Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy
|Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: More wise-cracking high jinks from the skeleton detective and his newly-magical sidekick. Things are beginning to darken in this series, as Stephanie/Valkyrie begins to fully understand the tensions between her two lives.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: April 2009|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
You've seen it all before: some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie fight valiantly to stop it happening.
The supernatural people in Ireland suffer from the most dreadful hubris you know. They never learn a lesson. They always think they have something all the others haven't. And they're at it again; trying to bring back the Faceless Ones. You'd think they'd have learned by now, but oh no.
The first clue is a series of murders. Teleporters are being picked off one by one and Skulduggery and Valkyrie suspect the worst. However, they're still persona non grata as far as the Sanctuary is concerned and their investigations are hampered by the incompetent Detective Crux. But as the situation worsens, it becomes increasingly obvious that not only is something even more serious than murder afoot - the end of the world, for instance - but that someone, somewhere, is a traitor...
... and off we go for some more magical mayhem.
This series isn't losing its pace or enthusiasm at all. There's just as much kick-tastic, magic-tastic, sword-tastic otherworldly crime-fighting as ever and the jokes are equally gruesome. By the time the adventures are over, you're almost as out of breath as you imagine the heroes to be. Gradually, we're getting some more flesh put on the bones - well, not Skulduggery's, obviously, what with him being a skeleton and all - of the supporting characters. I'm particularly enjoying the morally ambiguous China Sorrows. The relationship between Skulduggery and Valkyrie is becoming more complex, and Valkyrie/Stephanie is gradually coming to understand the full implications of living a double life. There are some scenes with her "reflection" that give some real pause for thought.
But mostly, The Faceless Ones is a rip-roaring supernatural adventure with a tongue that visits its cheek regularly. It's irresistible. The writing, as ever, is crisp and snappy and deceptively clever. This reviewer, together with her entire family, enjoyed it immensely. It comes recommended by Bookbag to any keen reader of ten and up.
My thanks to to the nice people at Harper Collins for sending the book.
Younger readers might also enjoy the bitey pirates in Black Heart (Vampirates) by Justin Somper or,of course, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. Necropolis (Power of Five) by Anthony Horowitz would also be a good choice.
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