The plot in the opening chapters seemed thin at first, and most of the the characters one-dimensional. But I was glad I pushed on since Hicks finally hit his stride at the point in the story Reza is abducted as part of the Kreelan's "great experiment" to determine if humans possessed anything like their definition of a soul. From that point, I found it nearly impossible to put down.
Although there seemed little doubt where the plot would end up, there were unexpected twists, as well as a backstory for the Kreelans -- revealed bit by tantalizing bit -- that seemed equal parts ancient history and richly detailed mythology.
By the time this book ended -- after yet another delicious twist that leads the reader into the second book -- I could hardly wait to find out where each character's next actions would lead.