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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: skulduggery pleasant

I began Skulduggery Pleasant one night, after my power had gone out during a particularly rough storm, which was a fitting enviroment for the novel, I felt. I read it aloud to my mother, and together we entered the world of Stephanie Edgley and didn’t look back.

Stephanie Edgley is your average twelve-year old girl who attends school, listens to music, and feels like she doesn’t quite belong in her quiet and normal life. Oh, and her best friend is a talking fire-conjuring skeleton named Skulduggery Pleasant.

Derek Landy’s debut novel Skulduggery Pleasant begins with a frenetic pace and doesn’t let up for the length of the book. A worthy contender with the likes of Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket’s works, it’s the tale of a hidden family secret, a stolen sceptre, powerful magic, and darkness unseen. The dialogue is fast and witty, and written very tongue in cheek. Landy’s style reminds me of a Christopher Moore for the younger set.

After the death of an author uncle, known for his tales of magic and darkness, Stephanie enters into his secret life led (reluctantly) by Skulduggery Pleasant. Landy’s character of Stephanie Edgely is a welcome addition to the children’s literature world. She’s headstrong yet determined, and the dialogue is completely accurate for a girl of her age. She’s a real child, still navigating the careful world between childhood fantasy and adult realizations.

Also notable is Skulduggery Pleasant. More than just a skeleton, he’s a complex character with a rich and carefully-crafted history. But Skulduggery is only one great part of the novel. The rest of the world is just as enchanting, with a tailor who crafts clothes unique to the wearer and nearly invincible, vampires, and tricky trolls, not to mention a peculiar Canary Car.

The novel captivates the reader from start to finish and is the promising start to a seven book series. The book is available in hardcover now from HarperCollins.

An excerpt is available on the book’s official site. Viewers can also read character profiles and an interview with the author, watch a video starring Skulduggery, listen to scary MP3s, and enhance their desktop with creepy wallpapers inspired by the novel.

Review copy provided by the publisher