Skulduggery Pleasant 1: Scepter of the Ancients - Derek Landy

"You might be a figment of your own imagination?"
"Stranger things have happened. And do, with alarming regularity."

I got the first three books in the Skulduggery Pleasant series for reviewing for, and so far I've read through the first book in its entirety. It's a young adult fantasy series originally from Ireland, about a skeleton detective and his new sidekick, twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley. Now, I think you're not supposed to know right away (based on the story itself) that Skulduggery is actually a skeleton, but with the new cover art and marketing, it's sort of hard to avoid.

What sets this apart from some other fantasy series is the humor: Stephanie has a pretty strong personality and doesn't simply bow to authority without a good reason. Skulduggery is clever and witty, but also pretty proud of his cleverness and wit and won't hesitate to tell you so. The two of them have some great bantering back and forth, and that's what really makes the book enjoyable. Sure, there's magic and action sequences and an evil plot to steal the Scepter of the Ancients, but it's the interactions between the characters that really brings the book to life.

The first book sets the scene, introducing us to the main characters, so the first few chapters are a little slower-paced. But once the action starts, it keeps us hopping for most of the rest of the book. Along the way, Stephanie discovers some of her own talents and the relationship between her and Skulduggery grows into a crime-fighting partnership. I'm not sure what to expect from book two, since it seems once the premise is established the focus will be more on action and plots rather than the character development. But, the first book was a fun read, so I'm willing to give the others a shot.

Fed to jonathan's brain | September 28, 2009 | Comments (0)


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