Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)” as Want to Read:
Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Skulduggery Pleasant

(Skulduggery Pleasant #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  58,161 ratings  ·  4,456 reviews
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
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 April 3rd 2007 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Skulduggery Pleasant, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
George I'm about 4 times your age, and didn't find it too childish to enjoy. I did find excessive the coincidences and unlikely chances that were required to…moreI'm about 4 times your age, and didn't find it too childish to enjoy. I did find excessive the coincidences and unlikely chances that were required to produce the multiple hairsbreadth escapes from death or capture when convenient--and the opposite in the minority of encounters, whatever was convenient to the plot! But those mar plenty of action fiction aimed at adults.

However, despite Dugglyn Carzainia's answer to this question, I don't intend to read the sequels. One was enough for me.(less)
Bells This is a really good series that is definitely worth reading. It also has a good balance of wit and action which are two qualities that make this ser…moreThis is a really good series that is definitely worth reading. It also has a good balance of wit and action which are two qualities that make this series amazing.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,161 ratings  ·  4,456 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"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
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Jasmine by: A good friend that I will always thank

“Doors are for people with no imagination.”

I will always remember when I first read this. It was back in 2009. I was over at a friend's house when her older sister, Emma, recommended it to me. "I just know you'll love it," she told me when she handed her copy over.

You have to understand that, at this point, I wasn't a big reader. Yeah I didn't mind reading, but I also didn't love it. I didn't sit down for hours on end with a book in my hand. I didn't value the power of words as much
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 :-)
To preface this; I don't recommend this book. 98% of my friend's list will hate it. It's not good. It's the memory of the book and the utter enjoyment I felt while reading it which gave it four stars.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a series I discovered during my first year at high school. I was on a vampire kick after falling in love with Twilight but figured I should read something else instead of re-reading the series for the 50th. Due to this, I found many of my favourite series of today including C
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Mar 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
I really tried to like this book. I really did.
I failed.

My major issue was that it was all 150% predictable.

The story felt like I had read it all before: A little Harry Potter with a little Mission Impossible and a pinch of X-Men and a grain of blabla.

The character writing was superficial and especially the heroine, Stephanie, did not convince me at all.

Flat, unlikeable, unbelievable, one-dimensional.

From one day to the next, she lives in a world she didn't know existed, and guess what?
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
I have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listen to. Turns out I was right. This was a lot of fun. The narrator was great. He had a delicious Irish accent, although he modified it to suit other characters. I liked his sort of flat tone he used for Skulduggery, making him sound kind of ironic and mysterious, like there was a lot going on under the surface.

At first, it's a bit odd. There's some wei
Kimberley doruyter
a re-read and like always so worth the time
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 charact
Montzalee Wittmann
Skulduggery Pleasant, book #1, by Derek Landy is probably a middle grade book but I don't care that I'm not. I laughed as hard as any school girl throughout this book! This is so fun, witty, full of snark (often from the girl), magic, and adventure...oh, and a skeleton as the main character! Oh sure, the girl is co-founded main character but who gets more looks in the car? Adult or child, add this to your list and do something good for your self. Do one better and go for the audible version, I g ...more
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review first posted

Usually, if a friend of recommends a young adult book featuring a magic and walking, talking skeleton....who is also wise cracking and hilarious I would have turned my nose up thinking it was too young and silly. But this book proved right from the first pages that it was worth giving a chance.

First of all I loved Skulduggery from the moment we met him. He was funny, smart and also badass and the author did a really good job of making hi
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars (look, this rating will never change, in all of my re-reads, so. Here it stands, for all the world the world to see, in all it's smart, snarky, & magical glory)

-Mar 15, 2021: This book/series just never, ever gets old! SO GOOD! Everyone, read this, now. You'll thank me later! 🤍🤍🤍
(I decided to re-read again because my amazing bestie, Darce, has been letting me pick one or two books a month for her to read that I won't shut up about... probably just to get me to
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading this series feels like coming home. I love it so, so much. The characters are awesome. The dialogue is wittier than it has any right to be. And it's just really clever and fun. Favourite series of all time for sure. ...more
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
[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
*** 4/27/18 $1.99 for Kindle ***

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
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-
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, own-read
There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for. Serpine will have won only when there is no one left to stand against him. Until then, there is only the struggle, because tides do what tides do–they turn.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a novel about a skeleton detective and his sidekick Stephanie. After Stephanie's uncle dies, she meets Skulduggery and they set off on their adv
Auntie Terror
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-urban
I really liked this one and will surely read on. Why I withheld a star is the lengthy fight scenes and the age-incongruety of Stephanie. [Prtf]
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
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.

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
Yuli Atta
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bulgarian review

Right now I don't feel like I need to express myself at all.
5 stars says it all ^^
Sheila Beaumont
What a fun book! How could I not love it? It's got magic, action, adventure, noir mystery, humor, a detective who's a walking, talking skeleton, and an intelligent, curious 12-year-old girl who becomes his assistant and student. I have read this book before, in a print edition. This time I listened to the audiobook, which is beautifully performed, with sound effects and music. I was surprised to find out there are apparently 12 books in this series now, so of course I will have to read them all. ...more
Ryan Buckby
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Doors are for people with no imagination.

This is one of those stories i went in not knowing if i would like it or not but once again i ended up really enjoying this book more than i thought i would.

Plot: This story takes place around a 12 year old girl named Stephanie who inherits her late uncles estate and is quickly thrown into a world she didn't know existed when someone shows up on her uncles door step wanting something and she has no idea why this man is there. Stephanie is eventually s

I remember when I first discovered this series, back in 2009. It was one of my very first audiobooks, brilliantly produced and featuring the excellent voice of Rupert Degas. But what about the story? Well, as you can expect, having a talking, impeccably suited, skeleton as a detective, wielding magic, is going to be fun. And it is! The fantasy world the author creates is also one with a serious touch of darkness and horror, but all mixed with humour and snark, as expected for a middle grade
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This Middle Grade story has the perfect blend of action, magic, and humor. Skulduggery is a great character with a darkly dry wit. The plot itself is a tad predictable for adults, but it’s a story you’ll enjoy reading to children, who will also love it.

I listened to this over two days on a road trip. The audio narrator did a good job, but sometimes his voice got so low, it was hard to hear.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve-year old Stephanie Edgley is willed her uncle's home, and his supernatural problems, upon his death. This includes the friendship of Skullduggery Pleasant, a wry, sarcastic sorcerer who became a walking, talking skeleton after a run-in with an evil sorcerer. After they meet, Stephanie and Skullduggery work together to stop the evil sorcerer. Stephanie's an average person, but with her adventures with Skullduggery, learns there's a wider world of magic around her, and wants in. She proves ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-reader
I've heard so much about Skulduggery Pleasant and i finally decided to give it a try myself. I've always been drawn to these books, although i never had enough bravery to start them, because they are so many, but right now i'm glad i read the first one. It was really fun, easy to read and i can definitely see how the world is going to become even more complicated and interesting. Great beginning! ...more
Kelly H. (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. ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Sep 24, 2009 marked it as abandoned
I wish I'd loved this because the name Skulduggery Pleasant is probably the best name ever.

Library copy
Claude's Bookzone
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4

Well that was incredibly funny!

The title character, Skulduggery Pleasant, was the highlight of this book for me. That being said, all of the characters were interesting and engaging. I enjoyed the witty banter, the fun magic, and how the mystery unfolded. Very enjoyable!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Appropriate age? 18 536 Jun 30, 2020 01:21AM  
Is this becoming a movie? 1393 1304 Sep 19, 2019 10:30AM  
Books similar to Skulduggery Pleasant 1 14 Aug 20, 2019 02:09PM  
Honest Reviews: Review 1 5 Aug 17, 2019 07:12AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Octunnumi Fosbit Files Prologue
  • First Encounter
  • The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1)
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5)
  • Rivers of London (Rivers of London, #1)
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
  • Glass World (Undying Mercenaries Series Book 13)
  • The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)
  • Artemis
  • The Elephant Tree
  • The Awakening: Fate in Motion
  • Colores en el viento
  • Brainwalker
  • Drum Beats, Heart Beats (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #3)
  • La cámara del Monarca (Alfas #2)
  • Moving Target (Moving Target, #1)
  • Fool's Assassin (Free Sampler) (Fitz and the Fool, Book 1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Other books in the series

Skulduggery Pleasant (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • 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)
  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, #7)
  • Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8)
  • The Dying of the Light (Skulduggery Pleasant, #9)
  • Resurrection (Skulduggery Pleasant, #10)
  • Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant, #11)

Articles featuring this book

Scary stories come to life when they’re read aloud! If you’re looking to get your young reader into the Halloween spirit by...
58 likes · 25 comments
“Doors are for people with no imagination.” 1179 likes
“I'm placing you under arrest for murder, conspiracy to commit murder and, I don't know, possibly littering.” 495 likes
More quotes…