Friday 27 September 2013

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand Of Dead Men Review

HarperCollins Children's books have sent my teens (and me) a copy of Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy to review and it's really rather good.

Last Stand Of Dead Men whisks you away to the amazing far off land of.......erm.....well, modern day Ireland.

But it isn't just any Ireland. This is a secret, hidden world that the general population simply don't notice, or forget about immediately. This is the world where 400 year old skeleton Skullduggery Pleasant works magic with his assistant, the rather kick-ass Valkyrie (or Stephanie to her parents).

Written by Derek Landy, this is the 8th book in a series, but it is absolutely fine to read as a stand alone story. My son has read a couple of the others, but I haven't, and I found it easy to get to know the characters and have a good feel for who they were and what their intentions might be. It has a recommended reading age of 11 and over, and I feel that any 11 year old not put off by the sheer size of this book (it has 604 pages) will be able to read and very much enjoy it.

The two main characters are male and female, and gender really is no measure of power in this book, which is really refreshing. The characters are very witty, and their relationships show as almost entirely unprofessional and more 'bumbling' in the way we really would be more likely to behave if we were really faced with zombies or witches or attempting to destroy the world. There's a good amount of chatty dialogue and you can get to know the characters really well very soon into the book.

While there are witches and zombies and all manner of creepy characters in this book, it is far more Discworld than Lord Of The Rings. It never takes itself too seriously and is incredibly funny, although it has huge and vibrant battles and plenty of very serious moments.

I think that as much as I'm enjoying this book, any of my 5 teenagers would too, which is backed up by the fact that it was the no.1 Children's book in the UK very soon after release.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Last Stand of Dead Men is published by HarperCollins and has an RRP of £14.99. It is currently on special offer from in hardback with free UK delivery for a stunning £6.

I gave away 3 copies of this book. That giveaway is now over.



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