The story was just as light and fluffy as I expected - we're back to the first four books with stupid banter and juvenile insults. It was full of smartass-ness, Kate getting hurt, people going behind each other's backs, etc. Kate's current power set (look, no spoilers!) is not actually all that relevant except for causing a really odd argument with Saiman* and the part where she has to recover from getting hurt **.
Due to circumstances (spoilers at the end of the previous book), some of the usual cast is very absent, including Andrea. Of the people who do show up this time, character growth is contagious. Christopher gets to be smart, not just crazy. Mahon's daughter George gets much more examination, and likewise the monolith of Mahon is torn down a bit. We see a lot more of Julie as a competent, self-reliant person rather than an object to be protected by Kate. Jim and Dali are now the Alphas of the feline pack. Also, apparently Dali was the one who taught Julie to drive...
The one Kate/Curran communication/relationship argument got dropped about halfway through (thank goodness) for lack of traction. The oft-repeated "everyone knows the Beast Lord is an asshole" commentary was likewise dropped as the plot got rolling. Relatedly, Curran has started introducing himself to people as though he were a normal guy, and is using his last name much more often now.
If you haven't already read the series, don't start here. There is way too much understated/underplayed commentary around secondary characters.
I enjoyed it. I recommend it to people who thought the series ended last book.
* I'm interested to see what happens with Saiman next book, in particular, because of his sociopathic choices.
** Doolittle seems to have gotten over his fear of Kate (two books ago), for the most part. I'm a little surprised at that, especially given what happens this time.
Books read in 2015