Saturday, 9 February 2008

Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Stephanie's Uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source -- the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. When all hell breaks loose, it's lucky for Skulduggery that he's already dead. Though he's about to discover that being a skeleton doesn't stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there's anything Skulduggery hates, it's torture! Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

This book is in the 9-12 year old range, but don’t let that stop you. It reads like a damn good crack!fic and the one-liners are worth the cover-price alone. Skulduggery is simply a fantastic character. He’s smart, funny, kind and has an edge of darkness that sometimes makes him feel awfully real. I think I’ve developed a small crush, which disturbs me when I consider that he’s a dead detective skeleton.

There are several things I could criticize: the lack of sensory details in places, too much dialogue without accompanying narrative, sometimes Stephanie came across too old and Tanith too young. But you don’t want to listen to me whining on about that. The point is that when I’d turned the last page, I knew I’d had a wonderful read. I knew I was going to be thrusting the book in my friends’ faces and demand they read. I knew I was going to jump online immediately and find out when the second book is out.

Skulduggery Pleasant could be The Next Big Thing. Remember that I said that first so I can gloat later.

Oh, and make sure to click in the link above; there’s a little video of Skulduggery doing a funky dance. And here is the Official Website The next book is out in April and I will be getting it and dropping everything on the release date.

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