I always really appreciate it when an author steps outside their comfort genre and tries something different. It's even better when the finished product is a damn good read in its own right, and The Book of Lost Things is just that and more.The book gets off to a very familiar start when we first encounter David, a young boy who has a love for fairy tales and fantastical stories passed down to him by his recently deceased mother. David's father moves on from this loss a bit too suddenly for the young boy's liking, and before he knows it, David has an unwanted new stepmother and little brother in his life.It's around this time David swears he can hear the books in the library talking amongst themselves...and this is where the story truly begins.I'll admit, I didn't think that Connolly could make so many re-tellings of classic fairy tales seem so fresh when it'd been done a million times before with varying levels of success, but he does it here with ease, and creates many memorable characters along the way. The Crooked Man, in particular, stayed with me for quite a wee while after I'd finished this book and left quite an impression on me.The protagonist himself, David, was also just on the right side of precocious and not nearly annoying enough to put me off reading the story. Which was a huge plus as, generally, I'm not too keen on child protagonists as a whole. When they are written for people over the age of twelve, they're either written way too mature for the age that the author is aiming for, or just way too young. Again, and thankfully, Connolly pulls it off rather brilliantly here as well.The story itself does drag, briefly, at the beginning but after that moves at an excellent pace, and the ending was unexpected and very satisfying.I just wish I'd come across this book sooner.