Over the past decade, the oft-maligned fantasy genre has seen a new resurrection as urban noir horror and fairytales directed at a mature audience. Catherine Butzen's maiden novel, "Thief of Midnight", is a fascinating example of this genre, and manages to do something unique; take the stories of childhood, the boogeymen and the monsters under the bed, and remind rational, day-dwelling adults just why they were scared enough to hide under their covers in the dark of night.
The plot of the novel is fast-paced enough to not make reading the book feel like work, but simultaneously provides a rich level of detail, drawing the reader fully into the tale. The play on a combination of folklore, mythology, and basic human family dynamics combines to make a gripping, occasionally horrifying, and entirely entertaining narrative. The human protagonists are realistic, with believable backstories, flaws, and strengths; the monsters are entirely as history has written them, most especially the cameo by Russia's Baba Yaga.
In summation: an excellent debut, and well worth reading - but you might want to have a blanket to hide under when you're done.