I hate flying. A lot. Though this was a library book, I brought it along on the plane because I thought it would distract me from the thought of a firey crash in a North Dakota cornfield. It turns out, I was both wrong and right; while it did distract me from negative thoughts about flying, part of the reason it worked is that it focused my negative energy on the book.Glass is still struggling with pacing, and this feels like the process of disembarking a plane: shuffle, shuffle, quick grab carry-on, shuffle, dash up the ramp and hustle over to the gate board to find the transfer. Although the book's description focuses on the plot of recovering an artifact and returning it to it's place of origin, the first quarter to third of the book is cleaning up back-story from the first book as well as some origin story. Upon re-reading, the first 30 pages contribute almost nothing for prior readers, with Kira and Khefar each having small bits of dialogue and then doing lots of thinking in between. As a reader, it just wasn't a pace that felt natural to an urban-fantasy that is supposed to focus on chasing evil. Redundant to those of us that read the first book, and redundant to the storyline, it was a section that should have been cut. While I like thinking characters, this was overbalanced into the 'telling' category of narration.Action starts to take off in London and moves better from there on out. Just like once you've reached the Badlands in your cross-country flight--you know you're over the first bit and are finally making some headway. From London we head to an alternate reality/ another world which feels a little like the plot from The Mummy, and culminates in an Indiana Jones adventure-style ending. As a result, it almost feels like three novellas mashed into a novel. I don't mean to sound like a disgruntled airline passenger, but I'd really prefer my ride a little smoother.Still, I do like the multi-culti characters and their start at complexity, especially the tumultuous relationship between Kira and her 'mother.' Nansee remains my favorite character, providing the Wise Old Lecherous Man note with aplomb. Near the end, plotting started to feel contrived, as if we were segueing into every flight action movie ever, the one where the elite gang gets together to accomplish some impossible task. Granted, it was more exciting than the Skymall catalog, but I couldn't help thinking it wasn't a far enough step up.On re-read, several more problems with the writing started to stand out, especially redundancies. Each character continues to be described (past initial introduction) in the same terms. Thus on page 67, when we are meeting Balm, Kira thinks "She wished she could talk to Balm--really talk to Balm as if the head of Gilead truly was her mother, and not the woman who'd become her guardian after her adopted parents dumped her on Gilead's doorstep. She wished she could talk to Balm about the innocent people she'd killed while strung out on Shadow." Never mind that Kira's already had this thought in conversation with her friend Wynne ("Have you forgotten what happened a couple of days ago? I almost killed you and Zoo!") and in conversation with Khefar ("This was all after Kira had been drugged by Shadow and, while out of her mind, killed more than half a dozen innocent people and almost taken out her best friends as well.") Enough, already. Have her think something else, or at least advance beyond repetition. There's also language redundancy. For instance, in a conversation with Balm, she refers to Kira on every page as "my daughter," "daughter," or "my child." One, it seems inconsistent with the leader of a world-wide organization, as Kira is forever pointing out. Two, it is redundant. Boring! Three, real people don't talk like that unless they have a (pathological) point to make about possession and relationship. Then there's the phrasing seems to come straight from Romance 101: "emotion swirled in her eyes: anger, hurt and abrasive grief."In retrospect, this is not a book that holds up well. Good for one fast, desperate, distracted read, especially if you don't want to think about turbulence.