I am a fan of many of Charles de Lint's books, and when I picked up this one, I was hoping for another good young adult fantasy along the lines of "The Blue Girl". However, "Dingo" fell far short of my expectations.
The writing felt flat to me. I never really got a feel for who the characters were. This could be due to the fact that they all spoke the same way, using the same words, and that the teenagers didn't really speak like teenagers. Without the speech attributions, it would be difficult to tell the difference between Miguel, his father, Lainey, Em, Johnny, or even the villain. A few Aussie slang words did little to help the reader differentiate between the characters; without them, the speech patterns were basically the same.
At times, I even wondered if I was reading a book for much younger readers... but with the addition of a few choice swear words from the book's quasi-villain, Johnny Ward, that theory was soon quashed. Miguel's comment about homeschooling and evolution further showed that de Lint really doesn't know much about today's young people.
There were also a number of editing problems. Just off the top of my head, I can recall inconsistent capitalization, inconsistent names, an extra unnecessary pronoun, and a missing paragraph break. I expect more from the books I read. Sadly, it seems today's publishers do not.
Basically, "Dingo" follows the pattern of many of de Lint's novels: protagonists meet person(s) with strange qualities, get sucked into world of mythical creatures/dreams/spirits, and find their way out again. But "Dingo" didn't seem original or exciting enough to really stand on its own as a good example of de Lint's work. I found the ending to be especially disappointing, as the protagonist didn't really solve anything (that was left to another character).
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, even if they are a de Lint fan. "The Blue Girl" is a much better introduction to de Lint's work, especially for younger readers.