The Book of Dead Days -- Marcus Sedgwick

This book came really highly recommended.  The reviews are great. 

Plot-wise, it looked like a cross between Joan Aiken and Leon Garfield--one or the other is great--both together would be fantastic.

It took me over three days to get through it.  (The book is less than three hundred pages long.  That's a really, really long time).

The characters were almost uniformly unlikeable, including Boy, the main character, who had absolutely NO spunk.  Willow, the girl that loves him, was okay--but I didn't really see why she liked Boy so much.  (I still don't.)

Judging from the cover art, it looks like the publisher is pushing the book towards the older Lemony Snicket crowd, but I don't think that they'll like it much--there's no comedy.  It's all dark.  Dark dark dark.  And I like dark.  To a point.  But past that point, it's just NOT FUN.

I'm not going to go so far as to put it in the Bad Books category, but it kind of makes me want to create a new one for Lame Books.

Oh.  It's the first in a series.  Yee haw.