Only within the last couple years have I found my love of reading again. I've found that my interests lie mostly under that big genre umbrella that is fantasy, but I'm down for anything that will move and/or entertain me.
So, really, no improvement from the first book. And to be perfectly honest here, I think it's even worse than Shadow and Bone.
The pacing problems are nearly identical to Shadow and Bone. The beginning is okay, the middle is mind-numbingly boring Surprise, Alina's back at the little palace!, and the last 15 or so pages are the only real action.
The story is still just a subpar fantasy that refuses to improve. Again my complaint is going to be the same as it is for so many other fantasy books, I don't feel like anyone has to earn anything. The stuff they need and the ideas they have are just given to them when it suits the story. There is never a moment where I read some character's revelation or watch a scene unfold and think to myself, "Holy Fuck!" and backtrack ten chapters and say, "How brilliant was that?!". It's just a bunch of cookie-cutter people plodding along and oh! there's that evil guy in black to shake things up a bit. Then oh! cookie-cutter #3 needs some angst and sympathy so here's a woman being mean to her. Then some laughable ~court intrigue~ happens. Then bad guy in black comes back to shake things up, again.
The characters still don't feel real to me and some are really problematic. New guy Sturmhond is supposed to come across as witty, clever, and amusing and failed on all accounts. Mal is the typical jerky ass boyfriend that no one in real life would want. And the Darkling is just not a complex villain. Alina . . . is completely frustrating. Alina does not and cannot (because she and other women are overwhelmed with jealousy towards each other) have relationships with other women. Alina is totally okay with judging other women based on their appearance. Alina doesn't have any respect for women. So, I'm just going to call it like I see it. Alina is a misogynist.
So between the unemotional, lackadaisical story telling and the annoying characters with no depth there isn't much going for Siege and Storm. Throw in the sexist bullshit that overshadows any other sort of potential this series had and it's just not a good story.