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4.8 out of 5 stars165
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on 25 April 2010
Skulduggery Pleasant:Dark Days is the fourth book in Skulduggery Pleasant series. Dark Days starts off the second trilogy in the series. The book starts off with a bad guy Dreylan Scarab being released from prison and Valkyrie missing Skulduggery. But there's a bright side, because Valkyrie and gang have found the one item that will get skulduggery back, his skull. The owner of the skull is contacted by Valkyrie's new 'friend' Caelan. When they get there they realize the skull is a fake. Now they have to get the skull, get Skulduggery and stop some old villeins from destroying the Sanctuary before Sunday's big game.

This book is brilliant in all ways even the romantic bits! Valkyrie's having a bit of boy trouble(very funny).
We've got some new heroes, some new villeins and a lot of people who want revenge. This book is the best yet in the series. A ten-out-of-ten, hilarious, fast, pacey, action-packed book. Recommend for 12-15 year olds.
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Ohhh, How I adore Derek Landy. His books are a pure piece of escapism with wit, sarcasm and irony thrown in for good measure. I find his writing absolutely hysterical (sarcasm is kind of my thing *grins*)
You should always read his dedications as they are pure genius, they have never disappointed in making me laugh like a hyena, lol. J and I have come to the conclusion the Skulduggery Pleasant is the fictional manifestation of Derek Landy himself, enabling him to say and do exactly what he chooses within his imagination.
I must warn you that the Skulduggery Pleasant books are not stand alone, you have to read the previous books in order to fully appreciate the characters and their interactions. All the characters are extremely well developed and have the most marvellous personality flaws you will ever come across.
As the central female character, Stephanie/Valkyrie, matures the storyline develops to accommodate the stages of life that would accompany aging. An example of this would include the development of the love triangle between Stephanie/Valkyrie, Caelon and Fletcher. The depth of the relationship between Stephanie/Valkyrie and Skulduggery is still unfathomable, adding an extra dimension to the storyline.
There is an HUGE plot twist within this book, so thank goodness I only have to wait until September for the next installment, I think I would go mad if I had to wait until next year :)
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on 13 May 2010
What's not to love. A Skeleton Detective, A Girl with Superpowers, Sorcerers, Witches, Changlings, Vampires and of course, the de rigeur...."END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT" scenario. Just an average day for Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain. This is the fourth in the series, yes, you could read this without having read the other three, but why would you want to? Get the other three as well! Apparently there is talk that the book is to be made into a film and Bruce Willis is mooted for the voice of Skulduggery. A book that appeals to kids and adults alike. Bedtime stories just got better...
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on 4 September 2011
Compared to the others, i thought this was a HELL of alot better! When i start reading a series i have to finish it, whether i liked the books or not. The first Skullduggery book was very good, although i thought the others were tedious, and boring. Too much action made it seem like Skullduggery and Valkrie were invincible, which meant there was not alot of tension. Bish-bash-bosh... world saved.

In this book however, i think the storyline was mildly better, and the ending felt more climatic, tense, and epic.
Romance takes place alot more in this book (meaning, there is no romance at all in the others). Romance always makes a story more atmospheric, and in Dark Days, it certainly makes the story alot more emotional. At the same time, i think the romance was a bit flat.

Overall: good book, improved since the previous sequels. Better story, and character involvement. Better atmosphere, although, less is more in some cases, and this book (and the previous ones), it could lose some of the action and focus on other things. I dont know what, but...yeah!
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on 5 September 2015
This book is, essentially, the rescue of the series’ central character from the proverbial Gates of Hell. It takes our Valkyrie (Stephanie) eighty-two pages to get to where she needs to be in order to achieve this particular KPI, but once there, no force on heaven or earth will stop her from saving the ’man’ who rescued her from a life of quintessential domesticity, and complete and utter boredom. And school. And homework. Or she will no doubt die trying.

The bad guys are taking shape, resting in the shadows and making plans to gang up on the good guys. And the good girls, too, of course. New weapons have been developed, and Mr Landy has certainly put his thinking cap on when he came up with the first new ’toy’ of the book. A ’Desolation Engine’ no less. ’Whats that?’ I hear you ask. Well, in answer, I need to quote page 51: '... There’s no explosion or big bang, just the instant disintegration of every single thing in its radius.’ That’s all. *grins*

The book is not really funny, not like the early chapters of the series. And you wouldn’t expect it to be funny, either, at least not until the heroes are reunited. Assuming they will be, naturally. And they are, in due course, and the tone of the book picks up considerably. In fact, the literary highlight of the entire series comes on page 132:

’...Shakespeare is a happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance...’

This may not seem amusing in this review, but in the context of the book’s plot it is enough to make you laugh. Out loud, even.

Anyway, back to the plot. Sub plots abound. But first things first. The Skull Man is in trouble, and he needs rescuing. Assuming that happens, (and it does) then there is the continued threat of the return of THE FACELESS ONES, and the problems that will create, as well as the constant threat of violence and mayhem against the persons that comprise the good guys.

And so I give this book a very solid four stars. It doesn’t zing. It’s too dark for that. DARK DAYS is an aptly named memento to friendship and honour and standing up to the forces of evil and being determined not to blink first.

If the ending is as good as Lord Rumour indicates, I will let you know. Watch this space if you are keen.

BFN Greggorio!
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on 28 October 2014
"Valkyrie, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your friend is most likely dead."
"Of course he's dead. He's a skeleton."
Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, missing, taken, held hostage by the homicidal gods known as The Faceless Ones.
Valkyrie Cain will go to any length to get him back – including risking her own life.
But meanwhile criminals that Skulduggery and Valkyrie put away are gathering. Their plan? To destroy the Sanctuary – and Valkyrie Cain.
Things are looking grim.
Grimmer: the mysterious and dangerously powerful Darquesse, whose only goal is to destroy the world... And on top of this, they can trust no one at the Sanctuary.
Yup, things are looking pretty damn dark...
If only they had Skulduggery to help them... Cue foolish planning, now...
God, I adore this series! I've seriously forgotten how much I love it. Even on my second or third reading, it's just so damn good! Dark Days was action-packed, hilarious and just as magical as all Skulduggery Pleasant novels. I literally can never get enough of Skulduggery and co, and Dark Days really didn’t disappoint me – in fact, it was better than the three that came before it, which I thought impossible. How Derek Landy always manages to completely outdo himself with each new book is beyond me, but he does, and it's awesome. Also, totally addictive. I can't wait to continue my reread in the big run-up to the final book! But God knows I'm going to be a snivelling mess by the time it's done!
Ok, Valkyrie is getting to be soo awesome! She's growing up a lot, you can just see the difference, like her getting crushes. I was really impressed by how natural and subtle Derek made her growth feel – Val really does seem so much like a real person, albeit one with magic, razor-sharp wit and more strength than a million elephants. And even though I know where she's going, I can't wait to see it!
Skulduggery: I love him so much. I really wish people would stop saying mean things about him (in the book) 'cause I adore him. He's funny, bonkers, snarky and smart and is my favourite ever detective – and this includes Sherlock from the BBC TV show, so that's sayin' something!
I loved Fletcher too – he was so cute and obsessed with his hair! However, I always see Jedward whenever I think of him... Don't ask... Tanith was, as always, brilliant (I do so love the kickass girls in this series) – as was Ghastly (brilliant, I mean, not a kickass girl). I also really like China, even if she is a bit... creepy... Oh, and Finbar is amazing – that guy kills me each and every time!
The villains in Dark Days were epic. You had the Revengers Club (or Vengeance Brigade, depending on who you ask), who were made up of familiar and new faces, and then there was the mysterious Darquesse... My favourite (though I probably shouldn’t have a fave villain) was Billy-Ray, purely because he cracks me up. But all the villains were pretty awesome.
And damn, I love the writing in these books – the dialogue in particular! The characters never lack a snarky thing to say, some witty and brilliant comeback. I love that. I also love how amazing Derek's writing is: reading his books is like watching a film inside my head, which is awesome. These books are just the perfect escape for reluctant readers, in my opinion!
As for that plot... all the twists, the turns, the action, the murder, the excitement... It's enough to hook a girl for eternity. And as for the ending: cliff-hanger alert! I mean, I saw it coming this time, but the first time I ever read Dark Days: serious jaw-drop moment.
And I really quickly have to mention the world in these books, because it is awesome – seriously, awesome! Magic, monsters, mayhem, awesomeness… I want to move to this world and become a sorcerer so badly!
I also want to say how much I appreciate Derek writing to please everyone. There's magic, science, adventure, suspense, humour and friendship in this book, appealing to a wide audience. I also love how it's not aimed at boys or girls. I mean, Val's a girl but Skulduggery plays just as big a part. Boys and girls alike love this series – and some not-so-boys-or-girls too – and they're all so very right to. Skulduggery Pleasant is one hell of a series and everyone, everywhere ought to pick it up. Right now. I'll be waiting.
Oh, but before you go I want to and this: Dark Days was dark in the most delicious way. It left me wanting more, as always, and I seriously can't recommend it - all of the books actually - enough.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go read Mortal Coil and those of you who haven't read Skulduggery Pleasant need to go read that ASAP.
Happy reading!
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It's been 6 months since the events of THE FACELESS ONES and Skulduggery Pleasant remains trapped with them in a parallel dimension. The Sanctuary has given him up as dead and refuse to give Valkyrie Cain any assistance but she and her friends - China Sorrows, Fletcher Renn, Ghastly Bespoke and Tanith Low have been executing her own plan. If they can track down Skulduggery's original head, then they can use it to open a doorway to save him. But while they're trying to rescue Skulduggery there are other forces at play that have bigger plans - plans that threaten to bring down the Sanctuary and take revenge on Valkyrie, Skulduggery and everything and everyone that they hold dear ...

Be warned - this 4th book in Landy's excellent series is a very dark and disturbing story, which starts off scary and gets worse as Landy puts everyone the reader cares about into harm's way.

Valkyrie's willing to do anything and everything to save her friend, even though only she is sure that he can still be saved. She's a very different girl to the one encountered in the first book - determined and strong-minded, she's come up with the plan by herself and has been doing anything to execute it - including Necromancy lessons from Solomon Wreath. As always, I enjoyed the interaction between Valkyrie and her reflection who's living the normal life that Valkyrie should have - the doubts and slow realisation as to what she's missing out on is touchingly depicted and Landy promises a great deal more from this in future books.

It takes a while for Skulduggery to make an appearance and when he does, he's clearly been affected by the torture inflicted on him by the Faceless Ones but at the same time, he's managed to pick up a load of new and very nifty tricks. His interaction with Valkyrie runs through the core of the book and their friendship always feels very real and is all the more effective because of it.

The side story about Dreylan Scarab is well put together and sees a host of familiar baddies coming back to the story while also advancing the overall back arc to the series. A storyline involving hapless zombies had me laughing out loud.

All in all this was a brilliant read with an explosive ending that has me desperate to read the next in the series.
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on 8 May 2010
I was a little worried that, with so many character and incredible plot lines, Derek Landy would make book 4 a messy one. But there was no need to fear! It's by far the best in the series, with just as much action, character development, and amazing dialogue as all the books before it. There hasn't been a YA book filled with this much magical goodness since Harry Potter 7.
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on 12 April 2010
This book is one of the most amazing books ever! It is a very fast paced book and you can lose track of the many characters the book offers. It starts when Skulduggery is trapped in a porthole with the 'faceless ones' and the pressure is on Valkarie to bring him back. Some evil characters from the previous books return to get their revenge back on the sanctuary and on Skulduggery's team. But Valkarie is on the top of the list. If you want to find out more buy this very very amazing book !!!!!!!!!!!
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on 6 May 2010
My daughter and I have totally enjoyed all of Derek Landy's Skukduggery Pleasant Books and Dark Days is one of his best. We had fun bets goings as to what was going to happen in the book and we both "won." I got a cleaner house and my daughter is getting better grades. We can't wait for his next book.
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