Skullduggery Pleasant 3: The Faceless Ones - Derek Landy

"So this is where the world ends," Valkyrie said, putting the map away. "Certainly prettier than I'd imagined."

After reading Book 1 and Book 2 of the Skulduggery Pleasant series last year, I loaned out Book 3 for a while, and when I got it back I had a lot of other books in progress at the time so I didn't get around to reading it until now.

The storyline takes place about two years after the events of the second book. Stephanie (aka Valkyrie) is now fourteen, and her reflection lives almost her entire "normal" life because her real self is spent chasing down bad guys with Skulduggery. But now they're no longer welcome at the Sanctuary and are freelancers, which proves to be a problem when Teleporters start turning up dead. Skulduggery deduces that it's related to a plot to bring back the Faceless Ones (again), but since he's no longer an official Sanctuary detective, all of his investigations have to rely on shadier means.

Remus Crux, the Prime Detective, proves to be a real pain in the neck, because he's a conspiracy nut and thinks of Skulduggery and Valkyrie as his top suspects, rather than his unwilling allies. Fletcher Renn is an obnoxious kid who happens to be a natural Teleporter, and one of the last. And we get a couple of new baddies, who are pretty nasty but not very well-developed as characters.

I thought there would be a little bit more about the Stephanie/Valkyrie dichotomy after an early chapter where the reflection experiences her first kiss; but other than some lecturing about "being a normal kid" from a few characters, we don't get a lot of that tension, which I think would have added some depth to the book. As it is, the page after page of action definitely kept me turning the pages and it didn't take long to finish.

It ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, so I'm sure Landy has more books planned. So far, they're a fun diversion with some cleverness, but I'm not seeing a whole lot new in the latter two books. I'll be interested to see if Valkyrie's character develops and changes more as she ages.

Fed to jonathan's brain | January 03, 2010 | Comments (0)


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