Note to self: next time I get out a kid's horror story, I need to check whether the cover glows in the dark or not.
APART FROM THAT, I have to admit I liked this an embarrassing amount, which shouldn't surprise anyone who heard me flailing about Skulduggery Pleasant. I'm pretty sure I made my love of supernatural private detectives with child sidekicks blatantly obvious when babbling about that. The relationship between the private detective and the child sidekick are completely different in this though - Carnegie is violent and looming and fantastic more because "Holy shit berserker werewolf investigating in the break-heads-until-info-turns-up." Plus, much less with the snark and more with the raw meat. Jonathan... I want to say he depends less on Carnegie than Stephanie does on Skulduggery, which isn't quite what I meant. They don't have the same sort of father/child relationship - it's more... Business-like? As in, Carnegie cares but would kill Jonathan before he admits it. It's interesting. :D
The setting itself is fantastic, I have to say - it's like someone took the worst parts of Victorian society, populated it with vampires and werewolves and tired humans, and shoved them into a corner next to the real world. Dark and dirty and I heart it a ridiculous amount, even when I can't decide whether it's over the top or not. The mystery works pretty well, even if you can work it out through simple process of "Who's it LEAST LIKELY TO BE?" The book actually refers to things that happened in the first book - YES THAT SURPRISES ME, SHUSH - beyond the BIG things. The characters are quite awesome, even when they're stereotyped and Obviously Bad People. Basically, it's fun and I would actually go and find the rest of them!
Oh come on, it opens with a DARING RESCUE. Of COURSE I'm going to love it with the fire of a thousand suns.
Seregil and Alec are really quite fantastic - not only are they FUN, awesome, and FAKE-GENTLEMEN THIEVES, they really end up caring for each other and it's been a while since I've seen that in a fantasy novel. The characters either SUDDENLY LOVE EACH OTHER or hate each other forever. This builds it up nicely, and it makes me happy. The other characters - Micum and Thero, for example, or Nysander - are equally awesome, although I would SERIOUSLY LOVE to see more of Seregil's adventures with Micum, or epic battles with Thero. PLUS I actually like the world building - it's SERIOUSLY infodumped, but it's INTERESTING, which is all I really ask of it. And it has the added bonus of having awesome matriarchy and awesome military women. ALWAYS GONNA MAKE ME HAPPY. :D
... Look, as soon as I finished this, I went out to try and buy the next one. Was furious to not be able to find it ANYWAY. Send amazon a thousand hearts for having it in stock. ♥
FINALLY, FINALLY DONE! :D :D :D