Warning!! – This review contains spoilers for Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy.
Don’t Lose Your Head
Just like the previous books, Dark days continues on with the Skulduggery Pleasant series in a new and amazing way. With a series as long you can sometimes encounter the same things over and over, but Derek does a great job at making the fourth book in the series just as fresh and interesting as the first.
In Dark Days we get some new characters as well as say hello to some old ones we love. New to the scene we have our Villain for the book Dreylan Scarab, who is determine to destroy anything and everything all because he was framed and sent to prison for the murder of a man he didn’t kill ( sure he killed hundreds of other people, but not that particular man). We also have the angsty Caelan, the mean and moody vampire boy (as Fletcher likes to call him) who assists Valkyrie in getting in touch with Chabon, the owner of Skulduggery Pleasant’s head, and other figures in the Vampire world.
There is one special person who makes his first appearance in this book and that is Anton Shudder! Anton is one of Skulduggery’s close friends who fought along his side during the war. Anton is such a mystery to begin with but as you read on you discover more and more of his amazing personality and why he is friends with Skulduggery. I love him so much!
We also get more of Solomon Wreath!!! That man is the sassiest necromancer alive who even in front of The High Priest will throw comments like this at Craven
“I thought we were going to have this conversation within the temple walls.”
“Walls have ears,” Craven announced pompously.
“No, they don’t,” Wreathe reminded him without gracing him with a glace. “You’re thinking of people.”
I have and always will love Solomon.
In Dark days we get a new threat mentioned, one that will mould the series and change everything. That threat is a sorcerer called Darquesse, no one knows anything about her but all the physics are getting visions that she will be the one to destroy the world. As someone who has read the series before I am so excited to get further into these books and re live the emotions that fill the pages.
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior. Oh yes. And dead.
Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him. But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans. The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it. Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands. These are dark days indeed.
If you would like 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 book.
There were so many scenes that I loved but I promise I will not have this one as long as in my Faceless Ones review, because man that was long!
The first scene is from chapter 13, well really the whole section where Valkyrie has gone through the portal and is over in The Faceless Ones dimension but a section from chapter 13 had me laughing so much.
After Valkyrie has found skulduggery in a cave and spend a while trying to convince him that she is not a hallucination she manages to convince him to just come with her as she tries to escape. During this time they are chased by the Faceless ones and their pets into a cave where they are cornered by a Faceless One, as Skulduggery tries to fight it the portal re appears.
When Valkyrie tries to convince Skulduggery that she again is not a hallucination and to come with her through the portal he doesn’t believe her. Valkyrie runs to protect the portal from the Faceless ones pets and just as thinks all is lost China Sorrows jumps through the portal to help Valkyrie.
This is when this scene made me laugh uncontrollably because the way China talks just sounds like something a mother would say to a child.
“Skulduggery?” China demanded, breaking a riders wrist and jabbing her fingers into his eyes.
“In there,” Valkyrie panted. “With a Faceless One.”
“Skulduggery Pleasant!” China roared. “Get out here at once!”
Like I said, it sounds like China is telling off a child (well Skulduggery sometimes acts like a child). The other reason I love this scene is because it finishes with Skulduggery back in their dimension and the true adventure of Dark Days can begin.
The next scene is from chapter 16, when Skulduggery and Valkyrie goes to visit Solomon Wreath at the Necromancer Temple because Skulduggery “needs to have a word with Wreath.”
When they arrive Skulduggery and Valkyrie wait at the Iron gates of the crypt, leading to the Necromancer temple, until Solomon emerges from the door.
This is where my love for this scene comes from, the constant sass between these two and knowing hatred Skulduggery still has for Solomon. This call all be summed up with a few lines off dialog between them.
“Suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”
“How unique,” Skulduggery said without enthusiasm, “a Necromancer quoting Poe.”
Wreath’s smile grew wider. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
“Shakespear is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance,” Skulduggery responded. “Are we going to boast about how well-read we are all day or are we going to talk?”
“I see. In that case, please come in.” The gate creaked open for him and they passed through. “How are you by the way? I hope that alternate dimension wasn’t too uncomfortable for you”
“It wasn’t all bad,” Skulduggery responded. “It gave me time to catch up on some screaming.”
These two dislike each other but there is one thing they have in common, that is wanting Valkyrie to be strong. I would listen to a podcast of these two bickering and being smart asses to each other, I might be the only listener but I would support it whole heartedly.
I have so many other scenes I would love to share with you all but there are just too many.
“We’re not dead yet, well, I am, but the rest of you have a bit to go.”- Skulduggery to Valkyrie, Cassandra & Finbar- Page 160
“Be nice,” Valkyrie muttered as they walked over.
“I’m always nice,” Skulduggery responded.
“Don’t point your gun at his head.”
“Oh,” he said, “that kind of nice.”- Valkyrie to Skulduggery about Caelan- Page 202
“So this,” she said, “what’s happening and what’s going to happen, this isn’t your fault. You can’t control everything and not everything is your responsibility. At Croke Park you said something about how you don’t want to drag me around after you so I can die beside you. I wanted to tell you then, but I didn’t have the words and I didn’t have the time. I’m here because I choose to be. You save my life. I save yours. That’s how we work.”
“Until the end.”
“Until the end.”- Valkyrie and Skulduggery- Page 406
“Come down here, Sanguine,” Skulduggery said.
“Why, so you can arrest me?”
“No,” said Ghastly, “so we can kick the hell out of you.”- Page 315
Dark Days is pack full of action and even thought the final fight wasn’t as spectacular as the other books, it is fully made up for by the action though out the book. I was so excited to re-read it and now that excitement has transferred from this book onto Mortal Coil.
At the time of writing this review I am so behind on my re-read it’s not funny (okay maybe a little funny), but hopefully I can get back on track and be ready for June when Resurrection is released! Did you hear that Resurrection is the name of the 10th Skulduggery Pleasant book? Please someone tell me I’m not the only one who is losing it over the name and has SO MANY questions about it!
Rating: 5/5 stars- Amazing! I loved it!
Happy reading everyone!