I completed the first book in my 2012 reading challenge a couple of weeks ago, so I think it’s time I sat down and wrote a review on what I thought of it.
Skulduggery Pleasant is the first novel in the Young Adult series of the same name. It’s set around the city of Dublin follows the life of a young girl named Stephanie as she discovers that there’s a world of magic that exists alongside the regular mundane one. She soon teams up Skulduggery Pleasant, a wise-cracking, ass-kicking, hard-boiled detective who also happens to be a 200 year old skeleton and drives around in a 1954 Bentley. They’re soon off on a fairly epic journey to thwart the plans of an ancient sorcerer who plans to destroy the world, and what a journey it is.
I won’t delve too deeply into the story for fear of spoiling it for others, but it ends up being one of those YA series that can be enjoyed by people of any age. Despite the young age of the protagonist the dialogue never feels dumbed down or simplified, instead it’s really well written and the regular banter between Stephanie and Skulduggery is easily my favourite part of the series. Like some of the other YA series (The Hunger Games comes to mind) it’s not afraid to throw in the occasional scene of shockingly brutal violence, and the death rate can be quite high. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Game of Thrones, but don’t go into it expecting it to be a nice happy tale of someone learning magic, with death being a rare and jarring event.
I dislike the idea of ratings since they get so arbitrary, but I ended up giving this 4/5 stars on Goodreads so while I really enjoyed and plan to continue with the rest of the series, it’s not a story that will stop and make you think, or hyped up on adrenaline and desperate for more. But it’s still a damn good book and one I’ll recommend to anyone who might be even slightly interested in a new fantasy series.
edit: Not long after writing this I finished reading book3, The Faceless Ones and I was left absolutely stunned by the final act of the book. Not just the ending, which was pretty spectacular by itself, but the revelations that were made as the final puzzles were solved. It was truly amazing.