It took a while for me to warm up to the characters (other than Dmitri, I liked him pretty much from the first time he opened his mouth), and the story itself was a bit off kilter at first. Some details were given up front that I didn't care to know, whereas other details were left out. It almost felt like Elena's friends and other Guild Hunters were "supposed" to be part of the story, yet I was told nothing about them, so I cared nothing about them, and almost felt it an annoyance when they were mentioned.The second half of the book (especially the last 100 or so pages) grabbed me and didn't let go. There's nothing like a good hostage scene to shake things up. For once, I liked the resolution to the female's obvious dilemma. In some books it would feel too forced or convenient, but in this case, I felt like the solution fit, and that the author must have had it planned this way from the start, so I was accepting of it.