When I first started reading this book, I tried really hard not to compare it to Jim Henson's Labyrinth. Girl doesn't pay attention to her baby brother, he gets kidnapped, and she has to go into a dangerous, magical world to save him. But I figured I'd give it a chance.
...and then the talking coyotes in red jackets tried to light a fire.
All I could think of was the Fire Gang scene from Labyrinth. Coyote-bird monsters who play with fire. I dare you to tell me those things aren't half-coyotes!
To the book's credit, it gets better. Once you get past the premise, it really does become its own story.
You've got to question what kind of parent doesn't get suspicious when their 1-year-old doesn't make a sound all night, though. Prue's able to just slip out by wrapping up some blankets to look like a baby, and telling her parents that Mac is "really tired". So they don't go to kiss him goodnight? They don't check on him at some point before the morning? These have to be the worst parents ever. Which I guess kind of fits in with what you learn about them later, but it seemed weird when I first read it.
Going into this book, I'd heard that it was a somewhat tedious read. I didn't feel that at all. Sure, it occasionally slowed down when you had to switch between Prue and Curtis, but mainly it was a lot of exposition. They're setting up for a sequel, so it makes sense that Meloy has to stop frequently to explain how the world works. Maybe people just aren't used to exposition in novels. Did they not read Tolkien? The man's nothing BUT exposition! So something like this is a breeze.
Anyway, if you can get past the parts that feel like you're reading a Labyrinth/Narnia hybrid, it's not a bad book. I look forward to the sequel, which I've heard good things about.