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Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) Hardcover – 2 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; First British Edition edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007241615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007241613
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derek Landy lives near Dublin. Before writing his children's story about a sharply-dressed skeleton detective, he wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous horror film. "I think my career-guidance teacher is spinning in her grave," he says, "or she would be if she were dead."

Product Description


"It has an amazing plot and well-drawn characters. It's a fun, fast fantasy that is hard to put down." Families magazines

'Hugely enjoyable – a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud

'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope Landy revisits these characters.'
Philip Ardagh, Guardian

'A gripping debut.'
Phil Hogan, Observer

'Skulduggery Pleasant serves up a thoroughly satisfying blend of humour, magic and adventure. Once you've met Stephanie and Skullduggery, you'll be clamouring for a sequel.' Rick Riordan

"A remarkably accomplished debut with wonderful dialogue."
Robert Dunbar, Irish Times

"[Landy's] fight scenes are perfectly pitched. His characters are exceptionally well drawn and delightfully colourful… Reading [this book] is like riding a rollercoaster.” Irish Independent

"Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages… With writing of this standard, a rattling plot and definite potential for cross-over appeal, it's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired." Irish Mail on Sunday

"Humour and magic combine in this thrilling adventure."
Waterstone's Books Quarterly

"…people in the book world are raving about this book."
Glasgow Herald

"It's pacy, it's funny, it's irreverent. The relationship between Skulduggery and Stephanie is tremendously strong. Stephanie is a splendid character – blunt, logical and outspoken… We enjoyed Skkulduggery Pleasant. Muchly. Roll on volume two!" The Book Bag

"A rip-roaring adventure." Irish Sunday Independent

"Full of black humour, super powers, mysteries, murder and mayhem." Carousel

Book Description

And he’s the good guy

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My eight year old daughter chose this as the book she wanted to take on holiday with us for bed time reading. Her teacher is reading it to her class at school and she wanted to know what happened while she was away. I have to say I was dubious to start with, but was as hooked as she was after a couple of chapters.

It's a very well written, incredibly fast paced roller coaster of a book with action on almost every page. You really want to get through it as fast as possible because you just have to know what happens next.

It concerns a twelve year old girl, Stephanie Edgely, who is left a fortune by her crime writing uncle in his will. At the will reading she meets Skulduggery Pleasant, who turns out to be a detective who is also a skeleton with supernatural powers. Stephanie is drawn inexorably into Skulduggery's dangerous world and comes face to face with a truly evil villain, Nefarious Serpine, whose mission is of course to end the world as we know it. Skulduggery and Stephanie team up to try and stop him.

Despite the focus being on action the plot is tight and the characters are well drawn. It clearly isn't just a gratuitious slug fest, and there are some highly comical moments amongst what are some very dark moments.

I would say that I think this may be slightly too dark for the average eight year old, and I'm glad I read it with my daughter. I'd be happier recommending it to tens and ups. Having said that she can't wait to read the sequel, and it's almost a dead cert she'll get it for her upcoming birthday, because neither can I!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Rutter on 16 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Skulduggery Pleasant is the debut novel by Derek Landy, and on this evidence I believe he should have many successful books ahead of him. He tells the tale of a wise-cracking skeleton detective, who befriends a young girl called Stephenie Edgley when her uncle is murdered. They are from then drawn into a world of magic and mystery and uncover a plot by the leading dark wizard to bring back old Gods and murder all those without magic.

The plot moves at breakneck speed, with sparkling dialogue between Skulduggery and Stephenie. It is easy to follow and twists many cliches in the pursuit of entertainment. The skeletal detective at the heart of the novel is by far the best part of it all - never less than interesting, witty and good-humoured. I would greatly enjoy reading more adventures involving him.

Stephenie is resourceful, brave and cool-headed - a fine role model for girls who pick up this book. In fact, the strength of these two characters cause the others to fall into their shadow and the secondary characters are never truly fleshed out to the point where you would care about them.

I also have complaints about the bad guy who, despite my earlier words, is terribly cliched. He is paper-thin in terms of characterisation, never really gives reason for his motives, and is used more for comedy effect than tense moments.

It is easy to see that Landy has a background in martial arts because his fight scenes are effective and efficiently-written, showing us clearly how they would play out.

Lastly, I would comment that the system of magic, while unoriginal, shows signs of being used to a greater extent in novels to follow.

Altogether this is a blast of a debut novel, setting the scene in an exciting manner for more tales of Skulduggery Pleasant.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book my a friend of mine and she lent it to me to read, two days later I returned it too her and begged for the second in the series! When it's not action packed it's witty and genius, hard to put down and a real page turner. So now I find myself buying all the books for my own collection, I love them so much.

This may be for teenagers aged 11-15 but I stared reading the series at aged 17 and still found them brilliant and now at 20 I still have to have the newest book on preorder and read it in under a week. Derek Landy sure knows how to write well.

This book is perfect for boys, girls, of many ages, all that is needed is a love of adventure, mystery, and magic!

This comes well recommended from me and my friends!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacie @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first time I came across Skulduggery Pleasant I was pregnant and at a friends house searching for something to do while my other half and said friend watched football. I hadn't brought a book and the only one around that interested me had a picture of a skeleton on the front, naturally I was intrigued. However it wasn't until this year that I came across it again, in the form of Amanda raving about it. I decided to give it a go because of just how much she loved it, but at the same time I was a little put of because I was scared I wouldn't like the series that was so loved by one of my favourite bloggers. I am excited to say that though I may not have liked the first book as much as Amanda, I found myself hooked very early on.

This book is so wonderfully unique and is packed full of adventure, but for me the biggest focal point was the blossoming friendship between Skulduggery and Stephanie . The first time they meet is at the will reading of Stephanie's uncle Gordon. Skulduggery was a friend of uncle Gordon for a long time, helping him do research for some of his best selling fantasy books, and after meeting his niece he seems to connect instantly with her and even goes on to save her life. After an attack at her uncles house, Stephanie finds out that not only is everything her uncle wrote about based on something real, but her new found friend is a skeleton held together by magic. However before she can get used to everything, Skully heads out on a new adventure and case, one that like it or lump it he's got a new sidekick for.

As far as the characters go we have the very wity and smart Skulduggery. Through out the book he makes no secret that he's unhappy at first to have a apprentice. But he's fiercely loyal and protects the people close to him to no ends.
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