I did not find this to be a very well written novel. I was surprised at the simple, by-the-numbers plot. I was disappointed at the lackluster world building. What I was most disappointed by, however, were the cardboard, cartoony, one-dimensional characters. The first half of this book was execrable. The second half was better, but not "better" enough to save the novel as a whole.
I will try the "Dresden" series at some point as I have been informed it is considered by most people to be much better. I am washing my hands of the Codex Alera series. I do not recommend this book to anyone.
(Note: I am using my own rating system where two stars is not "OK" but is a below average rating. One star would be "Godawful" rather than "I didn't like it.)