I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
I'm getting more and more into this. Gray is an immature brat, and I don't like him much, but I am more understanding and sympathetic since I've learned about his background. The author is setting up a more complicated background, and more interesting character relationships, especially between Gray and a new character.
Ezra wasn't in this much, but between the more interesting case that Natsu, Gray and Lucy go on and a feeling that things are getting more rich - like said relationships between some of the characters - I found myself enjoying this volume a little more.
Some art is still pretty bad, and some panels make me think the creator knows how to draw, just chooses to do this in a really awful style. So it confuses the hell out of me. I'm still kinda hooked. This is getting a bit addictive to me.
The one comment I've seen from friends is that they passed, or couldn't get far because of the art style. I understand. The other comment I've seen is that people tend to be particular about the art in the manga they read. This art makes me understand. If you think you can get over some truly terrible panels, and deal with some mediocre, to somewhat good art, then this might be worth it for you. Even then, it doesn't feel incredibly special yet.
I'm still going to keep reading this. The PDFs are taking up space on my computer for one thing, and I delete them when I'm done.