I've read most of Charles de Lint's books, and this is the first time I've been disappointed - this is really not up to his usual standard. I read a preface by him once, where he said he didn't write books for kids or young adults specifically, he just wrote books. Unfortunately, this book definitely reads as though it were written for a young adult audience, and suffers for it. It is almost as though he has gone through a check list of points he should hit to engage the require audience. It feels a little formulaic as a result. It is a real pity, as if he had just written the way he usually does, with strong characters, excellent story and subtle fantasy/reality interweaving, it would have been a much better book.
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