Warning!! – This review contains spoilers for Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy.
No One Is Safe
No matter how prepared I was for this book it still managed to rip my heart out and throw it at my own face! My emotions are so wrecked!
War has officially begun between sanctuaries which means the book is full of detailed fight scenes and secret missions which is just makes this book so amazing!
There is constant action and of course always a good amount of comedy and witt, which is to be expected the Dead Men get together. That’s right ladies and gentlemen the Dead Men are officially back together and it is everything you ever dreamed of. Teasing and joking with each other while they punch and beat up bad guys, it is everything.
Along with getting introduced to the remaining dead men we also get introduced to a lot of new characters, but don’t worry you won’t need to remember most of their names because most of they get killed… Damn it Derek!
But along with the new we also get to see some of our old favourites including Solomon Wreath, his back, it might only be for a short scene where he talks to Skulduggery and Valkyrie, giving them some information as well as giving Valkyrie a new necromancer ring as a birthday gift and even then it is a funny scene.
Another character who comes back after a long absence is China Sorrows (my beautiful symbol baby!) after the events of Death Bringer we went a whole book without her in it, I mean we have China in the alternate dimension but that just isn’t the same. Any way China is back and by the end of the book becomes the fricken Grand Mage! Only the best for my symbol baby!
There is one more thing I want to mention before continuing on with the review and that is a moment where Valkyrie and Skulduggery go to see Cassandra Pharos. In this moment they are all just chatting when Cassandra says to Valkyrie…
”How’s that boyfriend of yours?”
“No, the other one.”
Valkyrie felt a scowl rise. “Caelan?”
“No, the other one. Or… wait. Maybe that hasn’t happened yet.”
When I read this I was very intrigued and now with Resurrection coming out I find myself wondering if any guy Valkyrie will meet will be her new man! So many questions are up in the air with Resurrection and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing Valkyrie’s new man sometime soon.
War has finally come.
But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.
But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.
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.
This whole book is full of amazing scenes that had me laughing or on the edge of my seat, so when having to choose a few to talk about it is super hard to pick just a couple, but I have decided on one to talk about.
Choosing one Dead Men scene out of all the scenes with them in it was so damn hard! They are just so funny and amusing that it just became me staring at my list and crying over having to pick just one.
The scene I decided to talk about is from Chapter 35
All the chapters before have the Dead Men , getting back together, telling stories while they are walking and even them joking around while they are fighting.
But the scene I have chosen to talk about happens while they are in the middle of their mission about to break into the French Sanctuary’s research facility. They have just arrived at the point where they were planning on gaining access to the facility, which happens to be a small shaft in the ground leading into a vent that used to supply the facility with water from the stream.
As they are getting ready to go into this shaft Valkyrie starts to freak out, as her claustrophobia kicks in, but is reassured by Skulduggery that she will be fine and by the time she realises what is happening they will be at the bottom.
They are then joined by the rest of the Dead Men at the hole which starts off the conversation and the reason this scene is one of my favourites.
“Aw, hell,” said Saracen when he saw what they had to fit through.
Valkyrie gave him a half-smile. “You claustrophobic too?” she asked.
“No,” Shudder answered for him “just fat.”
Vex and Ghastly laughed while Saracen glared.
“I am a healthy weight,” he said. “I just… I might be a little too healthy to make it to the bottom.”
“If he’s staying, I’m staying.” Valkyrie said immediately.
“Neither of you are staying,” said Skulduggery, “Saracen, suck in your gut and you won’t have a problem. It’s Ghastly and Anton who should be worried. They’re the biggest of us.”
Saracen grinned. “Hear that, Anton? Maybe instead of lifting those weights you should have joined me in eating a few pies.”
“I’ve never lifted weights on my life,” Shudder responded. “My muscle mass is a natural part of my being genetically superior to you.”
Saracen looked at him, then looked away. “I have no comeback to that.”
The scene continues on with them preparing to go down the shaft and getting into position. The first person to sit in the shaft is Erskin Ravel who ends up with water flowing right down his back and into the back of his pants causing him to tense, he then says that “maybe they should rethink this course” to which Skulduggery responds with “too late for that” and tells everyone to get into position.
As they are lining up and sitting in the shaft entrance with their legs first, Skulduggery gets on his hands and knees preparing himself to go in head first which results in Dexter Vex saying to Skulduggery, “Of course, you just have to go head first, don’t you?” and Skulduggery responding with “I like to be different.”
This then leads to the main reason I love this scene. They are just about to get ready to push off and descend down the shaft when Saracen Rue says…
“I really don’t want to do this,” Saracen whined.
Skulduggery gave a shrug. “I’m not going to force you. I’m not going to order you. Instead, I’m just going to say one little thing, and it applied to all of you.”
They looked at him. He tilted his head.
A millisecond later they have all pushed off and are racing each other down the narrow shaft.
The reason I love this scene is because the Dead Men can have their serious moments and when they need to get down to business they are stern and focused. But when they get a chance they will tease each other and in doing so encourage each other to do things they really don’t want to do.
This only one scene that shows examples of this, but if I’m being honest this scene just make me smile so much that I had to mention it.
I said I was only going to do one scene but I would also like to mention a moment that takes place in Chapter 25 after Dexter Vex is rescued from the American sanctuary and is brought back to Ireland my Tanith Low and Billy-Ray Sanguine.
As soon as he gets back he is dragged into a briefing with the rest of the Dead Men, they don’t make a big deal of Dexter being back, they say a few good-natured insults and Saracen Rue gives Dexter a bag with some fresh clothes in it.
They begin the briefing and Ravel begins to talk Dexter starts changing his shirt, as his changing Valkyrie gets distracted and beings to think appreciate how damn good Dexter looks, this leads to this awkward, yet hilarious exchange between Ravel, Skulduggery, Valkyrie and Dexter.
“Mmm,” said Valkyrie.
Ravel looked at her. “Yes?”
Her eyes snapped towards him. “What?”
“You have something to add?”
She stared. “Nope, Just… agreeing.”
Skulduggery sighed. “Dexter, please put your shirt on. Valkyrie’s getting distracted.”
“I’m not,” she said, then smiled at Vex. “You don’t have to put your shirt on.”
Vex laughed, but pulled the shirt over his head.
The only reason I mention this scene is because it is hilarious and just proves just how attractive Dexter Vex is and lets me fangirl about how he is. I might have a huge fancrush on him.
“Sneaky little threats are not my thing. I threatened someone once, but I was too subtle about it, so when it came time to throw him off the cliff, he looked awfully surprised. These days when I threaten someone I do it loud and blatant, just to make sure my point has been taken.” – Skulduggery Pleasant – Page 98
“I want to kill Sanguine,” was the first thing Ghastly said. “And I want to do it slowly, in front of a lot of people. Using a hammer.”
Skulduggery nodded. “ Very healthy.” – Ghastly Bespoke & Skulduggery Pleasant – Page 194
“ He hissed at me.”
“He hissed at you.”
“Should I hiss back?”
“it’s a bit late.”
“He could still hear.”
“Not unless you run after him.”
“Do you think I should?”
“I think I should.”
“It’d be a bit weird.”
“you might be right.”
Donegan pursed his lips, then shook his fist at the doorway.
“That showed him,” said Gracious.
Donegan nodded. “He’ll think twice about hissing at me again.” –Gracious O’Callahan & Donegan Bane- Page 267
“Strike from the shadows,” Vex said.
“Disapperar into darkness,” finished Ghastly.-The Dead Men Motto- Page 238
I have only one more book in my Skulduggery Pleasant reread and that is The Dying of the Light. I don’t think I am emotionally prepared for this book and even thought I know it is not the final book my heart still feels like it will ache like the first time I read it.
I know not all the characters survive and my heart has grown so attached to some of them during this reread that I’m not ready to say goodbye to them all over again!
Rating: 5/5 stars- Amazing! I loved it!
Happy reading everyone!