This book has all sorts of wondrous things. Fairies, witches, spells, magic, all blending into a believable urban landscape. A lovely emphasis on women and feminine power. A mystery. Baba Yaga.
So why didn’t I like it? I just didn’t. I’ve loved Jane Yolen in the past, but I just didn’t like this one.
There’s a delicate balance in urban fantasy, between the magical and the mundane. Bleed enough magic in, and you can make the mundane seem magical. But blend too much mundane in, and the magic become mundane.
This doesn’t apply to everything in the book, by any means. Baba Yaga is especially believable, and awesomely integrated into the urban environment. But the characters are defined only by their relationship to the magical. They have no other character traits. It doesn’t feel real. Maybe it’s that the magical didn’t seem mundane enough?