Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

I picked up this book at the library because it won the Teen Survivor contest (the local library picks a few books each year and then they vote off a new book each week) this summer.  It beat out Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, which I loved.  I figured it had to be good.  Well, I was disappointed – very disappointed.

Stephanie’s rich uncle has just died, leaving most of his money and property to her.  When she is staying at his (her) house one night she is attacked by a strange man demanding a key.  Just before he kills her Skulduggery Pleasant (a strange man she met at the funeral) bursts onto the scene and saves her life.  He then introduces her to a world where magic exists and the bad guy, Serpine, is searching for the ultimate weapon which apparently belonged to her uncle.

First off, I’m pretty sure I went into this book with unfair expectations.  Because it won the contest, I was hoping for something GREAT and it wasn’t.  But if I had just picked it up without those expectations, I might have enjoyed it more.

It actually wasn’t a bad story and the writing was pretty good.  I just found that the story jumped around a lot.  I felt like the author was trying to build excitement and suspense but it just came off as a little hyperactive.  It just didn’t seem to flow very well.

What I liked about the book though was the dialogue.  Stephanie and Skulduggery had these funny little conversations which I found very entertaining.  I don’t plan on reading any more Skulduggery books but I’m sure that lots of people will enjoy this book.

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3 thoughts on “Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy”

  1. Ouch, expectations. I really enjoyed this book but of the two, Airborn is by far the better. I didn’t go in expecting anything with this one, though. Unfortunately, I enjoyed this one so much that I went into the second with unfairly high expectations and couldn’t even finish it, despite my unabashed crush on Skulduggery. That said, I have some very devoted middle-grade fans of this series at my library.

    I like the description “hyperactive” for this book. It fits perfectly! And the dialogue is definitely the best part, IMHO.

  2. You weren’t the only one who was surprised that this won the contest (I thought both Airborn and Leviathan [I'm a sucker for steampunk] were better reads, and Airborn should have won.) Even Whitney was surprised this came in first, and she’s the librarian who organizes the contest. I guess it was EXTREMELY close, something like two votes ahead of Airborn.

    A pleasant enough read, and I agree it was laugh-out-loud funny in parts, but nowhere in the same league as Kenneth Oppel.

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