Skulduggery Pleasant (series)

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Skulduggery Pleasant
Author Derek Landy
Country Republic of Ireland
Language English
Genre Fantasy, Children's literature , Teenage Fiction , Horror
Publisher HarperCollins
Published Skulduggery Pleasant (2007)
Playing With Fire (2008)
The Faceless Ones (2009)
Dark Days (2010)
Mortal Coil (2010)
Death Bringer (2011)
Kingdom of the Wicked (2012)
Last Stand of Dead Men (2013)
The Dying of the Light (2014)
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Audiobook

Skulduggery Pleasant is a series of fantasy novels written by Irish author Derek Landy. The books revolve around the adventures of the skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant and a teenage girl, Stephanie Edgley (Valkyrie Cain) along with other friends. The central story arc concerns Valkyrie's struggle to stop evil forces threatening the world, finally find justice for her late uncle's death, and her internal struggle of keeping the darkness within her to stay within.

Since the release of the first novel, Skulduggery Pleasant, the series has been praised by both readers and critics.

The second novel, Playing With Fire, was released the following year, and the third, The Faceless Ones, in 2009. On 1 April 2010 the fourth book Dark Days was released, followed by Mortal Coil on 1 September 2010. Death Bringer, the sixth book, was released on 1 September the following year. A novella titled The End of the World was released on 26 February 2012, to coincide with World Book Day, and the seventh book in the series, titled Kingdom of the Wicked, was released in Australia and New Zealand on 24 July 2012,[1] and the UK on the 30 of August.

Landy was initially contracted to write three books, with any further books depending on how well the first trilogy sold. The success of the first novels ensured that the deal was extended first to six books and in 2011, HarperCollins signed the deal for the final trilogy.[2]

The unabridged audio versions of the books are available from Harper Collins Audio and the first four are read by Rupert Degas. The fifth is read by Brian Bowles; the sixth, seventh, and eighth books are read by Stephen Hogan.

Novels[edit]

Skulduggery Pleasant: Sceptre of The Ancients[edit]

Twelve year old Stephanie Edgley is tired of her boring life. But when a man breaks into her recently deceased uncle's house and tries to kill her, she is saved by a cocky, arrogant, fireball throwing, 500 year old detective named Skulduggery Pleasant, who just so happens to be a walking skeleton, she is thrust into a world of danger, murder and magic. Taking the new name of Valkyrie Cain, she partners up with Skulduggery to solve her uncle's murder, and to prevent the devious Nefarian Serpine from obtaining the Sceptre of Ancients, a mystical weapon that can slay gods.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire[edit]

Baron Vengeous, one of Mevolents Three Generals, has escaped from prison, and he has big plans for the Grotesquery, a dark creature created from the remains of some of the most deadly creature to ever walk the earth. Most worrying of all, it has a torso of a Faceless One, one of the dark gods that ruled the earth eons ago, and the Baron plans to use this to bring back the rest of the Faceless Ones, so they may resume their reign of tyranny and torture, and to help him with this endeavour he has an army of vampires at his disposal. This will be Skulduggery and Valkyrie's toughest battle yet...

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones[edit]

As a string of murders whittles down the number of teleporters in the world at an alarming rate, it is quickly linked to a fanatical cult named the Diablerie, who worship horrific Dark gods known as the Faceless Ones, as they attempt to open a portal with the goal of returning the Faceless Ones to the world. With the assistance of a cocky young teleporter, Fletcher Renn, Valkyrie and Skulduggery have very little time to; track down a mysterious man named Batu, stop the Diablerie, and prevent the Faceless ones from returning to earth, because if they don't, the world will burn. This one will have deadly consequences...

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days[edit]

Following the events of the faceless ones, Valkyrie has tracked down Skulduggery's skull, with which she can open another portal to the faceless ones dimension and rescue Skulduggery. However, things do not go exactly as planned as Skullduggery has become unhinged thanks to his experiences with the faceless ones, but it is quickly revealed that they have much bigger problems to worry about: The Revengers Club, a group of criminals and murderers (and Scapegrace), who are out for revenge against those who wronged them in the way they know best: mass murder. And if that wasn't enough to deal with, sensitives all around the globe are having visions of a new threat, one that will bring the world to its knees....Darquesse.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil[edit]

Between the shocking revelation that she is Darquesse, a near godly being that sensitives have had visions of, in which she turns to world into a charred lifeless husk, an outbreak of vicious, soul possessing shadows known as remnants who turn their hosts into murdering psychopaths with no remorse, and a prophecy which may make her the 'Death Bringer', a messiah to the necromancers who they believe will be their salvation, Valkyrie Cain has a lot to worry about. And this time, she might not make it...

Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer[edit]

The Death bringer has finally arrived, and she has brought with her an eagerness to end the world as we know it, and initiate the passage, a secretive ritual which necromancers refuse to explain to the rest of the magical community, only that it will 'tear down the barriers between life and death'. But when the horrific truth behind the passage is revealed, Valkyrie and Skulduggery are caught up in a hectic race against time to save half of the worlds population from an untimely death, a race that will have both Skulduggery and Valkyrie facing their inner demons....

Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom Of The Wicked[edit]

Mortals all throughout the world are inexplicably obtaining magical powers, and the trail seems to lead to Arggedion, a pacifistic, almost god like being , who, with the knowledge of his true name, hopes to bring magic to the masses, and lift the world into a new era of enlightenment and peace. The only problem with his seemingly idilyic plan: his test subjects are running wild, drunk on their newfound power, and are slaughtering innocent people. All of this poses a credible challenge to Skulduggery and Valkyrie, but they also have the Supreme Council to deal with, an allied group of sanctuaries trying to convince the Irish to hand over control , and to make things worse, Valkyrie starts having unintentional trans-dimensional jaunts to a world controlled by sorcerers, where mortals live in terror and Mevolent still lives. So, just another usual day then.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men[edit]

The war between sanctuaries that everyone has been expecting has finally come, with the Supreme Council making a desperate grab for control of a cradle of magic, sparking a brutal war that will turn friend into enemy, and ally to foe. But even as the Dead Men make their final stand for their country and their freedom, there is another war raging, inside Valkyrie paul herself, and it is much more important. Because if she loses, Darquesse will rise, the world will burn, and everyone she knows and loves will perish.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light[3][edit]

This was be the final book in the series and was released on 28 August 2014. [4] The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder.

And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals… and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection.

The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive…

Short stories[edit]

Paperback Short Stories[edit]

The paperback releases of four of the eight novels so far have included an extra short story at the end.

The paperback releases of Dark Days, Death Bringer & Kingdom of the Wicked did not include extra short stories.

These four stories (along with The Button, Myosotis Terra, and Trick or Treat) will be published in the short story collection, titled 'Armageddon-Outta-Here', on 3rd July 2014.

Myosotis Terra[edit]

As part of a competition, a short story was written in 2011 with the winning entry featuring as a character. Some European editions of Mortal Coil contained this story. It was re-released in the tour edition of the 2012 Australian Tour edition.

Trick or Treat[edit]

In October 2011, Derek Landy posted a Halloween special, a short story featuring Tanith Low and Billy-Ray Sanguine and titled Trick or Treat, on his blog.[5] It is a prelude to The Maleficent Seven as it deals with The God-Killer Weapons.

The Button[edit]

Derek Landy announced on 14 December that available on his blog from 21–22 December 2012, would be a short story relating to the Mayan 2012 apocalypse theory. It is called "The Button" and feat it. It will be included in the short story collection.[6] ...

Novellas[edit]

The End of the World[edit]

In June 2011 Landy posted on his blog [7] that he would be writing a short story about Skulduggery called The End of the World. It was released in late February 2012 to coincide with World Book Day 2012. The Australian release of this novella came with an additional short story titled Just Another Friday Night. Deleted scenes from Skulduggery Pleasant were included. It is set a few months after Book 6. It will be included in the short story collection.

Tanith Low in... The Maleficent Seven[edit]

A novella featuring Tanith Low was published in 2013. The cover and title were released on 7 December 2012 after several delays. Landy stated it was his favourite book cover ever. The blog post revealing the cover and title is available here: http://dereklandy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-maleficent-seven.html. It was released on 28 March 2013 in the U.K & Ireland and 1 April in some other countries. The novella follows Tanith Low and Billy-Ray Sanguine as they form a team of villains, outcasts and monsters in order to collect the God-killer weapons, so that they may never be used against Darquesse, whilst Dexter Vex has recruited a team to collect the weapons with the exact opposite in mind: he wants to stockpile the weapons in order to be used against Darquesse. Its a good day to be a bad guy....

Armageddon Outta Here[edit]

Armageddon Outta Here[8] is a collection of all the previous short stories and novellas published in the series along with 3 new short stories, 1 new novella and a sample chapter from the final book. It was released on the 3rd July 2014.[9]

The order below represents chronological order as opposed to their original publication date.[10][11]

Across a Dark Plain[edit]

1861: The Dead Men traversed South Dakota on the hunt for their quarry, Nefarian Serpine.

The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball[edit]

1986: Gordon Edgley and Skulduggery Pleasant attend the party of the enigmatic Sebastian Fawkes.

The Lost Art Of World Domination[edit]

Sometime after Book 1: Scaramouch Van Dreg manages to capture Skulduggery Pleasant.

Gold, Babies And The Brothers Muldoon[edit]

Sometime after Book 2: The Muldoons kidnap babies and hold them to ransom.

The Slightly Ignominious End To The Legend Of Black Annis[edit]

Sometime after Book 3: Tanith Low encounters Black Annis for the first time.

Friday Night Fights[edit]

Sometime before Book 4: The story of Valkyrie Cain and Caelan met each other.

Myosotis Terra[edit]

Sometime after Book 4: Skulduggery and Valkyrie search for Myosotis Terra.

The Wonderful Adventures of Geoffrey Scrutinous[edit]

Sometime after Book 5: Geoffrey Scrutinous and Skulduggery Pleasant search for Elwood Satchel.

Just Another Friday Night[edit]

Sometime before Book 6: Tane Aiavao and Hayley Skirmish meet with a cursed family.

The End Of The World[edit]

Sometime after Book 6: Skulduggery and Valkyrie attempt to solve a mystery surrounding Deacon Maybury, Ryan and the Doomsday Machine.

Trick Or Treat[edit]

Sometime before the Maleficent Seven: Tanith and Billy-Ray Sanguine continue their quest to destroy the God-Killers.

Get Thee Behind Me, Bubba Moon[edit]

Sometime after Book 7: A haunted house is investigated.

The Button[edit]

Sometime after Theatre of Shadows: Skulduggery and Valkyrie attempt to avert the cause of the world's destruction.

New covers[edit]

As of October 2010, a series of new covers have been released. The first book's cover is more or less the back cover of the normal cover (only blue). The second cover is gold, the third is purple, the fourth is red, the fifth is green, the sixth is dark blue, the seventh is silver and the eighth is yellow. The new mass market paperback edition covers all feature Skulduggery on the front and Valkyrie on the back. The new covers can be viewed at Waterstones.com.[12] Some were released with a short story set a few months after the plot of the novel. Landy has said on his blog that these stories will be gradually removed from the reprints of the books and instead published in a collection of short stories in early 2014.[13]

Awards[edit]

Skulduggery Pleasant won the Red House Children's Book Award,[14] the Bolton Children's Book Award[15] and the Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Award.[16] The book was also recommended for confident readers (9+) by the Richard & Judy Children's Book Club in 2007. It also won the Portsmouth Book Awards in 2008, having been selected by school children in Portsmouth, as well as winning Irish book of the decade in 2010.[17] Also, in 2009, it won the Kernow Youth and Grampian Book Awards by a majority vote. It had also been nominated for Young Reader's Choice Awards 2010 in North America and it won Irish book awards in 2009 and 2010

Reviews and reception[edit]

As the first four novels released, immense popularity and positive reviews have been given to the novels. Many critics praised Derek Landy's way of writing due to his large gallery of characters. Some critics and their comments are below:

It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and it's fun. There's nothing worthy about it, and it's all the better for that. And, I might add, it's self-contained. Landy may well revisit these characters – I sincerely hope he does – but it's a pleasingly rounded tale, which is refreshing in these days of endless open-ended books of never-ending series.[18]
There is no expense spared by Landy in this book and I would have to say that everyone who could be bothered to read it, would definitely be drawn into it and certainly enjoy it. (…) Something for everyone and everything for someone, Skulduggery Pleasant is easily my book of the year so far. Read it![19]
Landy is an established horror writer, and the combats between Skulduggery, Serpine and his legions of Hollow Men and vampires rival the climaxes of the Potter films for hair-raising effects; it isn't often that writing makes you feel as if you are watching a film.[20]
Derek Landy’s debut, Skulduggery Pleasant (…) has a distinctly Horowitzian humour and verve to it, being a detective story featuring a wizard’s skeleton as hero. When Stephanie’s uncle dies, she discovers his horror stories weren’t fiction, and that evil forces are after her for a mysterious key. Wisecracking madly, the duo must survive each other as well as Hell. At the end of it, readers of 12+ may well be regretting their consumption of chocolate eggs.[21]

Film adaptations[edit]

In 2010 rumours began to circulate that the Skulduggery Pleasant series would be developed into a film. The film was initially planned for release with Warner Bros. in 2013, but Derek Landy didn't like the script and stated that no film would be released unless the script was written by him. Derek Landy has since decided to leave adapting his books into a screenplay until the completion of The Dying of the Light, the last book in the series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kingdom Of The Wicked: Skulduggery Pleasant Book 7 by Derek Landy". Dymocks.com.au. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ "HarperCollins extends Landy deal". Thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEJ1Dj6rJC4
  4. ^ Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress, Retrieved March 24th 2014.
  5. ^ "Blog Post - Trick or Treat". Dereklandy.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ "The Button", Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress, 21 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Blog Post - The End of the World". Dereklandy.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ http://dereklandy.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/short-story-collection.html
  9. ^ http://dereklandy.blogspot.ie/2014/03/behold-minions.html
  10. ^ http://dereklandy.blogspot.ie/2012/11/kotw-paperback.html
  11. ^ http://dereklandy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-button.html
  12. ^ "Books, Textbooks, eBooks and eReaders at Waterstones.com". Waterstones.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  13. ^ "KOTW Paperback", Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress, 13 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Red House Children's Book Award". Redhousechildrensbookaward.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  15. ^ "Bolton Children's Book Award 2008 at Bolton Literacy Trust". Boltonliteracytrust.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  16. ^ "YTF 2008". Staffordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  17. ^ "Longer novel section for year 8/9 pupils". Portsmouth.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  18. ^ Ardagh, Philip (7 April 2007). "Review at The Guardian". London. 
  19. ^ "Review at the Whitby Gazette". Whitbygazette.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ Hardyment, Christina (20 April 2007). "Review at The Independent". London. 
  21. ^ "Short Review at the Times". The Times (London). 31 March 2007. 

External links[edit]