Title: Skullduggery Pleasant
Author: Derek Landy
Published: Harper Collins Children's Book, 2007
Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course).
Oh yeah. And dead.
Then there's his sidekick, Stephanie. She's… well, she's a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…
Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction.
Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.
When all hell breaks loose, it's lucky for Skulduggery that he's already dead. Though he's about to discover that being a skeleton doesn't stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there's anything Skulduggery hates, it's torture… Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.
Star parts: I always love it when a kid's book is recommended to me by a kid. The mother of the kid who 'lurves' these books said she thought it was a bit splat. So I thought I would take a wee look. Landy's writing style is funny. The majority of the characters are engaging, the story is definitely a page turner, and there's splat, but most people make it out alive... or they were already dead in the first place so it doesn't matter.
The story takes place in Dublin, but in a part that nobody pays too much attention to. Stephanie Edgely decides to join forces with Skullduggery to get to the bottom of her Uncle's mysterious death. What happens along the way is all very thrilling and imaginative like the clothes that protect her from the worst of the dangerous antics she gets up to...
Black clouds: But! You knew there was one coming right? There are pages and pages of witty reposte between Skullduggery and Stephanie. It doesn't serve to move the plot on and it seems like it was just included to show how witty Landry could be and to be perfectly honest I got bored with it. Secondly the characters I found the blossoming investigator Stephanie and Tanith Low a little similar.
Do I recommend it: But! (Oh look another one) The story was exciting. I wanted to read to the end. When the humour wasn't overdone and beaten to death it was funny. I can see why kids like it. I'm not going to say don't read it, I'm just going to say it wasn't my cup of tea. How's that?