Tag Archives: Skulduggery Pleasant

Demon Road by Derek Landy

Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series is my all-time favourite series.  I love the wit, the humour, the characters and the supernatural spookiness.  It was sad to say goodbye to the characters that I loved and the world that Derek had created but I was excited to see what Derek would write next.  Derek announced his new Demon Road series a while ago and I’ve been champing at the bit to get my hands on a copy.  The wonderful people at HarperCollins NZ sent me an early copy and I gobbled it up.  Demon Road doesn’t disappoint and it’s every bit as wonderful as Derek’s Skulduggery series.

Amber Lamont is a normal sixteen-year-old. Smart but insecure, she spends most of her time online, where she can avoid her beautiful, aloof parents and their weird friends.

But when a shocking encounter reveals a horrifying secret, Amber is forced to go on the run. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers and red-skinned, horned demons – Amber hurtles from one threat to the next, revealing the terror woven into the very fabric of her life. As her parents close in behind her, Amber’s only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be.

Demon Road is a deliciously dark, gory, witty, totally gripping book that will make you cringe one minute and laugh out loud the next.  I absolutely loved this book and I couldn’t have imagined a more worthy successor to Skulduggery Pleasant!  It is a completely new story but you can imagine it existing in Skulduggery’s world.  Derek’s wit and brilliant dialogue are still here.  Some of the conversations between his characters are hilarious!

Derek takes readers down an even darker path (or road) than his previous books. I love the darkness of the story and I wanted to keep reading to see what sort of monsters the characters would meet next. There are some seriously shady characters in this book and people get killed in increasingly gruesome ways.  Derek’s gory descriptions are superb and really make you cringe.  He has a real gift for gore and death scenes.  I personally think Demon Road is aimed at an older audience than the Skulduggery series, so consider this if you are buying it for a school library.

One of my favourite things about Derek’s books has always been his characters.  While the names of the characters don’t stand out as much in Demon Road, Derek has created some very memorable and interesting characters.  There is Milo (Amber’s chauffeur and bodyguard with a mysterious past), Glen (the weirdo from Ireland whose days are numbered),with some witches, vampires and undead serial killers thrown in for good measure.  My absolute favourite character is Glen, who always seems to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and just has the worst luck.  It’s Glen who provides some of the funniest moments in Demon Road.  The main character, Amber, isn’t too far removed from Stephanie in the Skulduggery series.  She’s tough and can kick butt when she needs to, and she really grew on me as I followed her journey.

Readers who are already fans of Derek Landy will love Demon Road, but this book is certain to introduce a new legion of fans to his writing.  I want to put Demon Road in to the hands of as many adult horror fans as I can as well, because I’m sure they’ll find something to love in this book too.

Thank you Derek Landy for giving your loyal fans a new series to get obsessed with!  I certainly can’t wait to read the next book when it’s released early next year.

Leave a comment

Filed under horror, young adult, young adult fiction

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy

War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making. But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

Last Stand of Dead Men is the second to last book in Derek Landy’s wonderful Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it sure is one tense, action-packed read.  The further we’ve been getting to the end of the series, the more dramatic the events of each book have been.  The magic world has been teetering on the brink of war for some time now and it’s in Last Stand of Dead Men that war finally breaks out between the Sanctuaries.  An epic magic battle ensues, with death and destruction galore.

As the front cover says, ‘no one is safe.’  The characters that we’ve come to love are caught up in the middle of the war and not everyone survives.  Heroes become villains, enemies fight together, some people aren’t who we thought they were, and others look completely different from the last time we saw them.  Derek also introduces us to new characters and creations, my favourite of which are the Warlock’s minions, the Wretchlings.

Last Stand of Dead Men is the darkest of the series so far and we see the darker side of Skulduggery coming out.  While it doesn’t have the same humour as some of the earlier books, the scenes with Scapegrace and Thrasher provide some light relief and had me laughing out loud.  One of the things I like the most about Derek’s books is his brilliant dialogue and there is plenty of this in this book.

Skulduggery will do anything to save Valkyrie and I certainly can’t wait until September next year to find out how it all ends.  Will Skulduggery save her or will Darquesse destroy the world?

Last Stand of Dead Men is out now.  Grab a copy from your library or bookshop.

Win a copy of Last Stand of Dead Men!

Thanks to HarperCollins NZ I have 3 copies of Last Stand of Dead Men to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Friday 4 October (NZ only).

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under authors, books, children, children's fiction, horror

Derek Landy talks about Last Stand of Dead Men

War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making. But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

The second to last book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Last Stand of Dead Men, is finally here!  The last couple of books are going to be pretty epic and it will be really interesting to see how the series ends.  I’ll post my review very soon and there will be a copy to win.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children's fiction, horror

Cover Reveal: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy

The eighth instalment in the biggest, funniest, most thrilling comedy-horror-adventure series in the universe – and the follow-up to 2012’s number-one bestseller, Kingdom of the Wicked…

War has finally come.

But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.

But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

Last Stand of Dead Men is released in New Zealand in August by HarperCollins NZ.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, children, children's fiction, horror

Derek Landy on Tanith Low and the Maleficent Seven

To celebrate the release of his new book, The Maleficent Seven, Derek Landy went down to a crypt under Dublin and answered some questions about Tanith and her part in the Skulduggery Pleasant series.  The 3 parts of the interview are below for your viewing pleasure.

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, funny, horror

The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

One of the things I love the most about Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series is the cast of brilliantly named characters.  The series focuses on Skulduggery and Valkyrie as they fight to save the world from the forces of evil, but I’ve often wished that I could see more of particular characters.  I can imagine them getting in to all sorts of trouble when Skulduggery isn’t around.  I’m obviously not the only one who wished for this, as Derek has written a stand-alone book that focuses specifically on Tanith Low, once a hero but now a villain with a Remnant inside her.  Tanith and her gang of evil-doers go up against a group of rogue Sanctuary agents in Derek’s latest book, The Maleficent Seven.

This time, the bad guys take the stage. Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mister Ghastly Bespoke. When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she’s got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…

There is no Skulduggery or Valkyrie in sight in The Maleficent Seven but I loved it and it’s got everything that makes the Skulduggery books so great.  Some of my favourite minor characters in the series are major players in this book, especially Tanith and Billy-Ray Sanguine. Tanith and Billy-Ray have an unusual relationship – you don’t expect villains to use the word ‘love’ and be cutesy with each other.  There are other characters who have also popped up in the other books in the series that you find out more about too, and not all of them make it to the end of the story (which is pretty normal for a Derek Landy book).  I like that this book focuses mostly on the villains, rather than the heroes.  You don’t often get to see things from their perspective so it makes a nice change.  The major villain is, of course, Tanith Low, who we haven’t seen much of in the last few books, and the whole story centers around her.  As well as the main story of tracking down the God-Killer level weapons, Derek gives us a glimpse of Tanith’s origins.  You see her as pre-Sanctuary Tanith as well as Remnant-host Tanith.

The main reason I love Derek’s writing is because of his wicked sense of humour.  The dialogue is great and his characters have some very entertaining conversations.  There are some hilarious lines in this book and I just have to share a couple.

‘There are plenty of things I’d insult before getting to your intelligence, Johann.  Your beard for one.  It looks like the beards of Fu Manchu and Ming the Merciless mated, and their bizarre offspring crawled on to your face and died on your chin.’

‘”You zapped your own brain?”

“And it didn’t do me any harm apart from the dizziness and the vomiting spells and the weirdly persistent ringing in my ears.  Also the blackouts and the mood swings and the creeping paranoia.  Apart from that, zero side effects, if you don’t count numb fingertips.  Which I don’t.”‘

If you’re a fan of the Skulduggery Pleasant series I’m sure you’ll love The Maleficent Seven as much as I did.   You don’t have to have read any of the other books in the series to enjoy this one, so it would be a great book to hook kids in to the series.

5 out of 5 stars

Leave a comment

Filed under authors, books, children, children's fiction, fantasy, funny

Enter the Skulduggery Pleasant Exquisite Corpse Competition

Are you a huge Skulduggery Pleasant fan? Well here’s the competition for you.

I received a very exciting email today from HarperCollins, the publisher of Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series.  The email was about a new competition that HarperCollins and Derek Landy are running for all Skulduggery fans, to celebrate the release of The Maleficent Seven.  There are some awesome prizes up for grabs and it’s super easy to enter.  Read all about it below and enter your masterpiece.

INTRODUCING EXQUISITE CORPSE

“There are things, pieces of artwork, stories… creations. Objects that burn with an inner light. These things have power. They are fused with the magic imbued in them by their creators. They are fragments of their creators’ minds, of their very souls, fragments taken and cut free, wrenched loose, torn from them for all to see and then stitched together to form a patchwork world, a collage of dreams… an Exquisite Corpse.” Your Golden God, Derek Landy

Exquisite Corpse is our very first fan works competition!

We know you’re awesome. You know you’re awesome. We know that you know that you’re… you get the idea. But the thing is, sometimes it’s not enough to just know, sometimes you have to show everyone else. So, this is your chance. We’re looking for fan works, created by you, inspired by the Golden God himself. Derek, that is. And we’re going to have a theme. This month, unsurprisingly, the theme is Tanith Low. We love her. You love her. Get to it!

You can submit anything… well, anything you’ve created. It could be a poem, a drawing, a short story (under 1,000 words, please, we know how prolific you all get, and Derek needs a little time to, you know, finish Book 8), it could be a Haiku, a clay model, a photo montage. Anything you like, as long as it was inspired by Tanith.

Simply email it – or a picture of it – to us at skulduggery@harpercollins.co.uk.

Derek will judge the entries, and then one lucky fan will WIN the chance to be featured in our newsletter and on the Skulduggery Pleasant website, as the creator of the Exquisite Corpse Work of the Month! Everyone who enters will get an exclusive The Maleficent Seven themed poster, plus we’ll also send the winner a signed copy of The Maleficent Seven.

Derek Landy’s new book, The Maleficent Seven, is a one-off novella focusing on Tanith Low.  The Maleficent Seven is released in NZ on April 18.  Look out for my review soon and your chance to win a copy.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, children's fiction, competition

Countdown to Skulduggery Pleasant Book 8

The wonderful people at HarperCollins New Zealand sent me a very exciting email today about Skulduggery Pleasant.  Only 219 days until the, as yet untitled, Skulduggery Pleasant Book 8 is released!  Read on for more info and to view Tom Percival’s temporary cover.

If you’ve been following Derek’s blog, you’ll know that he has written a third of Book Eight already. In fact, he’s cracking on with it at such an amazing pace that we can now officially confirm that Skulduggery Pleasant Book Eight will publish on 29th August 2013.

Yes, that’s just a little over 7 months away. Or a mere 219 days. Only 5,256 hours. And if you want to know the minutes, you should get a calculator.

Only kidding: it’s 315,360.

Derek will reveal the title on his blog soon (http://dereklandy.blogspot.co.nz/) – just another reason to check the blog page regularly. That, and he sometimes posts funny pictures of cats.

Nor will that be the last exciting reveal of the spring, because the jacket will be revealed sometime after that, once artist extraordinaire Tom Percival has worked his usual magic.

In the meantime, here’s a lovely holding image, to keep you going:

Skulduggery Pleasant 8

Stay tuned for further developments.

And start counting down the minutes.

2 Comments

Filed under books, children, children's fiction, horror

Cover reveal: The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

Derek Landy has just revealed the spectacular cover for his Tanith Low novella, as created by the brilliant Tom Percival.  Check out the cover and the synopsis below…

This time, the bad guys take the stage.

Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mister Ghastly Bespoke.

When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she’s got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…

The Maleficent Seven is a stand alone novel set in the Skulduggery Pleasant world, starring Tanith Low. Its due out on 28th March, 2013, so for those crazy Skulduggery Pleasant fans like me you don’t have too long to wait.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, children's fiction, funny, horror

Win a set of Skulduggery Pleasant postcards

Would you like to win a set of 6 postcards featuring everybody’s favourite skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant?  Derek Landy’s wonderful publishers had a whole heap of these very cool postcards left over after Derek’s tour of NZ so I’m very lucky to have some to give away here on the blog.

If you would like to get your hands on a set, just enter your name and address in the form below and I’ll pick 10 lucky winners on Friday (NZ only).  If you’re one of the winners, a set of the postcards will turn up in your letterbox soon.

This competition is now closed.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, competition, New Zealand