******************Warning Review contains spoilers**********************
Skulduggery Pleasant is Derek Landy’s phenomenal 8 book YA series (10 if you include 6.5 & 7.5), the series follows the antics of the two main characters, Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented teen, who just so happens to be one of the only surviving descendants of a once magical race, Skulduggery Pleasant, Ace Detective, Snappy Dresser and Crackerjack Sorcerer and not to mention he is a Walking, Talking, Fire-throwing Skeleton.
Stephanie first meets, Skulduggery during the reading of her uncle’s house, during the reading of his will, in which to the surprise and disgust to some of her family, she receives pretty much everything, his money, the royalties to his books, and his home.
“You’re not stealing anything, you’re not breaking anything, so I’d guess you’re Stephanie.”
― Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant
Soon after, Stephanie finds herself in serious trouble, as the house is paid a visit by some evil wizards, who appear to be looking for something of her Uncles. Of course, Skulduggery Pleasant is just the person to save her and in the nick of time I might add… trouble is, he also leads her into a dangerous new world of magic and criminals, a world that Stephanie is enthralled with, it seems like a world within one of her Uncles novels, that is of course because it is.
During these investigations, of sometimes murder most foul, and other times of plain strange goings on. They learn of plots of evil wizards, Necromancers and even the dreaded Faceless ones! But Skulduggery, Stephanie, and there band of helpful companions, Ghastly Bespoke, Tanith Low, China Sorrows and Fletcher Renn kick some butt, blow some stuff up.. and then ask some questions in order to restore balance..and maybe save the world too.
Series Titles & Year Published:
#1 Skullduggery Pleasant (2007)
#2 Playing With Fire (2008)
#3 The Faceless Ones (2009)
#4 Dark Days (2010)
#5 Mortal Coil (2010)
#6 Death Bringer (2011)
#6.5 The End Of The World (2012)
#7 Kingdom of Wicked (2012)
#7.5 Tanith Low in the Maleificent Seven (2013)
#8 Last Stand Of Dead Men (2013)
What Did I think.. now this is very difficult to answer without turning into a blubbering mess. I find this to be a unique kind of YA novel series. At its premise, it is and remains to be a YA story. However the style and tone of the novel matures as the series goes on. I am sure you have all heard of the tagline “No one is Safe” before, right? When it comes to Skulduggery Pleasant, you had better believe it especially when concerning the more recent of the novels. The series as a whole is full of sass and sarcasm and narcissism and attitude, with a some violence and magic and weirdness thrown in there for hoots.
“There’s something about you, Valkyrie. I’m not quite sure what it is. I look at you and…”
“And you’re reminded of yourself when you were my age?”
“Hmm? Oh, no, what I was going to say is there’s something about you that is really annoying, and you never do what you’re told, and sometimes I question your intelligence, but even so I’m going to train you, because I like having someone follow me around like a little puppy. It makes me feel good about myself.”
― Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant
The whole series, has a sweepingly fast pace without feeling rushed, all kinds of epic drama ensues without feeling to melodramatic, often horrific monsters appear, and while still applying pressure to both the characters psyche and situation it still remains suitable for children, and it manages all this without being too dark. Landy, also introduces a series of romances between supporting cast members, and doesn’t make too big a deal of it, by making them pine, row, or being to intimate. But what really makes this series for me is the brilliant banter between the characters, and there often complete disregard to the seriousness of a situation. While these are children’s books, they can definitely be enjoyed by all ages.
until next time, read more books!