ETA: Re-read; review below unchanged.
I admit: I expected this book to be fluffy fun, but considering that it's essentially a side story in the Skulduggery Pleasant
universe, focusing entirely on secondary characters and not even featuring either Skulduggery or Valkyrie, my expectations were, well, somewhat limited.
Oh boy. Was I wrong.
Right now - admittedly, I'm still on that high from finishing it - I'd rank it as one of the very best of the entire SP series. It's shorter than the main series novels, yes, but being still novel-length, it fit in more than enough - plot, some excellent
character stuff, back stories for several characters, lots of action and even a fair bit of romance (hey, it even has a love triangle of sorts - and anyone who knows me even a bit knows what I think about love triangles in general, but this being Derek, it was awesome, as usual).
The feels. Ye gads, the feels this book gave me. I officially managed to fall in love with Springheeled Jack. I loved the banter, both among the good guys and the bad guys. I enjoyed the action. I ... there are twists, towards the end, that I did not see coming. I came pretty damn close to tears at one of them.
I think this is as close as I can get to a "review" without getting into spoiler territory, and I just don't want to do that right now. But... yeah. Awesome.
I'm terrified of Last Stand of Dead Men, now. Not that I wasn't before, but... yeah.