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BookBrowse Reviews Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

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Skulduggery Pleasant

by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy X
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 416 pages

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A satisfying blend of humor, magic and adventure for ages 12+

Although suggested for readers aged 12-15 years-old, Skulduggery Pleasant is likely to be enjoyed by many younger readers from about 9 years up. We read it as a family and, from 11 to 47, enjoyed it immensely! From the moment Skulduggery appears the action heats up and drives the reader relentlessly through the book. While comparisons with Harry Potter seem inevitable, this book has more in common with the Artemis Fowl novels - lots of action, snappy dialog and magic.

Despite most of the action taking place in Ireland, the writing has a distinctly English flair. Conversations between the principal characters sparkle with dry wit, sarcasm and understatement. Skulduggery has more than a little James Bond in his character, including a liking for well tailored suits and and a very fine vintage Bentley.

Occasionally some of the plot elements seem a little gratuitous, and there are a few discontinuities. Nevertheless, a good stage has been developed, with much promise for the future. It is to be hoped that Mr. Landy's vivid imagination and amusing writing style will be delivered even more smoothly in the anticipated sequel!

Key Characters

  • Stephanie Edgely, a.k.a. Valkyry Cain: Heroine
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Snappy dressing skeleton hero with a tortured past.
  • China Sorrows: Who is anything but fragile and rarely sorry.
  • Ghastly Bespoke: Tailor to Skulduggery.
  • Sagacious and Meritorious: Magical elders
  • Mr. Bliss: Who terrifies most people simply by existing.
  • Nafarian Serpine: Evil incarnate.

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in April 2007, and has been updated for the April 2008 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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