Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Skulduggery Pleasant

Middle Grade Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog for a list of other sites featuring MG books.

Today I’ll talk about Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

From Goodreads: Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he’ll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That’s right, they’re the heroes.

Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle’s most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.

From Vicki: This was a really fun, but slightly dark, read. Stephanie is a kick-tush heroine who gets involved in a world she doesn’t know and doesn’t understand, but can’t stay out of. This world has skeleton-detectives, evil magicians, minions made of paper, vampires, sword-wielding troll-busting girls, and rich uncles with secrets. Who wouldn’t want to read about that?

One of my favorite lines: “Being a detective isn’t all about torture and murder and monsters. Sometimes it gets truly unpleasant.”

This is one of those books that, even though I barely have time to keep up with what’s current, I really want to read the sequels (5 or 6 of them).

Anyone read one or more of these books? What did you think?

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Skulduggery Pleasant

  1. Lisa Gail Green

    This one sounds like my kind of book! LOL. I may have to pick it up sooner than later!

  2. One of my favorite books and one of my favorite lines. My daughter and I loved this. I’ve read 4 in the series, but the rest have been hard to find in the US.

  3. I haven’t read many middle grade books, but this one sounds good.

  4. lesliesullirose

    What a killer title! Sounds like a great romp.

  5. pendragonwriter

    I read the first one and loved it!!! I haven’t gotten around to the sequels yet, though I actually have the second one in house. I think this is a very under-appreciated book – surprised it did not take off a bit like the Lightning Thief series.

  6. pendragonwriter

    Had a hard time leaving a comment for some reason – this is Margo Berendsen and I love this book!!! Surprised it did not take off like the Percy Jackson series did, I thought it had the same potential.

  7. This description has me sold. I happen to know a little boy who will be very happy with this book. Thanks.

  8. I love the title. And it’s a series too? Oh dear, the wishlist just got longer!

  9. Sounds like a fun book. I love MG books- and I haven’t read this one. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sounds like a fun read indeed! ooh that rhymed. hehe. I need to read more MG!

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