I was also able to get a copy ahead of the offical realease date and finished it in 2 days. It is well written and imaginative, you can see where some ideas have come from but they also have their own twist not making a copy of another book, say Harry Potter. It is very much a children's book, but as a 33 year old I did enjoy it myself, the writing style is not quite as grown up as Harry Potter, but it has been a long time since I have read the first ones and who know's what Stephen would be producing by the 7th book, but having gone back and started to reread the magic faraway tree it is far less rushed. I started reading it to my 5 year old Daughter yesterday, finished the first two chapters and she is loving it, She is a big Doctor Who fan who & copes well with the monsters/creatures in that and so I feel that when we get to the darker moments in this book she would not be too upsetting for her. As they are quite dark.
The cover of this book, not to judge it!, is beautiful the picture inviting and the sparkley snowflakes irresitable not to pick up. The illustrtions are wonderful, I was also able to see the orignals which being much larger are so much better, Keith Wilson is a very taltened artist.
If you enjoy children's fantasy you WILL enjoy this book. Beautiful & well written passages and as people have said just waiting to be made into a film.