Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (Skulduggery Series, Book 1)

Books Completed: 88
Completion Date: March, 2009
Pages: 400
Publication Date: April, 2007

Reason for Reading: Rachel recommended it!
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.

First off, I should add that I had never heard of this book before until Rachel mentioned it. I am surprised it does not get more blogging press because it is a really fun book! I read a lot of fantasy, so it can get a bit like the same thing over and over again. Landy has managed to write a very fresh novel that has great characters, a fun storyline, and the potential to be a great series. While his author do suffer a bit writing-wise from the whole 'first novel syndrome', it does not take away from the story at all!

Yesterday I did a meme and one of the questions was what fictional character am I secretly in love with. At the time I took the question literally, but I got to think that I probably shouldn't have! I wouldn't say I am 'in love' with lots of characters, but I love lots of characters. That includes both men and women. If you didn't love the characters, you wouldn't go back and read the book, right? Anyway, Skulduggery Pleasant is one such character. He makes the entire book, I must say! The other characters are good, don't get me wrong, but the book would not be the book without him. I love him, so as long as he is a character in the series, I will be reading the books!

The story, though, is told by Stephanie Edgley. Her uncle has just died and when she attends his funeral, her whole world is changed forever! She is an engaging character and she narrates her story well. It turns out that there is more to her family than meets the eye, but it takes the death of her uncle for her to fully understand just what she has been born into. Then, she meets Skulduggery and things are never the same again! Of course, when she first meets him she doesn't know that he is a skeleton. He is just a rather strange friend of her deceased uncle, but as she learns his story we learn more and more about him, too. It will make you love him, I promise! He is funny, entertaining, and compelling. He has also gone through a lot during the course of his, um, life? Okay, so, yes, I love a skeleton! Is that not a good enough reason to read this book? You can check to see if I am crazy or not, right?

There are also secondary characters in this book. Stephanie's parents are both rather loving, but her father is very scatter-brain. When he enters a scene you know that you are going to wind up smiling. Then, there are the people that Stephanie meets through Skulduggery. There is the boxer and tailor that makes Stephanie's 'heroine' outfit: Ghastly Bespoke. There is China Sorrow who has the ability to make everyone that meets her fall in love with her, but I think most people that read this blog will fall in love with her because of the items in her house! Tanith Low is another character. She is a kick-ass fighter that gives a whole new meaning to girl power. Actually, Landy does a very good job of having both great female role models and male characters. It's a nice assortment, so the book can easily work for both sexes.

The thing is, I have only touched on the 'good guys'. There are also the evil forces that are the focus of the entire adventure. The bad characters are just as entertaining as the good, so you have that to look forward to! And, while the characters may not all stay the same, the central theme of what Skulduggery and his friends are trying to accomplish will. So, really, all there is left to be said is you should read this book! I have since read the sequel, so I will review that at some point and time. It is supposed to be a series, so I am really excited! I think I will end up buying them instead of relying on the library. I enjoy a fresh fantasy series for young adults, and as long as it stays like this book, I really am in for a fun series!

Harper Collins Canada has an audio excerpt! You can experience Stephanie's first glimpse of Skulduggery!

Browse Inside this book
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  1. I love Skulduggery! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It is an amazing audio book - at the end there is an interview with Skulduggery himself, which is hilarious. I think if you go to Landy's website, he has it there, too. I listened to the second one a few months ago, and it's really good, too. I hope he comes out with a third one soon!

  2. A skeleton? Well that's different. I'm a little curious about this now though I may wait until the author has written a few more and doesn't have 'first novel syndrome' anymore.

  3. Darla: The third book is due out in December.

    Tink: The second book is out now and the third book is due out in December. :) It is a fun series!

  4. My son loved this book. I should have read it when he checked it out, I guess!! The cover of the book rocks, that's for sure!

  5. Bluestocking: It was a lot of fun!

    Stephanie: You should have read it! I forgot to mention the cover in my review. Oops!

  6. I'm very intrigued! I've certainly never read anything about a skeleton before! :-)

  7. joanna: I think this was my first skeleton book, too!

  8. It's odd... only a couple of days ago my son-in-law was telling me I should read this book. It's obviously a 'sign'. I'll check the library for it and come back and read your review properly when I've read it.

  9. Cath: I hope you do read it! Great book!

  10. Anonymous4:20 PM

    I love the skullduggery books, I am a teacher and have managed to get a few of my boys addicted to the series:) Makes me very proud!

  11. Yeah, this book has been sitting on my shelf forever. You've made me want to bump it up the list. :)

  12. thelibrarynook: That's great! It is a fun series!

    Court: You really must read it! I am so happy that Rachel recommended it to me!

  13. It's official: I now want to read this more than ever!

  14. Anonymous1:12 PM

    I keep seeing this series around but didn't know much about it. It sounds like a lot of fun though, will try and pick up a copy soon.

  15. Ana: You really need to! It's a good book!

    Rhinoa: I hope you can pick up a copy soon!

  16. Anonymous9:35 PM

    This is a amazing book the characters are very well made. This is absolutely a work of art and is the best of the best. I could not stop reading this book it was absolutely fantastic.

  17. Bunnylover9910:38 AM

    I loved this book from the very page. It is a story of Stephanie Edgley (Her name changes to Valkyrie Cain in the rest of the series)and how she discovers a world that mortals shouldn't know of. She meets Skulduggery Pleasant, a wise-cracking detective. He takes her on as a partner and a apprentice to becoming an elemental like him. (fire,water,earth,air). They make lots of enemies and defeat them. In the first book she discovers that she is a descendant of the ancients. The ones who drove back the faceless ones with the spectre of the ancients. They make friends like: Tanith Low, Ghastly Bespoke, China Sorrows and Fletcher Renn (whom we meet in the third series and whom Valkyrie likes). It is a gripping story of Action, Adventure, Humour and Tense moments. I can't wait till the 5th book comes out in September 2010!!!!!!!


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