In terms of character, the sequel did not improve. Yes, I like Ronan more than I did in the first book. And maybe Gansey a little bit more. But I was wondering the whole time why the hell Gansey cares so much for Adam. That guy is insufferable and certainly does not value Gansey as he deserves. He is so miserable he made ME miserable. Too angsty, too envious, too unhappy. if he wasn't so handsome I don't think Blue would have liked him at all. I kind of hate that he has a bigger role now, and it ruined the story a little bit.
Ronan's ability, however, is awesome. I was mad at him for what he did with the Camaro, but it was quickly amended (thank God... I thought that Gansey was truly unlucky with his choice of friends). The Gray Man was MEH. I don't get his role in the story and it was kind of boring to read about him, TBH.
Although I like Gansey, he has too many sides. The good student. The nice son. The "real" one. The "compose" one. Errr, he seemed the same to me most of the times.
Certainly the end did not leave me with a "omg, I can't wait to read the 3rd one" feeling. This may be my last. I still think the story is good, the writing is good, everything is good, except the characters (the younger group anyway).
And my gaydar was correct. I had a hunch on the previous book.