'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Review: Skulduggery Pleasant

If you have a child who likes the quirkiness of Lemony Snickett and the excitement and non-stop action of Harry Potter, then it is time to introduce them to Derek Landy’s wonderful anti-hero, Skullduggery Pleasant.

There is something strange about this character and it is not until you get close enough to peer under the large heavy coat and hat drawn down over his face that you realise that there isn’t that much to him really – just a skeleton, in fact.

There is some stock standards in this story - the family secret, the ordinary child who discovers they have extraordinary abilities, good versus evil, and of course, the annoying relatives... but none are as you would expect to find them. Predictable enough to provide comfort but quirky enough to challenge.

Even as an adult, I found this hard to put down, and full of bits that are so funny you have to search out someone to read them to, and laugh out loud together.

Landy takes a lot of our assumptions about this style of fantasy book and turns them all on their head, upside down and shakes them all around – all done with a wonderful sense of humour.

So, if you or your children don’t like to judge a book by its cover, then this book takes that theme of life and runs off on a great adventure with it.

Title: Skulduggery Pleasant 
Author: Derek Landy 
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Format: Paperback 
ISBN: 978 0 00 724162 0 
For ages: 9 - 12 years – or mums into children’s literature
Type: Junior Fiction Novel