Skull Duggery Pleasant by Derek Landry
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.
Soon after her Uncles funeral, 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.
TV or Film
Given the resounding success of the Harry Potter & Narnia Films, it is pretty obvious to me that YA Fantasy is often a winner at the Box Office. Having read the series as both an adult and a child I feel that it appeals to both audiences despite being marketed towards teenagers, there is an element of adventure and danger which is particularly appealing, even in some cases quite gruesome deaths which skirt the boarder of adult fiction the same as Harry Potter did especially in the later books. The Characters are relatable, and it is set in modern day Ireland, giving it a unique edge.
As for TV or Film, I believe a series of films would be the best way to go in this particular instance. due to the nature and writing style of each book it will be difficult to divide into episodes so I feel that that keeping it all as one set story would be best. In regards to the magical effects, green screening and other effects have now vastly improved since HP’s day on the silver screen, which means bringing Skullduggery to life shouldn’t be that much of an issue. However, with several novels to choose from, other then book one, which would be necessary to set the scene, non are particularly linked heavily until the last 3 books, so producers could in fact pick and chose the volume at will. the main issue will be casting, as Stephanie grows to be around 17-18 by the last novel, like HP it will be a challenge to find a child actor that can grow up with the role.
Until next time, read more books!..