Great Character Development
I was initially impacted by how well each character is introduced. In a short amount of time, the author is able to paint such a vivid description and expression of each individual that I have a distinct memory of each one (including minor characters). I was also impressed with the slow expansion of their personalities, including glimpses (both direct and indirect) into their hopes, fears, strengths and weaknesses.
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As the story progresses, so does the finesse and precision of the writing. The improvement is evident. If the rating was based solely upon the last half of the book, the writing style and technical skills categories would both be given five-stars. Well done!
All around, a captivating and well rounded read.