Bought this on the recommendation of a friend. A long book...but somewhere in the first three chapters this story just grabs hold of you and you cannot put it down. It is extremely well written. Parallel plot lines. Seems well researched. The descriptions of the characters and their back stories are vivid. It allowed me to "be there" in many of the dramatic portions of the story. Finished it around five sleep-deprived nights later. A good WOW factor. An excellent read. Can't wait for the sequel.