Even though a lot of people who know a lot more about Chinese culture than me felt the series was shallow and appropriative, I read Book 2 because I liked Book 1. (Shallow, appropriative, and charming to white people! Also I like Detective Chen and Inari.) Book 2 is so much worse, OMG. Detective Chen and Inari are gone for most of the book, and the hedgehog teapot just doesn't make up for everything himself. Two women who have only referred to previous lesbian relationships end up in long-term relationships with men by the end of the book -- and I don't have a problem with a bisexual default, but I would have liked to see any successful lesbian relationships and any lesbian-by-the-end-of-book who wasn't an abusive ex and a dog monster. But what turned me off most was the change to Chinese religion/mythology -- I was really put off by Mhara (?), the son of the Emperor of Heaven, and his revolutionary ways. (If you're going to have a revolution to mirror/promote change on earth, why are you involving the hereditary rulers at all? Pull your revolutionaries from the intelligentsia or the proletariat.)
I have enough fond memories of the first book that I might borrow later books in the series to see if they improve, but this is such a come-down from the first novel in the series it left a bad taste in mouth.