This book was okay.. I kinda felt like the whole point of it was to just set you up for Abhorsen (the third book in the trilogy). There were points where I was really into it and I could really imagine what was going on, but then there were other times where the book felt very slow and in a sense, pointless. I will say that Abhorsen looks like it will be a very good book thanks to the preparation for it in this book. Every thing has been set so that the next book doesn't have to be as slow as Lariel. Nix can begin with the action and hopefully not let up through the remainder of the book.
This book to me wasn't as good as the last, and not what I had come to expect from Nix's first book. A completely new challenge is presented as the mission is not actually clear until we're 75% through with the book, which was a little frustrating.
I did like the sucidal Lireal who didn't know where she fit. She was relateable and I knew that from her struggles in the beginning of the book (even though this struggle wasn't the focus of Sabriel, nor did Sabriel seem to have so many problems) that I could follow her. But then that annoying coward brat Sameth was unbearable. I was even mad that so much of the book was devoted to him (it should have been titled Lireal and Sameth--but then it would have turned off anybody who knew what Sam was like). At times Sam made the book unbearable to read.
On a whole this book was less captivating and exciting and encouraging as Sabriel who knew her mission and destiny and went after it. This book was very depressing and full of the fear and doubts of failure, which one can't be in a mood to read about all the time. But as Nix always manages to do, he wrapped up the book on an enjoyable note (which I guess was my favorite part).
I'll read the next book because I like Nix's writing but I'll need a break to recover from the depressing mood this book can leave you in a reading.