Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy; Illustrated by Tom Percival

I do try to not judge a book by it’s cover but I have to say I would never have picked this up for the girls to read. It just looks really scary. But my friend’s daughter loves them so I’ve given it a go.

I was pleasantly (see what I did there) surprised at the beginning of the book. It starts with a family death and the introduction of a great female teenage character who goes on to befriend Skulduggery Pleasant. There is very little connection with the front cover in the first few chapters and I was hopeful it would be funny and exciting without being too terrifying. Unfortunately it didn’t stay that way and a scary attack on the main character happens without any real build up and sets the tone for the book for me.

17635402_10154460536947919_4968645771173108947_oThe characters are great, as are the amazing names they have been given. I mean ‘Valkyrie Cain’ is just fantastic. The plot is fast paced and magical, but it’s also really quite dark. If you like superheroes or graphic novels this would be a great recommendation, but I’m obviously a bit of a wuss because the violence grated on me. I’m also clearly in a minority because there are ten books in the series and is likely to be made into a film.

I am really interested to see what my eldest makes of it as she loves magic, but I suspect might not be as keen on how intense the fight scenes are – of which there are many. It’s categorised as teenage fiction/horror so I guess it fulfils that brief. However it’s not a difficult read at all and judging by the quotes on the book cover it’s being read by much younger children than perhaps it was originally aimed at. It didn’t give me nightmares, but I suspect it might for someone else!

 

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