This book started off well. The premise was great and I found myself immediately sucked into Yelena’s world and her plight. I loved Valek from the beginning. But as the book continued, the sloppiness in Snyder’s writing became aparent. She often uses colloquial speech in a world in which it doesn’t fit, and at times her descriptions focused too much on exactly what was happening, telling rather than showing. It was this sloppiness that drew the story to a stuttering halt. The character growth wasn’t believable, and most of all, Yelena and Valek’s relationship growth suffered because of it. The plot prodded along well enough, but the heart just didn’t seem to be there.