The writer’s tone feels apologetic, at times, as if he is sad to tell you a story which may make you cry in the end. But he holds your hand the entire way and does not rush you; letting you enjoy the melancholy or ecstasy by your own timetable. The secondary characters are well-developed; everything and everyone is in the story for a reason. I would have liked it even more, if it was slightly shorter. The last three or four chapters felt extraneous, as if Doerr was having so much fun with his characters that he did not want to let them go. And I for one, do not blame him.