I'm not entirely sure how to rate this one. Much of the book was so-so world-building, which, IMO, can sometimes slow down a first-in-series book. I found myself wanting to (but didn't) scroll ahead. It was fun reading more of Adrian and Sydney. Adrian is just as VA fans will remember him, charming, obnoxious and now sportin' a seriously wounded heart. It was interesting seeing deeper into Sydney's life as an Alchemist. We didn't get too much of that in VA. The over-all 'who-done-it' wasn't a surprise and I'm still thinking there's more to Micah than we discovered in this one. For now, I'm rating it 3★. It was a good start to what will hopefully be a fun VA spin-off. I'll be continuing on with the series, especially after the way this one ended. More of a review to follow ... eventually.