Title: Mortal Coil
Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Fantasy/ Children Literature/ Adventure
Publication date: 2010
Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back — just in time to see their whole world get turned upside down! While they struggle to protect a known killer from an unstoppable assassin, Valkyrie is on a secret mission of her own. This quest, to prevent her dark and murderous destiny, threatens to take her to the brink of death and beyond. And then the body-snatching Remnants get loose, thousands of twisted souls who possess the living like puppets, and they begin their search for a being powerful enough to lead them. Facing such insurmountable odds, Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly and Tanith can trust no one. Not even each other!
We are now on the fifth book of the Skulduggery Pleasant Series, Mortal Coil, by Derek Landy and by now you should all be going crazy about the Skeleton Detective and his smart-mouth partner, Valkyrie. Honestly, I am currently pumped up after reading the last book (just finished #6 and you’ll be getting that review soon) so I may be a bit incapable of being impartial in this. Scratch that, I don’t remember ever being impartial when it comes to a book I like.
So the story goes like this: while Skulduggery and Valkyrie are in a search of Davina Mar (ex-sanctuary-detective and the person responsible for blowing the Sanctuary) their magical world is in disarray. Problem #1- they need to pick new leaders and establish new Sanctuary. Problem #2 – A trained assassin named Tesseract is after Davina Mar too and he is unstoppable. Problem #3 – the Necromancy order hasthe Soul Catcher and the Remnant inside and they don’t plan to use it back, they plan to use it ON somebody to find out if Valkyrie is their so-called Death Bringer. Problem #4 – Valkyrie is terrified of becoming Darquesse, which is her true name in case somebody didn’t get on that. Oh, she wants to seal her name so nobody can use it against her which is cool but it happens to avoid dying too.
“But he’s in shackles, right? You beat him?”
“I like to think I beat him in a moral sense, in that he’s an assassin and I’m not, but apart from that, no, not really.”
So we have a lot to go on her and believe me, it all breaks down at the same time (well, relatively). My personal favorite is when Val goes alone to seal her name knowing full well the danger she puts herself in. She goes to a doctor, if you can call it that, called Nye. Nye is not a she or a he, he is an ‘it’ as everybody keeps pointing out. No details why though. But he is the king of creepy considering he lives in his laboratory with corpses for company and he likes to poke and cuts them open
while they are still alive, well technically they are dead but they bodies still function, they brain doesn’t though.
The action goes to its peak when the Remnants are released. I hope you did your homework because I won’t be explaining what Remnant is other than it is soul that was so evil it became Remnant and it can possess a person and control it(giving it extra strength and bloodthirst in the process). Bloody hell, that was quite the good explanation. So the Remnants are loose and they posses pretty much everybody they can, targeting sorcerers obviously. Their target? Darquesse. Duuh. They want to control her, make her, follow her, serve her. In that order.
“You Necromancers have your messiah,” Finbar said, “now we Remnants have ours.”
You’ll think with so much going on it will become quite confusing but Landy finds a way to make it mysterious and simple at the same time. He doesn’t jump POVs that much, which I appreciate, and our main focus remains on Valkyrie, which I am happy with. Have you noticed that we never get Skulduggery’s point of view? Yet the title of the series is Skulduggery Pleasant? That’s such a tease. 😀
“She’s not… She’s not datin’ the skeleton, is she? How would that be even possible, let alone… nice? He’s got no skin, or lips, or… or nothin’.” (personal favorite and goes with my unrealized theories and dreams)
Landy definitely steps up his game with his one, and his humor gets sharper. I am really not sure what else to say about it, there are so many things happening, so many cool action scenes and failed scenarios that I can’t just pick one to tell you about. I do have another favorite moment though and it was between Skulduggery and Darquesse. It just showed how much Skulduggery cares about Val and it warmed my heart.
“I need a weapon,” Valkyrie muttered.
“You’re an Elemental with a Necromancer ring, trained in
a variety of martial arts by some of the best ﬁghters in the world,” Skulduggery pointed out. “I’m fairly certain that makes you a weapon.”
“I mean a weapon you hold. You have a gun, Tanith has a sword… I want a stick.”
“I’ll buy you a stick for Christmas.”
I really do hope that Skulduggery gets his body(all of it) back by the end of the series. I know it won’t happen, of course, it’s too cliche and it’s too melodramatic and Landy hates those stuff. He loathes them. It’s more likely that he would die, like die die, completely die and move on or maybe he’ll continue to hunt bad guys and kill monsters till the end of time. As if the series don’t have end, as if Skulduggery is eternal and he is always out there, somewhere, with his gun and his hat. Anyway, I got carried away, sorry.
5/5 for Landy again. It gets boring saying that every time. But I do hope he won’t make me type anything less.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Mortal Coil?