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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Exciting. A Real Page Turner
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...
Published on 24 April 2008 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun to read, but that's about it
I've heard so much about these books that I was decidedly nervous when it came to actually reading them. The promises had been huge. Far too huge in fact. As things are, 'Skulduggery Pleasant' was good fun to read. The characters were engaging and I enjoyed their rather flippant conversation and shenanigans. The actual world building all felt very familiar, essentially...
Published 23 months ago by J. Gardner


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprising, 10 April 2012
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This review is from: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) (Paperback)
I was recommended these books by a friend and was pleasantly surprised when, by the end of the first sentence, I was hooked.

These books sound a bit childish when you look at them from one point of view: (spoiler alert) a skeleton detective who does magic tries to save the world with the help of his trusty sidekick and a couple of trusted acquaintances. In practice, it is in no way childish, and even if it was, I loved it! They really amuse you, but not with simple jokes, but well-constructed characters who have a subtle sense of humour. This instalment has a fast-paced plot which really keeps you glued to the page. You can also begin to see a well grafted idea to the entire series developing as the series progresses, with reference to clues in earlier books.

If you want me to find something bad to say about these books, come back later, because I can't find one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skeleton, detective, joker - all round good guy, 5 Jun. 2007
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a brilliant book. Having just finished it, I am almost sorry it had to come to an end. Girls, don't be put off by the cover, this book can easily be enjoyed by you too. It is also perfect for younger readers and those who can't really say that we are 'young adults' anymore! I am in my late twenties, and I enjoyed it immensely.

The story follows Stephanie, a 12 year old, whose uncle passes away. From his funeral, Stephanie spots a stranger - someone who wears a long coat, a ha, a scarf wrapped around his face, and a pair of sunglasses. Then, at the reading of her uncle's will, Stephanie sees this stranger again. It becomes apparent that he had something to do with her uncle. As time passes, Stephanie learns more about her uncle, and the world around her, than she ever expected - it seems that all along, magic was never far away from Stephanie, if onyl she had known how to look into the right places.

The stranger in the coat, hat and scarf, is Sklduggery Pleasant. Now a detective by trade, he is one of the most original characters in children's literature around. For, Skulduggery is dead - a skeleton, to be precise. It is when Stephanie realises just how different Skulduggery is that she begins to become involved in another world and she realises that her uncle was hiding more secrets than she ever could have imagined. For the new world she is thrown into is one where vampires, Hollow Men and secret wars threaten the safety of us all.

What I loved about this book is the originality - although there are vampires, for example, they are very unlike the ones you usually find within the pages of books.

Landy has done a great job at characterisation aswell - both Stephanie and Skulduggery are well rounded characters, with the potential to develop them further if there are any sequels (which surely there will be).

What I also liked was the underlying humour to the book. There were times when I laughed out loud; this is a great achievement, as it helps to lighten the mood sometimes for younger readers (the older ones can appreciate it oo).

All in all, this is a fantastic book. I am sure it will be the beginning of a new phenomenon in the literature world. Recommended, to young, old and both sexes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clumsy, 26 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr JR Griffiths (Ascot, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this overall - it moves along at pace and the initial introduction of the characters and world were enough to make me want to continue reading to the end.

But, the writing often felt very strained and, especially in the later action scenes, read more like a clinical description of a film fight scene rather than trying to invoke any sense of real involvement.

It felt very much like wanting to recapture the Harry Potter feel of a normal child discovering an impossible and amazing new world, but without the world or characters having the depth to support it.

The character names are excellent, however. China Sorrows, Ghastly Bespoke, Skulduggery Pleasant, Mister Bliss... I'll probably pick up the next titles just to see who else turns up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent, 18 Sept. 2011
what a fantastic read, i got into skulldugery through a friends child and what a brilliiant goldmine this is, i just can't get enough of the adventures of skulldugery and his friends, fab for adults aswell as kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny Bones, 14 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) (Paperback)
Stephanie Edgley's uncle is dead. While this normally wouldn't appear to be a precursor to a fantastical adventure that she has craved for her 12 years of age; it is this event that leads her to make acquaintance with a detective who just may be able to help her. A detective who's not all he seems. One that is actually ... dead. ... And a skeleton. And has a rather large quest he needs some help with.

And so a world of magic, danger, evil, shady characters and seriously cheesy one-liners and clichéd catchphrases awaits our young hero.

Skulduggery Pleasant is as marvellous as it is simple: there is nothing new here. At all. There are character traits that we've witnessed before, a good vs. evil plot line, a big scary baddie and a whole lot of fighting and shooting and betraying and saving-the-day ... ing. And although it is a rollercoaster ride, this is not Skulduggery Pleasant's strength. That lies within the simply delightful writing from Derek Landy: whimsical; concise; hard-hitting and engaging, this book is simply so much fun to read.

I've no doubt that its intended age group (9-12 year olds), will love it, but for someone who is a good couple of decades past this catchment (or, indeed, anyone), it is still a fantastic book.

There is only one small section of the book that I didn't love, however whether by design or mistake, all this section does is illustrate (to me at least), who the real star of the show is here. Once, um ... they, return, the grip this story has on you tightens again and never let's go - right through the fantastic final scene (and a perfect last 3 words).

I realise that I'm many years late to this party, and that all 11 (yes, eleven), books are now already released. But I think I perhaps couldn't have timed it better. Ten more books like this sounds pretty good to me.

Skulduggery Pleasant is the best book I've read in years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Skulduggery Pleasant - Derek Landy, 6 April 2010
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This review is from: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) (Paperback)
Skulduggery Pleasant - hmm... interesting name...

Wise-cracking detective - seen them before...

Powerful magician - seen them before too...

Sworn enemy of all evil - well, one would hope that everyone was, really...

Oh yes, and dead...

Um. Wait. Hang on a mo, did you just say "dead"?

Oh. Right. OK then. Just so we're clear.

Those were my first thoughts when I read the blurb for the first time. And about a second later, I decided that I wanted this book.

Good call.

Derek Landy fills his first novel with magic (both literally and metaphorically) and wonder and excitement. He writes with such skill that the chase scenes play like movies, the fight scenes feel epic, and even the little scenes with Skulduggery explaining something simple and rather exposititorial such as his death or the war with the evil forces of Nefarian Serpine and Mevolent feel so rich and powerful that you can't hep but get caught up and taken along for the rollercoaster ride that is this novel.

The cast of characters is relatively small, but by using names (and the concept of a taken name to explain them), we have characters like Ghasty Bespoke, the tailor, and Tannith Low, the troll-beheading and rather unfortunate in that she seems to have a target all over her body that means she gets mauled, gutted, impaled or otherwise horribly injured in every book, which gives us a clear idea of who everybody is as soon as the name is mentioned.

Landy fills his world with mumour and mischief as well, from trolls playing a game of Rumplestilskin to poking fun at Skulduggery's death to poking fun at Skuldiggery's speeches (hmm... quite a lot of poking fun at the dead guy actually...).

Overall, a fantastical masterpiece. Must get the rest of the series...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Name Is Valkyrie Cain, 15 April 2007
I thought this book was a lot of fun. A plot that twists and turns and keeps the reader entertained. Characters are strong and the relationship between Stephanie and Skulduggery is especially well done. Dialogue is excellent, it crackles along, ensuring the pace never flags.

There are some downsides. At times the novel reads more like a screenplay and parts of the story seem almost rushed, with elements thrown in but not always properly developed.

I'm sure Skulduggery Pleasant will be a hit with older children and teens. The author deserves success as he has come up with an original and intriguing character. But, I can't shake the feeling that the publishers have rushed this book out with the intention of establishing Skulduggery before a Harry Potter shaped hole opens up in the children's book market.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of a wonderful collection!, 8 April 2013
This review is from: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) (Paperback)
This book was lying on my book shelf for a few years. I was bored one day and needed something to do. So I picked this up from the shelf and opened up to the first page and ever since I've been an avid fan! This book opened so many doors in my imagination which I never even thought. It is a brilliant, pacy and subtly hilarious novel which puts a twist on the whole sense of magic and fantasy, all crammed tight into an adventurous selection of pages!
A minor masterpiece. And only the beginning!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Suberb mix of Magic, Humor - and Sharp Dressing., 16 Oct. 2012
By 
Grant Ramsay - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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I Stumbled upon this gem while idly browsing through Amazon's recommended Kindle books, and so glad I did!

Landy has created another new "magical subculture hidden from humans" type of world with new twists, and added a nicely-balanced dash of irreverent humor with it.

If you were a fan of "The Potter Boy", you will certainly enjoy this book.
If you were NOT a fan of the above, you will probably *really* enjoy this book!

The Young heroine in this case actually seems to be reasonably competent from the start, with glimpses of huge future potential and a refreshing lack of whining, while the characters around her are all well-fleshed out (if you can say that about a talking skeleton) and believable, even the villains.

As for the Hero of the title - A perfect creation. Wise-cracking while being tortured, cunning plans that usually consist of "lets see what happens", and the sharpest-dressed undead in town.

Magic without requiring to wave a twig around, excellent fight scenes you can really visualize, there is nothing not to like about this book.

Devoured this one in an evening, finished late into the night even knowing I would regret the lack of sleep at work next day.

Just off now to buy the rest of the series....
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5.0 out of 5 stars good start to a good sequel, 24 July 2011
This review is from: Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) (Paperback)
This review is based on all the books that Derek Landy has released so far- 1-5. I think his books are fantastic, and take my words as im fifteen and im reading books like these. Derek makes reading easy and enjoyable- for those kids who have to rent a book for school or if a parent wants them to read then chose skulduggery pleasent. I got excited reading his next book, then the next until number 5 (which I am reading now- absolutely fantastic!) I would've liked to have done a separate review for all 5 books, but because they are all the same standard, and brilliance, what is the point? I think that number 4 and 5 are the best ones so far- Derek has included more action, drama and suspense. Now I dont want to write a review this long, but I do want to say an important thing. For those wanting to read a completely different new book,just try and read skulduggery pleasent 1 and then work your way through. Trying and reading this book isn't difficult, rent the book from your local library if your not sure if you will like the book(s) or not. I think that now it is the summer holidays, it will be easier to read and I can still go out with my mates and have a nice time and read in the evening. My final sentences-enjoy reading it! And last but not least, everyone wants a laugh- so read this book
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Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1)
Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) by Derek Landy (Paperback - 31 Mar. 2007)
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