re: gills - apparently *all* the aquatic changelings have them regardless of their alternate form, which leads to...how did Kaia almost drown when she shifted by accident after being caught in a net as a kid?
BTW, I hope Aiden the walrus doesn't get his own book. That would be a bit confusing.