Book Review: Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landry

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant (Book 1 of the Skulduggery Pleasant series)
Author: Derek Landry
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Website
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Price and Format: $7.99 eBook format
Rating: 5 out of 5

About The Author:
Derek Landy is an Irish writer and screenwriter. In addition to the bestselling children’s/YA series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, a supernatural mystery series starring Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, and Valkyrie Cain, a young female magician, he has written two screenplays that have been made into films: the IFTA award winning “Dead Bodies” and the IFTA nominated “Boy Eats Girl”. Landy himself was nominated for an IFTA for Best Script.
He doesn’t like to brag about all the awards he’s won, such as the Irish Book of the Decade, or the Red House in the UK, or all the other awards that he humbly displays on his mantelpiece. He is also far too modest to mention things like the first book being a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year, but would like to extend an invitation to Oprah to pop around one day for tea, in thanks for selecting his book for the Oprah’s Book Club Kids Reading List.
Derek plays too many video games, reads too many comics, and watches too many movies. He lives in Ireland with too many cats. Occasionally he talks to real people, but only when he absolutely has to.

About The Book:
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.

Aspects I Enjoyed:
~Strong Narrative Elements: the plot is interesting and there are considerably high stakes involved (the mysterious key could possibly lead to the end of the world as we know it) and a fas narrative pace with a good mixture of world building and action-scenes.

~Engaging Characters: the characters were interesting, witty and humorous. I understand that Skulduggery and China Sorrows would be popular, both of them are very complicated characters, but it’s Mr Bliss that intrigues me.

~Active Heroine Protagonist: I’m very tired of the “Reluctant Hero” narrative arch, I love how Stephanie jumped at the call, if Harry Potter can take on Lord Voldermort, win the battle and rescue the philosopher’s stone at age 11, so can Stephanie.

Aspects I Had Problems With:
~Cliche Villain Motivations and Tactics: While I do love the cheesy aspects, Serpinetine is a little stereotypical

~The Magical Masquerade: Skulduggery explains that magical communities are everywhere, they simply look unpleasing on the surface (a diversionary tactic), however the actions of the Magical government and other characters don’t match up with this. Skulduggery and his associates weren’t trying very hard not to draw attention to themselves and therefore the Magical community

All in all, an enjoyable fun read, you can stop at book 1 or continue on with the series (and it’s a big series)

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