Title: Skulduggery Pleasant
Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Fantasy, Teenage Fiction, Children Literature
Publication date: 2007
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant
—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.
These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.
The end of the world?
Over his dead body.
Skulduggery Pleasant (now carrying the name ‘The Sceptre of Ancients’) by Derek Landy was the beginning of one amazing, intelligent and extremely funny saga that I can’t wait to finish. I don’t even know why I am still prejudiced towards stories in the ‘children literature’ genre when some of my favorite books like Harry Potter and The Lie Tree started there.
If I have to be perfectly honest I would have never bought or sat to read these series if it wasn’t for my fiance. He was gifted the first book for his 25th birthday(a children’s book for a 25-year-old, yep, you got that right) and he was in love with its humor and its action-packed plot. So he kept talking and talking about it for a long time and I decided to buy for him all of the books of the series for Christmas. Now they stand in a pile in our home library and I am the one obsessed with them(he hasn’t read them past Book 2, shame on him).
The story itself revolves around the 12-year-old Stephanie Edgley who inherits a big mansion from her late uncle – a famous writer and a wacko (according to some members of their family). She happens to spend a night in the mansion alone and she gets attacked by man who tries to kill her. And when she thinks that was the most unexpected thing that could ever happen to her she is saved by a hilarious, arrogant, fireball-throwing, 400-year-old detective that goes by the name of Skulduggery Pleasant. Oh, yes, he also happens to be a walking skeleton.
Her life turns around as she is dragged into a world that she never knew existed – one where magic rules, names have special powers and villains are trying to destroy the world and bring back The Faceless ones, gods that were believed to have ruled the world before they were banished.
Skulduggery’s job is to stop them and it happens so that he decides to take Stephanie under his wing and make her his apprentice in his fight against evil. Their relationship is utterly hilarious and ridiculous to a point but what can you expect from a walking, talking skeleton?
The very idea of Skulduggery’s character is extremely original and befitting the crazy but amazing plot and the dynamics of the world Landy paints. I found myself giggling on many occasions and even identifying with Stephanie which is strange since I haven’t been a twelve year old for a long time 😀 She is surprisingly mature for her age and it is one little badass when she later accepts this new world and lunges into it willingly, eager to learn magic and turn into a warrior just like Skulduggery.
And if those two characters are not enough to make you eager to open that book we meet many more like China Sorrows (magically beautiful, making anyone fall in love with her at first sight; also, questionable loyalties) and Tanith Low (a master swords-woman who can kick your ass before you can say a Damn!) and of course Nefarian Serpine, the evil sorcerer who uses necromancy to achieve his goals and tries, on multiple occasions, to kill both Stephanie and Skulduggery.
All in all, this book is what you would call a page-turner. I would happily read this to my child(if I had one) and I can just as well enjoy it myself. The humor is ageless and the characters are so funny and entertaining that you forget at times that you are following around a twelve-year old. For some of you the lack of romantic element may be a minus but in this instance it is properly replaced by the countless adventures and well-devised plot.
It is an easy-going, fun-time book that anyone would enjoy no matter their age. For that and for making me laugh so many times I’ll give it 5/5.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Skulduggery Pleasant?