I haven't read the first in this series, but I don't think I've missed out on much with this one. This is a fantastic novella in its own right and can easily be read independently.
I started to care about the characters within the first few paragraphs and really felt for them. That gave this short story quite a punch and made it stand out.
I loved how everything wasn't hunky dory straight away, it made it more real. Real life isn't perfect. I loved how there was conflict, rage, love, revenge... A bit of everything.