House of Many Ways
Diana Wynne Jones
I blew through Howl's Moving Castle so fast that I was left wanting more. Of course I made a mistake and picked up the second companion book instead of the first one, but it's not really a problem. In both books Howl and Sophie (plus Calcifer and a new addition to the dysfunctional family) are peripheral characters who sort of show up to save the day.
Crazy Wizard Ex Machina.
Anyway, House of Many Ways is interesting but suffers sorely from the presence of a horrible protagonist. Charmain is no Sophie, and if I took a shot every time I was tempted to smack her, I'd never have finished the book, written this post, and would have probably died of alcohol poisoning.
I suppose it's unfair to call this a Howl book, because there is very little Howl and Sophie in it. I'm possibly rather biased, because I really only got interested when they showed up.
It's a ”companion” book, so I take it that means we get a bit of our crazy family stuck in the middle of a tedious adventure and that's it.
How meh is it? Halfway through I was tempted to just go back and re-read Howl's Moving Castle. Harrumph.