It's a really gripping premise, and I was so engrossed I read the book through in practically a single sitting. Though we learn enough about Zach's experience to respect how hellish it was, thankfully the author does not exploit its lurid potential at all. This is not a sick non-con pet/slave story; above all it is a book about trauma and the messy, painful, uneven process of healing from it--not just for the victim but his family and loved ones too. I found it moving and insightful much of the time, and was very engaged by both the two heroes and by the family members who care about them.
The book reminded me at times of Klune's [b:Bear, Otter, and the Kid|12156759|Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #1)|T.J. Klune|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347434774s/12156759.jpg|17127576]. The central relationship is similar--traumatized younger man, would-be protective older man, who are life-long friends, and must repair not only the effects of the trauma itself but long-standing misunderstandings in their relationship. Also similar to Klune's book, the characters tend towards the hyper-articulate about their feelings. The tendency is pretty much universal among the characters: even minor characters like the old high school friends who get together for beer and pizza speak like they're distilling the results of years of talk therapy. It makes sense given the book's investment in the therapeutic process, and I always found the insights very astute and interesting, but they were often given in long speeches that made me think of a stage play. Especially in the final quarter, I felt the insights were payed for by a sacrifice in realism.
Altogether, a moving, engrossing read, with two very sympathetic heroes and a lot of insights on how a family heals from a horrifying trauma.