Book Reviews of Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant
Skulduggery Pleasant
Author: Derek Landy
ISBN-13: 9780061231155
ISBN-10: 0061231150
Publication Date: 4/1/2007
Pages: 400
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 16

4.4 stars, based on 16 ratings
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

It all started when Gordon Edgley died. Well, it actually started much earlier than that. I mean, if you want to be picky it "all" started at the dawn of time. Or is that just when time started? Never mind. The point is, for Stephanie Edgley it all started when her uncle Gordon died. Gordon wasn't much of a family man; in fact, Stephanie was probably the one closest to him. Even saying that, though, is a bit of a stretch. It would probably be better to say that he tolerated her presence better and more often than he did the rest of his family. Which still doesn't completely explain why he left his house, his fortune, and his book royalties to her. Actually, there's a lot of unexplained things about Gordon, even more so now that he's gone. Like the strange man at the funeral. The one wrapped so tightly in a scarf, sunglasses, and an overcoat that you can't even glimpse an inch of his skin. That was the first time Stephanie had ever encountered Skulduggery Pleasant.

The next time they were in the same room was for the reading of Gordon's will. The one where he left most of his things to his twelve-year-old niece. Much to the dismay of Stephanie's aunt and uncle, who got a boat (Uncle Fergus gets seasick), a car ("We already have a car!"), and a brooch ("It doesn't even have any jewels on it."). Stephanie's parents, incidentally, got the villa in France. Skulduggery Pleasant received the strangest gift of all, which is some very cryptic advice. With which he was completely content. This was not to be the last encounter between Stephanie and Skulduggery.

Having spent most of a day exploring part of Stephanie's new house, she and her mother get in the car to go home and find that the car won't start. The mechanic that comes to fix it has to tow it back to his shop. Stephanie convinces her mother that she can stay at the house alone while the car is being fixed. But, the storm that started while they were waiting for the mechanic grows worse as time passes. It is eventually determined that the car won't be fixed until tomorrow, and the road to the house is flooded. Stephanie is stuck for the night. Though it takes some convincing for her mom to leave her there.

Freedom and solitude: Stephanie couldn't be happier! Which lasts all of a few minutes. Someone is trying to break into the house, and somehow Stephanie doesn't believe him when he says he won't hurt her if she just lets him in to get what he wants. Skulduggery Pleasant to the rescue! And what a strange rescuer he is. In the struggle with the intruder, Skulduggery's hat and scarf fall off to reveal only a skeleton! Stephanie is so shocked by this that she mostly forgets what he's done. Now she has a million questions: Who and what is Skulduggery? How did he know her uncle? Why was he at the house? How is it that he can throw fire? Can he teach her? And how does he stay upright when there's no skin and muscle to hold him together?

Stephanie is stunned, but oddly not frightened, by recent events. She was just contemplating how boring life was, and suddenly life got considerably more thrilling! Skulduggery isn't in the market for a sidekick, but he might just have gotten one. After one night in his world (he did have to keep her safe after all) Stephanie can't imagine pretending not to know what she knows. Besides, the bad guys are after her. Or at least something that belonged to her uncle, and now that she owns most of his things... Life, or death depending on who you are, will never be the same.

I love it! Not just a fun storyline, an exciting adventure, and a well drawn plot, although it does contain all of these things. SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT is one of the best written books I have encountered recently. Conversational and snappy, witty and self-deprecating, with a fantastically quirky cast of characters. This one has enough adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat, and random hilarity that makes falling off that seat a distinct possibility! I can hardly do it justice by merely describing it, so you'll just have to read it, and love it.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book. I really enjoyed it. If you like wizards, walking dead people and the like. You will enjoy it too.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

It all started when Gordon Edgley died. Well, it actually started much earlier than that. I mean, if you want to be picky it "all" started at the dawn of time. Or is that just when time started? Never mind. The point is, for Stephanie Edgley it all started when her uncle Gordon died. Gordon wasn't much of a family man; in fact, Stephanie was probably the one closest to him. Even saying that, though, is a bit of a stretch. It would probably be better to say that he tolerated her presence better and more often than he did the rest of his family. Which still doesn't completely explain why he left his house, his fortune, and his book royalties to her. Actually, there's a lot of unexplained things about Gordon, even more so now that he's gone. Like the strange man at the funeral. The one wrapped so tightly in a scarf, sunglasses, and an overcoat that you can't even glimpse an inch of his skin. That was the first time Stephanie had ever encountered Skulduggery Pleasant.

The next time they were in the same room was for the reading of Gordon's will. The one where he left most of his things to his twelve-year-old niece. Much to the dismay of Stephanie's aunt and uncle, who got a boat (Uncle Fergus gets seasick), a car ("We already have a car!"), and a brooch ("It doesn't even have any jewels on it."). Stephanie's parents, incidentally, got the villa in France. Skulduggery Pleasant received the strangest gift of all, which is some very cryptic advice. With which he was completely content. This was not to be the last encounter between Stephanie and Skulduggery.

Having spent most of a day exploring part of Stephanie's new house, she and her mother get in the car to go home and find that the car won't start. The mechanic that comes to fix it has to tow it back to his shop. Stephanie convinces her mother that she can stay at the house alone while the car is being fixed. But, the storm that started while they were waiting for the mechanic grows worse as time passes. It is eventually determined that the car won't be fixed until tomorrow, and the road to the house is flooded. Stephanie is stuck for the night. Though it takes some convincing for her mom to leave her there.

Freedom and solitude: Stephanie couldn't be happier! Which lasts all of a few minutes. Someone is trying to break into the house, and somehow Stephanie doesn't believe him when he says he won't hurt her if she just lets him in to get what he wants. Skulduggery Pleasant to the rescue! And what a strange rescuer he is. In the struggle with the intruder, Skulduggery's hat and scarf fall off to reveal only a skeleton! Stephanie is so shocked by this that she mostly forgets what he's done. Now she has a million questions: Who and what is Skulduggery? How did he know her uncle? Why was he at the house? How is it that he can throw fire? Can he teach her? And how does he stay upright when there's no skin and muscle to hold him together?

Stephanie is stunned, but oddly not frightened, by recent events. She was just contemplating how boring life was, and suddenly life got considerably more thrilling! Skulduggery isn't in the market for a sidekick, but he might just have gotten one. After one night in his world (he did have to keep her safe after all) Stephanie can't imagine pretending not to know what she knows. Besides, the bad guys are after her. Or at least something that belonged to her uncle, and now that she owns most of his things... Life, or death depending on who you are, will never be the same.

I love it! Not just a fun storyline, an exciting adventure, and a well drawn plot, although it does contain all of these things. SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT is one of the best written books I have encountered recently. Conversational and snappy, witty and self-deprecating, with a fantastically quirky cast of characters. This one has enough adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat, and random hilarity that makes falling off that seat a distinct possibility! I can hardly do it justice by merely describing it, so you'll just have to read it, and love it.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
We listened to the audio version of this book as a family as we headed to Western Nebraska for a camping trip last week. What fun!! The book is filled with magic, action, humor, and good old-fashioned, spine-tingling scary stuff...vampires, hollow men, ogres etc. Skulduggery is a living skeleton who teams up with twelve year old Stephanie to right the wrongs of rogue magicians who want to take over the world. We all enjoyed listening to this one and we look forward to the next book in the series.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 1076 more book reviews
The general premise of Skullduggery Pleasant has the makings of an ordinary mystery that's been done many times before. However, instead of a normal detective, you have a living skeleton with magical abilities (obviously). For the needed female protagonist, you have Stephanie, a 12 year old with ancient magical blood running through her veins. Now, of course, you need a bad guy and how about a council of smarty-pants to help secure the most dangerous artifact on the planet. So added to the mix is Serpine, the evil sorcerer with the red-hand of death and a council of elders with ancient magic at their fingertips.

And let us not forget, the handy sidekicks. Ghastly Bespoke, a hideously ugly man who designs indestructable and impervious clothes for everyone of magical means. Tanithe Lo, a female warrior with magical abilities. Mr. Bliss, a frighteningly strong person of magic. And lastly China Sorrows, a collector all books and all things magical. (You just gotta love their names!)

All of this combined gives you a truly wonderful story which has the basics of a great good vs evil fight but with so much more. This is a terrific start to Stephanie and Skullduggery's magical detective adventures. It's classified as young adult but it's appropriate for any age. I found the interaction between Stephanie and Skullduggery to be rather funny. He is brilliant; a master as delivering deadpan one-liners.

I listened to this audiobook while driving and must say it kept my attention and kept me smiling. Truly delightful. It wasn't simply a reading of the story but an incredibly creative production with a full musical score which set the ambiance perfectly.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on
"With his sunglasses gone there was no denying that he had no face. All he had was a skull for a head."

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, sworn enemy of evil.

Oh yes, And dead.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 147 more book reviews
Think The Nightmare Before Christmas without any holiday correlation.

Humor author Derek Landy combines a dry, British humor with a compelling adventure involving an ill-intent, necromancing sorcerer and a young girl seeking reprieve from her small-town life. Unfortunately for her, she ends up with much more than she bargains for when 12-year-old Stephanie Edgley inherits her uncle's estate and possessions. With her inheritance came a world of magic and mayhem, her only protector being Skulduggery Pleasant, a walking, talking and fire-throwing skeleton.

With help from her skinny, witty friend, Stephanie is submersed into the secretive world, where people's names are a source of control and injuries & car wrecks are cured in a day or two. Oh, and an ancient scepter is the key to ruling the world. I didn't mention that, did I?

Landy has an excellent niche for combining adventurous mystery with ironic and gut-busting bits of humor that are subtle, but clear and concise. His placement of a skeleton, a usual symbol of fright and scare, as the center hero is very sneaky, but appropriate for this particular good versus evil tale. His characters are uniquely ormed in an unbiased view, putting everyone at the top of the suspicion list of evil-doing and intent. And unlike other novels that emphasize the gore and guts of the battle, this book focuses on the principle behind the uprising war and its affects on the individual people and the population as a whole. Pretty good for a book categorized in the children's section.

Stephanie's - or Valkyrie's - unfinished involvement with the magic world and its skeletal hero has spawned a sequel that is currently awaiting my attention on my bookshelf. With Derek Landy as the story-teller, I have little doubt Skulduggery will continue getting himself - or itself, rather - into heaps more trouble.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 2 more book reviews
Skulduggery Pleasant is by far one of my favorite science fiction fantasy series ever! It is full of action, magic, and humor. The story follows the sorcerer and detective Skulduggery Pleasant who falls into the life of twelve year old Stephanie Edgely. She becomes his protege, and to two embark on a mission to save the world from the Skulduggery's oldest enemy Serpine.
The story is definitely off the wall, but it is well worth the read.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 306 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It is written for young readers but as an adult I still found it entertaining.
It's about a girl named Stephanie whose world is transformed after her dear uncle dies. Soon after her uncle's death a strange man whose face cannot be seen walks into her life. She learns that his name is Skulduggery and he is a skeleton. From there she gets swept into a world of magic and deceit.
The writing of this book was done very well and enjoyed all of the characters. My favorite parts of the books is when Stephanie and Skulduggery interact. I love how they poke fun at each other with their quirky remarks. The two of them seem to have a wonderful chemistry.
Look forward to reading the next book in the series.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 20 more book reviews
My son loved this book - so much so that he read it twice and we had to go out and buy the next two in the series. This series is recommended by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympian books, which is why we gave it a try. Definiately not mom's cup of tea, but my 10-year-old ate it up.
reviewed Skulduggery Pleasant on + 366 more book reviews
I'm sorry to report that I couldn't finish it. I love young adult fantasy normally, although I'm much older than the target audience, but this time the lack of development/falsity of the main character (Stephanie, the supposed twelve-year-old) drove me away. Perhaps the book will still please the nine to twelve-year-old age group....