Skulduggery Pleasant

Skulduggery Pleasant  - Derek Landy A cleverly written, Tim Burton-eque fast-paced magical mystery with witty dialogue, and a beautifully eye-catching cover.Mr. Skullduggery Pleasant is a vengeful detective, a living skeleton with a wicked way with sarcasm, introducing Stephanie (a.k.a. Valkyrie), an intelligent, resourceful, and inquisitive young girl, into the supernatural world her now deceased uncle was once apart.The theatrically funny reactions of Stephanie's greedy family members to the reading of her bestselling author uncle's will hooked me into listening to Rupert Degas's masterful narration of Skullduggery Pleasant."There's something about you, Valkyrie. I'm not quit sure what it is. I look at you and...""And you're reminded of yourself when you were my age?""Hmm? Oh, no, what I was going to say is there's something about you really annoying, and you never do what you're told, and sometimes I question your intelligence, but even so I'm going to train you, because I like having someone follow me around like a puppy. It makes me feel good about myself."She rolled her eyes. "You are such a moron.""Don't be jealous of my genius.""Can you get over yourself for just a moment?""If only that were possible.""For a guy with no internal organs, you've got quite the ego.""And for a girl who can't stand up without falling over, you're quite the critic.""My leg will be fine.""And my ego will flourish. What a pair we are."I enjoyed SP and Stephanie's new and easy partnership in the supernatural detective business, saving the world from monstrous and magical bad guys, the first being Nefarian Serpine - the man who killed SP's wife and child, then tortured him to death. You see, he likes to leave a lot of bodies in his wake in his quest to bring back The Faceless Ones.I wasn't particularly invested in the action, but I liked the way in which Stephanie learned how to navigate this new and interesting world, seizing opportunities, taking risks, and figuring out who she can and can't trust.While many clichés are criticised by Landy, he still uses a fair few of them in his story, though Stephanie's endearing maturity, unexpected turncoats, the comedic elements, and the more violent and horrific aspects of the novel, do attempt to make up for it.Additionally, the 2007 paperback contains laugh-out-loud funny short story [b:The Lost Art of World Domination|12456972|The Lost Art of World Domination|Derek Landy|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328001565s/12456972.jpg|17440512].If you love Irish accents, I recommend Rupert Degas's narration of the audiobook. *£1 paperback from Waterstones promo and free audiobook from audiobooksync.com