I just finished THE VIRTU, Sarah Monette’s sequel to MELUSINE. The two books are very much a pair — if you enjoyed MELUSINE you’ll like THE VIRTU; if (like a few readers I know) the dual narrative voices or Felix’s general asshattedness put you off, then you won’t find enough difference in the second book to encourage you to try again.
Felix continues to be a hurtful idiot for most of the book, but he improves slightly in the end and I don’t mind unsympathetic characters so long as they’re interesting. Mildmay is fabulous, as always. The plot is episodic (travel, adventures, yada yada) until the two of them return to the city of Melusine, then the action picks up considerably.
Though I wouldn’t define THE VIRTU as SFR, romantic and sexual entanglements are crucial to the story, some of them outside the norm — and no, I’m not referring to same-sex relationships (which are also in the book). I can’t really say more without spoilage.-Danielle