If magic’s a disease, the seventh book in the ‘Skulduggery Pleasant series has had an epidemic outbreak on the level of the Black Death. With ‘mortals’ being infected left, right and centre, the problem would be big enough without a door opening to a whole new alternate dimension of reality, not to mention the imposing threats of the other sanctuaries, ready to take charge if the problems are not dealt with soon.
‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is a good way to describe the problem when a group of teen-agers becomes infected by magic. If a gang of bullies isn’t bad enough, a gang of bullies packed with the punch of fifty sorcerers is enough to make anyone turn on their heels.
Ohhhh, you are wicked!
Having all of this on their hands, action and adventure is spreading like wildfire with our characters constantly primed for a fight, whether it’s with an eight foot yeti or a crazed maniac from a different dimension, the book still has space for the witty banter between the characters that makes boring moments humorous and the book its own.
Although this book is great, you can’t help but feel a bit claustrophobic with all of the problems that have to be solved overlapping with each other, instead of a simple conflict to resolution. Diverse plots are great, but it is a bit overwhelming to have about three books worth’s of books all in one.
The good thing about that is that there’s never a dull moment and practically each chapter ends with some sort of a jaw-dropping cliff-hanger. It’s almost impossible to put this book down and the fact that it’s the biggest book in the series yet, it’s possible to read for a three hour block without stopping, until you finally reach one of the scarce breaks between each adventure.
SPOILER ALERT- the next paragraph is highly confidential, unless you’ve already read the other books or are just one of those more inquisitive readers ie can’t bear not knowing a secret because I’m going to be mentioning one of the big bombshells that was let off in dark days. The ‘bomb’ was artfully left till the end of the book before it was detonated and then it was like, ‘Ooh, everything’s fine at the end, la di da di BOOOOOM!’
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED OF THE SPOILER, READ OWN AT YOUR OWN COST
From this point on, Padawan now no longer accepts any angry letters/emails/posts saying she has spoiled the whole series. Instead she accepts fan mail and/or cheques
The bomb that told you Valkyrie was Darquesse let off enough shrapnel to last even now, three books later. This time it proves to be more of a blessing then a curse, though, when Darquesse saves Valkyrie’s life several times.
At the end of this book, you have so many Valkyries that you have to make a list to keep count. You have Stephanie the normal girl, you have Valkyrie the necromancer and Elementalist, you have Darquesse the person that supposedly destroys the world, you have Valkyrie the death bringer who supposedly saves the world and last but not least, you have Valkyrie the reflection sort of like a mirror image (literally) of Valkyrie who lives out her normal life for her and is becoming more and more alarmingly like a human. At the end of this book, you have another one of those bombs that sets of this sort of alarm in your head and makes you desperate to read the next book when it comes out. I won’t tell you what it is, though, you have to get through 607 pages of solid words to get to it first. A good book to put on your Christmas list and hope Santa has a good stock of Derek Landy to take you through the Christmas break.
(pub: HarperCollin’s Children’s Books. 576 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-00748-022-7)
check out website: www.harpercollinschildrens.com/