I definitely liked the first part better than I liked the later parts. I'll agree with Irie that it is kind of disappointing that Speedwell skipped over two years of his recovery, but I think it works out better this way. I mean, otherwise, it would just be mostly accounts of physical therapy and psych sessions in which specialists are reteaching him to speak. I think that you have to remember that this is a romance and thus meant to focus more on Zach/Dave interactions. Still, it was a little jarring to me how easily he opened up to Dave, but then, I guess he has been in love with him this entire time and I despise wangst for the sake of angst, so I'm willing to let that go.I was pleasantly surprised by how well-written the first part was, specifically Zach's internal monologues. In fact, parts of it sent chills down my spine and/or touched me in a heart-achy way. "A couple of them stare, like they think I‟m some kind of animal. I lift my lip and snarl at them softly, just to let them know they‟re right." "Something touches my hand and I open my eyes again. It‟s Mom, Jane of Dick and Jane. She used to get so mad at me when I‟d call them that. It‟s from the old reading books kids got in school years ago—“Fun with Dick and Jane” or something like that. Their dog was called Spot, though, not Zach." "I experiment with that smile again and lift my arms for him to pick me up. He does so, laughing. “I got a little nephew does that, but he‟s three. What‟s your excuse?”" This part was so heart-achingly adorable. It's nice that Speedwell acknowledged that he's a cognitive human being and regardless of whatever psychological stress he encountered, he wasn't completely broken and there was still a rational part of sorts left. Needless to say, I got very tired of poorly written psychological trauma, and this was very refreshing.I'll admit that on first reading, I hated Brian. Absolutely hated, despised, loathed him. Which was mitigated after I read the sewuel, slightly, but still. I guess that must have been the illogical romantic in me that raged at anything that stood in the way of the MC's HEA...And of course, I must make inane comments.I always wondered about the dog thing. I mean, it says clearly that he sounded like a dog and not like a human trying to sound like a dog, which always made me curious. I actually went on youtube and looked up what a dog whining sounded like. And then I wondered if people could make the sound. I tried it out myself. Couldn’t get a convincing sound (well, not consistently and not for any significant length of time; it strains part of my vocal cords I'm definitely not used to using). I then figured, “Hey, five years under the treatment of a sadistic megalomaniac is helluva practice time, I guess.” And then I wondered if the Esteban dude had him listen to youtube videos or sound clips or some kind of equal nonsense (hey, maybe he had a real dog in there for a couple of months or something) so he could get the sound right, then dismissed the idea and scolded myself for being silly. Still wondered about that, though. Cuz human whining sounds nothing like a dog *thinks of my two little bros* ¬_¬11/4/12 ETA:When I first read it, I definitely liked the first part better than I liked the second part, the two years later part. Now, though...idk.Before, I was too focused on all of the suffering and (yes, I'll admit) reveling in it, but now, I think I rather like the "redemption" at the end of the dark tunnel. *shrugs. I guess what I mean to say is, it's a good book overall.