A really fantastic story in theme. Jones's novel is full of fun magic and fantasy suitable for all ages, yes even adults, but I found her pacing to be a little off. It was fun to see how Sophie came to cope with living with Howl in a magic castle, and more importantly to see how her relationship with Howl himself unfolds, but I have to admit, I felt no real mystery from this book. Jones doesn't really build up revelations or secrets very well, in fact I hardly cared at all about what any of the characters were hiding. I was much more interested in their personalities. So when push came to shove and the truth is out in the last 15 or so pages, I was confused and disinterested.
In spite of these somewhat strong criticisms, I think that again, the strength of the book lies in its characters. I really like Sophie a lot. She's perhaps only the second fictional woman I fell in love with (the first being Elphaba). She's very strong, witty and independent, a strong female lead character that sheds none of her intimacy or tenderness in her assertiveness. She's devious, but at the same time overwhelmingly kind and deferential, and in spite of the fantasy and magic going on around her, she's incredibly real. I think she can do much better than Howl. :)