Title: Dark Days
Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Fantasy/ Children Literature/ Adventure
Publication date: 2009
Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him.
But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans.
The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it.
Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands.
These are dark days indeed.
Dark Days is the fourth book of the famous series Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy and my favorite one so far. I will go ahead and assume you have already read the previous ones – with this one you can expect a great amount of action, dark and witty humor, punching, threatening and boasting. And, yeah, and some dark, ominous prophecy.
To be honest with you, I don’t necessary think this is the best of Landy’s books but it certainly made me twice as invested in the story and in the characters. There are some that would say that the series are becoming somewhat repetitive. And they are not exactly wrong, I must admit. There is a certain rhythm to the story and how it unfolds.
“We can hold them off,” Shudder said. “What do you think, Skulduggery?”
“Should be fun,” Skulduggery responded. “Valkyrie here has never held off a horde of zombies before. It’ll be a good experience for her.”
“Oh, joy,” she muttered.”
The plot is almost always the same – the story starts with a bad thing – Stephanie’s uncle’s death (1), Skulduggery kills Valkyrie (2), the death of the four teleporters (3) and now, Stephanie being attacked in her own home, in her own bed.
Then something even worse happens. Same with the villains, one shows up then another, stronger one and at the end our heroes win. Throw in a lot of jokes and smart-ass retorts, crazy ninja skills and more new types of monsters (Hollow men, Vampires, Grotesquely, Zombies, etc) and a great deal of magic and you have the recipe for a Skulduggery Pleasant book.
We should not, of course, forget the good writing style, clever twists and awesome characters but that is easy. Ha-ha, yeah, I wish *sighs*
So back to the point. The forth book follows Valkyrie as she tries to find a way to bring Skulduggery back (for those with a poor memory, he was sucked into the same world as the The Faceless Ones).
It takes her almost a year to do that and she finally succeeds by using Skulduggery’s skull (his own, the one he was wearing so far was a replacement he won over a poker game). Skulduggery gets back just in time to face a new foe – The Revenge Club consisting of Dreylan Scarab, a former assassin that had spent last 200 years in prison for a crime he was framed for *note the irony* ; Billy-Ray Sanguine, a psychopath with powers that allow him to move through walls, floors, earth, etc and is bent on killing Valkyrie; Dusk, a vampire with even bigger grudge against Skulduggery’s partner for ruining his face; Remus Lux, a nut-job and ex-detective who has become obsessed with the Faceless ones after glimpsing at them (also hates Valkyrie for killing two of his gods) and finally, Springheeled Jack, a merciless killer who is bitter about going to jail and being persecuted everywhere after he breaks our of jail.
This merry bunch manages to do a lot of damage in their thirst for revenge and it seems Skulduggery and Valkyrie are always one step behind them the whole time (but it always seems this way so…)
Anyway, the second storyline and what really got me is the talk of a new villain emerging, one called Darquesse. Nobody knows who she is and where she comes from but one is certain. She is more powerful than anyone they have ever seen and she is going to destroy the world. And the if the subtle foreshadowing has not peaked your interest then the finale reveal definitely will.
“Darquesse is the sorcerer who destroys the world,” Finbar said. “And I mean she levels it. I’ve seen cities flattened, like a nuke had gone off. Everything’s burning. I see little snippets as it happens. This woman in black… Mevolent was nothing compared to this kind of evil.”
I have to admit, I did see that coming with all the foreshadowing and the weird stuff happening (pay attention and you’ll notice the signs) but I won’t spoil it for you muahahaha 😀
Anyway, I was really excited about this book and literally had to put it down only to sleep and work so I would definitely say it was worth my time. And with the way it ended, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one! I would give it solid 5/5 🙂
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Dark Days?