Saturday, 11 September 2010

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant
by Derek Landy

[note: I think the US covers may be different]

Summary: Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course).

Oh yeah. And dead.

Then there's his sidekick, Stephanie. She's… well, she's a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…

Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction.

Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

When all hell breaks loose, it's lucky for Skulduggery that he's already dead. Though he's about to discover that being a skeleton doesn't stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there's anything Skulduggery hates, it's torture… Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

I read this book a few years ago and I don't think I ever did get round to reviewing it. To keep it simple: I loved it. It was fun, funny, fast paced and original.

I adore the concept of it and the world Derek created - it had kind of a Harry Potter type charm with the magic and the fact it focusses on someone younger being introduced to this whole new world instead of the typical fantasy stories you see now that are mostly all about the romance. It was refreshing to go back to that innocence that Harry Potter had and to not be bored by it because it didn't feel like I was reading a kids book.

Skulduggery Pleasant... well, I have this weird crush on him - not in the "ZOMG, he's so hot! I can haz?!" type way, he's just this awesomely quirky character and he has this hilarious charm. The fact he is a living skeleton is pretty interesting too (and come on, how awesome is his name?).

I'm not writing this review very well - that tends to happen when I leave it so long to write it, so I'll just... distract you with some quotes from the book (dialogue quotes, that is):

Skulduggery: I'm fairly certain. I could be some ghastly hallucination, a figment of my own imagination.

Skulduggery: Are you taking my hat hostage?

Ghastly: Do you want to shake hands, Miss, or start off with something easy, like waving?

Stephanie: For a guy with no internal organs, you've got quite the ego.

Skulduggery: To be honest with you, it's not even my head.
Stephanie: What?
Skulduggery: It's not. They ran away with my skull. I won this one in a poker game. (...) You look faintly disgusted.
Stephanie: I just...doesn't it feel weird? It'd be like wearing someone else's socks.

Skulduggery: Stephanie, I'm not altogether sure you're respecting my authority.
Stephanie: Yes, I'm not.
Skulduggery: I see. Okay then.

Skulduggery: I try not to depend on magic these days; I try to get by on what's up here. (he taps his skull)
Stephanie: There's empty space up there.
Skulduggery: Well, yes, but you know what I mean.

See, isn't it awesome? I wish it would be made into a movie... with Tim Burton directing it, it'd be epic.

To sum up: I really adore the book, you should go read it, especially if you're in the mood for something light and funny (it's the first in a series, did I mention that?). Oh and go check out the website for the series.



  1. hahaha, i love this book too! probably one of the best MG books i've read, skulduggery is priceless. and the dialogue is GOLD. great review!

  2. This sounds awesome! I definitely need to read this one. Perfectly twisted haha :)



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