Warning!! – This review contains spoilers for Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy.
With the 10th book coming in June, I thought it was time to start my re-read of the Skulduggery Pleasant series just to make sure that I remembered everything and am ready for all the adventure and magic of the new books.
I also wanted to pick up all the small items that could be included in the new books, such as characters mentioned or other things mentioned in the first 11 books (this includes The Maleficent seven & Armageddon Outta Here).
I had such a nostalgic feeling starting this book, I felt like I was back in 2007 reading it for the first time, it’s surprising how many small things I had forgotten take place in the first book. Many times while reading I was saying ‘oh my goodness! I totally forgot that happened!’ The last time I read this book was in 2014 before The Dying of the Light was released. But as I have the worst memory ever I knew I would need to re-read the series to get all the small points in my brain.
So let’s start!
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he’ll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That’s right, they’re the heroes.
Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle’s most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.
So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.
If you are after a full plot summary I would recommend this one. It tells you everything you need to know if you don’t have time to re-read the series.
The first book has so many great scenes, if I had the choice I would just say the whole book. But I can’t so let’s have a look at a few scenes that are close to my heart.
The first scene I love is from Chapter 16. This scene isn’t funny or memorable for the action, but to me it is an important scene in the series. This scene is when Stephanie Edgley chooses her taken name Valkyrie Cain.
After Skulduggery is taken and China has used Stephanie’s name to control her so she will not go and get help, Stephanie is in a dilemma she needs to go get help but China has prevented it by controlling her. Stephanie is frustrated and while healing some of her wounds her taken name dawns on her and with it China’s control over her is gone. Stephanie breaks into China’s apartment to get Ghastly’s address and is caught by China who tries to use her name against her again but with her name protected she can’t be controlled and walks out the apartment, but not before introducing herself to China.
“Before you go, will you do me the honour of introducing yourself?”
“Of course,” Stephanie said right before she walked out of the apartment. “My name is Valkyrie Cain.”
I believe this scene is important to the series as it is this point where Stephanie is now fully involved in this secret world of magic. She has taken a name and is now on her way to save Skulduggery with the help of her new friends.
The other scene I love to death includes two of my favourite characters, that is Stephanie (Valkyrie) and Tanith Low.
This scene takes place in Chapter 25. In this scene Skulduggery, Ghastly, Tanith and Stephanie have gone to a warehouse looking for clues as to what Nefarian Serpine has planned and how to stop him. While there they split up to search the large warehouse for clues, Tanith and Stephanie breaking off together to search.
As soon as these two are along together they talk and joke with each other quietly, at one point Tanith covers a laugh with a cough and gets asked if she has found anything by Skulduggery, to which she responds with “No, sorry. I thought I had, but, no, it turned out to be, uh…more floor.”
At this Skulduggery leaves them to it but Stephanie is holding back laughter and with Tanith trying to do the same mutters “cow” at Stephanie which sends her over the edge laughing out loud.
Tanith then steps away from Stephanie and trying to keep professional yells at Skulduggery “Skulduggery, she’s not being professional!” before she falls to her knees laughing as well leaving Skulduggery and Ghastly just staring at them confused as to what is happening.
The reason I love this scene is because it shows what the group will become and even though Stephanie is only 12 they don’t treat her like a child. Tanith is open with Stephanie and as a result they will become close friends, like sisters even.
Like I said there are so many good scenes that I wish I could just say the whole book is my favourite scene, but I will be honest to get the full effect of how great these scenes are you should read the book.
Being the first book in an amazing series there are so many great quotes. I hate that I have to narrow it down to just a few.
“Doors are for people with no imagination” Skulduggery to Stephanie- Page 133
“Where are your oh-so-clever taunts now, detective?”
Skulduggery struggled against the grip of a dozen hands. “You’ve got big ears,” he managed to say, before he was pulled even further, into the wall, and then he was gone. –Nefarian Serpine taunting Skulduggery- Page 349
“I’m placing you under arrest for murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and, I don’t know, possibly littering. – Skulduggery to Nefarian Serpine –Page 361
Skulduggery Pleasant is such a great book and I loved re-reading it, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series again and then get my hands on the 10th book in June.
What are your favourite scenes and quotes from Skulduggery Pleasant? I would love to know!
Rating: 5/5 stars- Amazing! I loved it!
Happy reading book lovers!