Though I wasn't a huge fan of the first book in Karpyshyn's Chaos Born series (Children of Fire), I was just intrigued enough to request an advanced reader's copy of The Scorched Earth - and thankfully, I found this second installment much more interesting. I wouldn't say that it's action-packed, but THANKFULLY it's missing the drawn-out set up that really dragged Children of Fire down.
The main issue with these novels is that most of the characters are vapid and boring, and - even taking into consideration the rules of the magic system that Karpyshyn created - the whole plight with the "chaos spawn" is completely unbelievable. If you want to read a novel that plays out like a D&D encounter, all of this may be fine for you, but it's simply not to my taste.
I will give the author credit for decent world-building, though. Not just the physical surroundings, but the different races that populate them, are original and therefore compelling. They are what bumped my rating from 2 stars to 2.5/5 stars, and what may bring me back to read the final book in the trilogy.