Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)
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Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant #1)

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  22,257 ratings  ·  1,926 reviews
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published 2007 by HarperCollins
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Qt
I loved discovering this book; I thought it had a very fun mixture of magic, action, creepiness, and humor--plus, I really love the title character :-)
Booknut
"So you won't keep anything from me again?"
He put his hand to his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die."
"Okay then. Though you don't actually have a heart," she said.
"I know."
"And technically, you've already died."
"I know that too."
"Just so we're clear."

When Stephanie Edgley’s Uncle Gordon – a writer of horror novels – passes away, she meets his one-time friend Skulduggery Pleasant…who just happens to be a skeleton wizard-detective, that believes he is invincible and has the world’s bigg...more
Helen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
paula
Skulduggery Pleasant is Derek Landy's first book for children, and the second is already in the can, which is a Very Good Thing. His characters are broadly drawn, meaty, yet precise - like Chinese calligraphy done with a big fat brush dripping with ink. The dialogue is snappy, with some fun deconstructionist bits; and the plot is just twisty enough: not even the very close listener Mr. Four could find any holes.

But the real revelation here is Skulduggery Pleasant himself, a several-hundred-year-...more
Jo
“Doors are for people with no imagination.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
When I grow up I want to be Stephanie Edgley.

High Points.
Skulduggery Pleasant. Stephanie. Banter, so much banter. Dublin. Witty prose. Canary Cars. Supporting characters. Cloak and daggers shizz. Willpower. Magic. Raising Cain. The Girl from Ipanema. A fantastic start to a promising series.

Low Points.
As much as I love Skulduggery and Stephanie, I would have liked there to have been more time spent with the other characters...more
Kaethe
Jul 17, 2014 Kaethe marked it as abandoned
I wish I'd loved this because the name Skulduggery Pleasant is probably the best name ever.

Library copy
AnHeC the Paperback Obliterator
Word count: about 68 000
Rating: I’ll finish you like a cheesecake


For me it’s 3,5 * - keep in mind that it’s a positive rating. I liked that book. I really did.

EDIT.
The grand haze had been lifted! I come to tell you of a good book (no, don't shut your doors in my face, not that book, come on!). If you want a break from all the romance and drama (*I want to break feeeeeeeeeeee!*) of many today's books, you're in a right place! It's a pretty short book (well, as far as children's books are concern...more
Kathryn
So deliciously entertaining!!! I really loved the whole experience of this book. The story is excellent, and the narrator is outstanding, bringing this to a solid five stars from me.

This is the story of twelve-year-old Stephanie, who inherits her beloved but somewhat mysterious author uncle's fortune and estate after his sudden death. The unusual stranger at the reading of the will catches her eye--his voice, his mannerisms, his name (who is named Skulduggery Pleasant, after all!?), all so stran...more
Auntie J
Detective story with a fantasy twist. Skulduggery Pleasant is a sentient skeleton, detective, who also can do magic. He's good natured, with a delightfully dry wit. He teams up with 12 year old Stephanie to find out who killed her beloved uncle. Stephanie is spunky, clever and pretty quick witted herself. Their good natured bickering and conversations often had me chuckling out loud. Their relationship is what I liked best about this story.

"Being a detective isn't all about torture and murder an...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Interesting odd little book, a dead wizard...sort of. Well, I mean he's a skeleton, and you know, no skin or organs...but he's not really dead. Sort of.

Is this a kids book? It did strike me as odd how the reaction to a walking, talking skeleton didn't freak Stephanie out more completely.

Not a bad book, help track down the Faceless ones...if you dare. hee hee hee ... (or is that bwa-ha-ha?)

Some have suggested that there are some similarities between the Faceless Ones and Lovecraft's Great Old One...more
Kelly  Maybedog
One of the best children's urban fantasy books ever. The plot is interesting, the heroine strong and intelligent (and a girl!), and the book is genuinely funny. I listened to the audio version and the reader is exceptional. I laughed out loud many times and couldn't wait to listen to the next one.
Mark
[Note: from the charming Georgina's comments on this review, I've come to believe I am too far outside the age range. I still believe what I wrote, it's just that the concerns of my review are mostly irrelevent to the book's average reader. Cheers!]

Disappointing. The title/name and the cover illustration really appealed to me, but the book was generic and unbelievable from the start. I suppose some could be forgiven considering that the intended audience appears to be maybe 11 year olds (?), but...more
Cathy
I loved this book! I found it listed on one of Goodreads' best audiobooks lists, and boy were they right. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the story in print as well. It's the kind of story I like, with a plucky but slightly snarky kid and a cool magical mystery. And Skulduggery just takes it over the top with his cool lines and risky moves. But listening to the book as read by the incredible Rupert Degas made it extraordinary. He made every character feel totally real. Skulduggery is cool, funny a...more
Jonathan
This should really fit into the three and a half stars category...

As far as children's books are concerned Skulduggery Pleasant is an interesting and different read. However as far as an older audience it lacked a little. Hopefully the few cracks I detected were mainly due to this being the opening story for the series.

There were sections where the writing was superb and brilliant. It was witty and it was fun. The opening sentence was particularly well structured and really drew me into the plot...more
Kadrin
Jul 17, 2007 Kadrin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
This book is absolute fun from beginning to end. It has a sweepingly fast pace without feeling rushed, all kinds of epic drama without feeling melodramatic, horrific monsters (I'm thinking of one in particular, but it's a spoiler) without being too dark, and brilliant banter without not having brilliant banter. While a children's book, it can definitely be enjoyed by all ages. The strong female characters (both Stephanie and Tanith Low are my heroes), warnings against violence and revenge, and i...more
Desinka
This was a perfect book for kids and not just. I loved every minute of it. Witty and hilarious and so much fun to read. There were more witty repartees in this book alone than in the sum total of my last 10 reads.

Rupert Degas did a wonderful job as a narrator. He managed to convey the author's sense of humour with great skill. Then this guy is not bored by the book he's narrating, he does wonders!
An Odd1
5* so I read more. "Skulduggery Pleasant" is a skeleton, magician, detective, and mentor to his just-murdered friend's heir, niece Stephanie Edgeley 12, "wise beyond your years" p318 on summer break, resident of small town Haggard, east coast Ireland. Author Derek Landry, karate black belt, teaches children self-defense "for his own munchkin army" (back fold blurb) so I'll back down on doubt when the girl runs, kicks, punches, and out-fights supernatural army led by wicked Adept Nefarian Serpine...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
I will freely admit that a good part of the consideration of this 4-star rating is that I'm really enamored with the whole idea and premise of the thing - the animated skeleton, who's also a wizard, and a detective? It's like Harry Dresden and Bob all rolled into one snarky, crime-fighting, bad-guy-stopping-pacakge. So, if the execution faltered here and there - the idea is just too cool.

Another part of the 4-star rating is that I like the characters. I like Skulduggery and Stephanie, and I can...more
Rachel Lightwood
Jul 13, 2014 Rachel Lightwood rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paranormal mysteries fans.
Recommended to Rachel by: Devon and Alisha.
Reading this book was kind of a dare. My friend (love you, Alisha!) and a guy at school struck a deal: they had to read each other’s favourite book. The guy told my friend to read Skulduggery Pleasant, as it was his favourite series. Not too enthused, because let’s face it, a skeleton detective that can use magic sounds lame and childish, she began it a little grudgingly. But she enjoyed it.

Surprised? I was too, so I decided that I had to give it a go. Boy was I shocked when I was unable to put...more
Kate
Stephanie's Uncle Gordon, an eccentric novelist, recently passed away, and at the reading of the will she discovers not only that she has inherited his house and all his wealth, but she also meets a strange character named Skulduggery Pleasant. When Stephanie is stranded by a flood in her uncle's house and is attacked, Skulduggery comes to the rescue. That's when Stephanie discovers that Skulduggery is actually a skeleton, who is also a detective trying to find out who murdered Gordon.
There is...more
Evie
Reading Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landy is an unusual experience! Quite unlike anything else I’ve read, although it reminded me of some of my favorite Middle Grade books, like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle or Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne. The easiest way to describe this book would be to say that it’s a mix of Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t do the book justice because Scepter of the Ancients is so much more than just that! Highly amusing, r...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

Scepter of the Ancients is the first book in Derek Landy’s children’s series called SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT. The story follows 11 year old Stephanie Edgley who inherits her eccentric uncle’s property after he dies. Stephanie gets involved with some supernatural goings-on when a thief breaks into her new house (the one her uncle left her) and nearly kills her. To her rescue comes Skulduggery Pleasant — a man who used to be alive bu...more
Steve
I really enjoyed this book. I wanted a genre change from the YA Vamps & Werewolves, so I went for a 9+ yr's funny skeleton detective book *laughing*...

Landy really nailed it from the start with his zappy writing style that draws you in. If you're ever going to judge a book by it's cover, then this is the one that lives up to the cover and then some. The skill of the writer to pull you into a story well told, seemingly without effort, is what makes for a good book. You don't get any pauses, o...more
Lucy
I first stumbled across the Skulduggery Pleasant series when I attended an author signing two years ago. I didn't know much about the books, but I knew my dad was a fan and I never pass up the opportunity to speak with an author of children's fiction. The author, Derek Landy, was hilarious and charming. Just watching him chatting and laughing with his awe-struck fans, I knew the series would be worth the read.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Skulduggery Pleasant is one of the best childrens...more
The Flooze
Skulduggery Pleasant has ego to spare, a dry wit, and a dark past. He's a rogue who does things his own way and is often thinking all sorts of clever little things.

Oh, and he's a skeleton. Mustn't forget that part.

When Stephanie Edgley's beloved uncle passes away, a series of events are set in motion that leave his niece awestruck. Magic really does exist, villains are scrambling for power, and the twelve year old finds herself willingly flung into the midst of it all. Stephanie has to rely upon...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
I really enjoyed this book. At first, I was worried that this book was a little too child-ish for me. But as I read on, I realized that I really enjoy the plot line and the main characters in this book.

This book reminds me of a children's version of Cassandra Clare's books. A very strong female character that incounters a whole new world of magic and creatures. Minus the weird love triangles, of course.

I was recommended by 2 of my friends, who swore that this seires would not let me down. And y...more
~Tina~
Skulduggery Pleasant is so cute! While one wouldn't describe a walking, talking, fire throwing, element controlling Skeleton to be cute, I for one thought that he and this story was just that.
The characters are vivid and lively, the plot is fast paced and thrilling. With British charm and the nonchalant ways of this book, it took a unique concept and made it spin with creativity, imagination and entertainment.
A fun, fast paced adventure for all ages!
Absolutely loved this world!
Dirk Grobbelaar
Ha. This was actually pretty cool. Urban Fantasy for a younger audience. If you enjoyed Harry Potter you might want to give this a spin. It's a pretty quick read too, so it won't be wasted time even if it's not your cup of tea. Oh, and it's pretty amusing too, in a black humour kind of way...
X
Aug 29, 2010 X rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to X by: Q
Actually, quite good, and I can't say I'm a huge fan of urban fantasy. There is lots of action, magic and mystery and plenty of interesting characters. The Dublin setting was an added bonus. I'm looking forward to reading book two sometime.
Anna
Stephanie has been thrown into a world out of one of her dead uncle horror novels. Well not really, rather she has been thrown into a world that was what her uncle has base his horror novels upon. A world where magical creatures are co-existing right along side our world. Where a secret war was being battle right under our noises so many years ago.

Stephanie hadn't meant to walk into this oh-so dangerous world. No, this world literately blasted down her door and tried to kill her. That was until...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is this becoming a movie? 115 408 Jul 19, 2014 10:16AM  
Does anyone agree, Val is kind of horrible? 12 64 Jul 13, 2014 12:23PM  
South African Boo...: * Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy 18 12 Jul 13, 2014 08:25AM  
Appropriate age? 7 50 Jul 09, 2014 03:14PM  
Elemental, Adept, Necromancy 55 83 Apr 24, 2014 12:45AM  
dis a cool book 1 14 Mar 21, 2014 08:56AM  
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Derek Landy is an Irish writer and screenwriter. In addition to the bestselling children's/YA series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, a supernatural mystery series starring Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, and Valkyrie Cain, a young female magician, he has written two screenplays that have been made into films: the IFTA award winning "Dead Bodies" and the IFTA nominated "Boy Eats Girl". L...more
More about Derek Landy...
Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant, #3) Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant, # 4) Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5) Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6)

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“Doors are for people with no imagination.” 665 likes
“What is it?' Stephanie whispered.
'That, my dear Valkyrie, is what we call a monster.'
She looked at Skulduggery. 'You don't know what it is, do you?'
'I told you what it is, it's a horrible monster. Now shut up before it comes over here and eats us.”
325 likes
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