The first book in this series is mostly setup for the last two books in the series, and it felt a little clunky. The second act has no such problems. The prose and the plot flow easily, no mean feat considering the complications and challenges of this story. One issue I had with the first was a lack of connection to the characters, but I've forgiven it that now that I've read this. This middle part of a trilogy was flawless. The story is intricate and fascinating and the characters flawed, human, often unlikable, but so real. When I read the first book, I liked, but didn't love it. I was fairly sure that I was going to love where it was going though, and The Coldest War exceeded my expectations. It's worth working through the set up to get to this story, and I'm glad I did. Waiting until the end of April for book three is going to be tough.