Book Review – Skulduggery Pleasant
Few novels can boast to reach the standard of J.K Rowling’s bestselling Harry Potter series, but in my opinion, Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant is as close as it gets.
A dark young-adult fantasy series, revolving around a teenage girl and a dead detective, Skulduggery Pleasant is the bang-on product of mixing high-end action and suspense with loads of comedy smack in the middle.
The novels feature the tales of a witty detective with element-themed magic, who also happens to be a skeleton. As the title implies, Skulduggery Pleasant is the egoistic, hilarious, and determined hero just perfect for such a book, while his apprentice Stephanie Edgely (later known as Valkyrie Cain) is a stubborn, bright, and loyal sidekick, who accompanies Skulduggery on his usually rather precarious missions.
Derek Landy’s well-weaved words combine with an excellent array of diverse characters. From Tanith Low and Ghastly Bespoke to China Sorrows and Fletcher Renn to Nefarian Serpine and Baron Vengeous, Landy makes full use of his exciting plethora of personnel.
The books never cease to intrigue their readers, as the characters venture from one deadly and possibly life-taking situation to another, with the well-timed humor balancing out with the seemingly dark storyline to form a masterpiece. The author’s imagination and innovation is also evident from his choice of synopsis, as he successfully constructs a magical realm within ours.
The inaugural entry in the series follows a young Stephanie Edgely, as she meets with skeleton detective Skulduggery Pleasant following the tragic death of her novelist uncle, Gordon. Skulduggery enlightens her that they are living in a world thriving with sorcery, led by the sanctuaries of different countries, and their elders. The book follows their attempts to thwart villainous sorcerer Nefarian Serpine and his henchmen from acquiring the Scepter of the Ancients and the Book of Names.
Set 400 years ago after a catastrophic war against evil sorcerer Mevolent, the book concludes with Valkyrie realizing she too has magic, being a direct descendant of the Last of the Ancients, with a culmination that leaves us hungry for more. With the novels never failing to impress, Skulduggery Pleasant acts as a worthy successor to Harry Potter, as will ever be.
So, if you happen to be interested in fantasy and humor mixed in one, then this is just the right book for you. Young or old, Skulduggery and his team will forever be a part of your hearts; it surely will be in mine…
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