I featured the first book in the series 18 months ago (Skulduggery Pleasant). It’s a wildly imaginative big world adventure featuring a girl and her skeleton companion—perfect for upper middle grade with great characters and plot. Book one was released in 2008 but didn’t reach America until 2018, quickly followed by books 2-12. Now the series has progressed into book 13, and the characters have of course gotten older. I see this as more of a YA choice. Middle school, grades 6-8.
Regardless, you can start your 11-year-old on the series and soon enough they’ll be older, wiser and ready for the rest of the books. These aren’t exactly short. This current tale comes in at 592 pages. Even my fast reading skills spread the story out to nine days of frequent reading sessions.
Here the official blurb (from Amazon)
War is coming. To avert catastrophe, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are sent on a secret mission that takes them away from everything they know, to a forsaken land of magic and grim, unrelenting terror. It is here that Valkyrie will have to fight the hardest ― not only against the enemies who want her dead, but also against her own self-destructive impulses. It’s only by crawling through darkness that she’ll be able to once again stand in the light…
WHAT I LIKED
1. The bond between Skulduggery and Valkyrie (her original name was Stephanie) has progressed to a father/daughter type relationship. They are both great characters and the banter between them is always a highlight.
2. The final 10% of the book felt like a rush to get all the plot points wrapped up, but there will be a book 14 and 15. Demonstrates the international popularity of the series.
3. There are a lot of subplots here with new characters and old. Another reason to start with book one.
4. Humor is tossed in at just the right time. There is often a line that makes you laugh out loud right in the middle of the chaos.
5. The world building is spot on and will have your visual imagination running on high.
You can connect with author, Derek Landy on Twitter
Also… take a look at the the Skulduggery web site
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