Okay, so, the rundown is as follows: Upon opening this book and reading the first two chapters, I immediately thought "Oh, this is Joe Hill doing a sort of Stephen King thing." By two or three hundred pages in, I thought he'd gone soft, gotten kindly in his success. Then his story proceeded to bite me when I was unawares and hang on with razor-sharp teeth. There have been a lot of books that approached the idea of "stolen childhood" and the nature of innocence when it comes to monsters. Few have been as gleefully and delightfully nasty about it as this. This book subverts the usual plotline of childhood magic winning out against adult monsters, turns it inside out, and makes it a hand puppet. And it does it with style and grotesquerie to spare.
The bad parts are a tendency to lose itself in its own language a little, some nods and name-checks that I didn't really think fit well, and the way it sort of feels too loose. Like it's trying to cover too much ground, or trying too hard to be like something else. But these are very minor nitpicks, and the book is a relentless, nasty, but still fantastic read.
This is a book people should be recommending, and if they are, this is a book people should recommend for many years. It'll stay with the people who read it, I guarantee.