The story in and of itself is very intense primarily dealing with misunderstanding caused by some situation involving Pierce's parents. Camilia's secrets are superfluous in fact, everyone else's side stories were just a means to an end to further the story about Pierce and his mother. While the journey from beginning to end is pretty intense, the ending was a bit to contrived and everything wrapped a little too nicely in the end.
While I liked the book on a whole, the Pierce Waverly in this novel does not seem to match the Pierce Waverly in the other novels. While he plays more of a libertine with acerbic wit, cool demeanor and good insight as a secondary character, his personality is significantly, even uncharacteristically, brooding and ill tempered. I suppose you can say it's his hidden side but the lack of transition is pretty jarring. I really do feel as though I'm reading someone else's story.