The first two books in the Dark Lord trilogy were hugely entertaining, and the third concluding part does not disappoint. It follows on neatly from 'A Fiend in Need' with a new and altogether more dire threat to Dirk and his friends. The characters feel well rounded and familiar by now and this story does not shy away from making all of them more complex. The story progresses along an exciting pace and feels well thought out. As before there is occasional use esoteric phrases, but that fits in with the Dirk character and taps in to the fantasy vibe. Besides children need to learn new things and delight in repeating new strange phrases that they pick up.
My favourite aspect of all the books is the exploration of the nature of good and evil. My own children usually talk in terms of 'goodies' and 'baddies', as kids do. Dark Lord really digs deep in to this and shows how people are not just good/evil, instead it's all about your actions and how they affect people. It's not subtle, for adults at least, but it is clear, though provoking and above all funny. In fact I think the way these books explore this theme they should be made key reading in RE/PSCHE lessons in schools. My 7yr old has a greater understanding of this now (and I can think of some firebrand US politicians that could do with learning some things from this!).
So back to Eternal Detention - funny, thought provoking, exciting, and a damn fine read. In the same vein of family animated movies these days it's something adults will enjoy as much as the kids they are reading with. If I have one criticism it's that it's too short. Quite a bit shorter than the first two and as a result the story feels a little hurried (I almost dropped a star for that). It has a feel of a book that's had a publishers editorial knife to it. Do they feel that kids don't get a sense of satisfaction from longer books? Or that big books scare them off? Is it to save paper and shipping costs? Luckily it's still a damn fine story enjoyable from ages 7 to 70. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!