Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant (#1)

Derek Landy 1

publisher: Harpercollins
published 2007
pages 384

Book (English)


Twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley inherits her uncle Gordon’s estate and is promptly attacked on her first solo visit to the property. A mysterious skeleton-detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, comes to her rescue, explaining that he thinks Gordon was murdered and that she may be next. The two join forces and set off to solve the crime in a series of magical adventures that take them into a world filled with ancient evil creatures, including Nefarian Serpine, who seeks the Scepter of the Ancients and the infinite power it will bring him. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ first book in a series
+ a fun, fast-paced, thrilling detective story with a lot of magic
+ a skeleton-detective – what more do you need really
+ likeable main characters

My Opinion:

Skulduggery Pleasant is a skeleton-detective/magician, who is a friend of Stephanie’s beloved uncle. Her uncles death was sudden and left Stephanie with a huge inheritance and a lot of problems. Someone breaks into Stephanie’s new house, threatens her, and attempts to hurt her. And then Skulduggery comes to the rescue. Suddenly the girl is dragged into a world that she didn’t know existed and she is determined to find out why her uncle had to die.

The story was fast-paced, thrilling, and fun. It was an easy read that I could not put down. The characters were very likeable, nothing annoyed me about them (the first time in quite a while). Stephanie was an enjoyable character, who was not bratty or self-involved. She was aware of all the things she was not able to do, but that did not stop her from trying. Landy was able to make this feature of his female protagonist a loveable one. Skulduggery Pleasant was, well, he was sarcastic, little too brave, and stubborn. Again not annoying and stubbornness can really be annoying on other characters.

The world creation was interesting and clever as it left me wanting more. The writing was fluent, effortless and easy as it should be for a middle grade book, but yet not too easy to be boring. Skulduggery’s sarcasm was lighthearted and entertaining, yet not too complex so it could still be understood by the young readers. Yet, still sarcastic enough for the grown readers to make me smile. It was just right. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I will definitely continue the series.

Bottom Line:

Fun and entertaining magician/detective story with great world creation, likeable characters, and a good story line.


rating 4


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