by Derek Landy
My Rating: 5 peaches
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes. (goodreads description)
Wow, never have I fallen for a skeleton so hard and so fast. From the minute a friend began to read this book out loud to me, I knew I had to have it. I was laughing out loud just from the author's bio on the inside cover!
There is nothing I can say to make you understand how fantastic the writing in this book other than showing you.
It will make you laugh out loud, literally:
“What is it?' Stephanie whispered. 'That, my dear Valkyrie, is what we call a monster.' She looked at Skulduggery. 'You don't know what it is, do you?' 'I told you what it is, it's a horrible monster. Now shut up before it comes over here and eats us.”
"“This is your one chance. Tell me where the key is." "Okay." Serpine raised an eyebrow. "Really?" "No, only joking. Do your worst.”
"You are such a moron"
Don't be jealous of my genius"
Then there are moments of genuine seriousness and beauty:
“There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for. Serpine will have won only when there is no one left to stand against him. Until then, there is only the struggle, because tides do what tides do–they turn.”
“The world is bigger than you know, and scarier than you might imagine. The only currency worth anything is being true to yourself, and the only goal worth seeking is finding out who you truly are.”
Along with the A+ writing, Landy has created some completely original characters. No stereotypical hero versus villain here. You are never quite sure where each character stands, as most fit somewhere in a shade of grey in the whole good/evil spectrum. There are twists amidst all the action to make this a fast paced read and an excellent book to hook reluctant reads, especially boys!
I guess if your sense of humor is broken, you might not like this book :) It can be juvenile, but hey, it's a juvenile book! All in all, I didn't find any pits.
Violence- murder, descriptive fight scenes
Dysfunctional Families (nicely balanced by Stephanie's family)