- File Size: 1209 KB
- Print Length: 410 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (February 22, 2011)
- Publication Date: February 22, 2011
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003VIWNSU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,467 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 410 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 8 - 12|
|Grade Level: 5 and up|
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Top customer reviews
Skulduggery was... interesting. I liked his personality and how he and Stephanie got along. Seriously the quick, witty banter between the two of them was the best part of the book. I was a bit weirded out by the fact that he's a 100+ year old skeleton and he's hanging out with a 12 year old. That's weird right? Sure nothing weird went on with them but it was a bit odd.
I didn't enjoy the story as much as I thought I would. I'm always a fan of "hidden world"/save the world books so I should have liked this book. Something just never completely clicked for me. The mythos of the story was a bit too new age-y. Maybe it wasn't new age-y per se but that's the vibe I was getting from it. I kind of got in to the habit of skimming over sections where they went into details about the ancient one and the stone. Basically the mythos wasn't for me but it was done well.
It starts out with the death of and uncle and mysterious things happening to our protangonist. I rolled, my eyes, this seemed too much like half of the YA wizard/magical books out on the market, but the style was very readable so I pushed on. Once I got to chapter three, I was hooked. While the first chapter was pretty common, everything else was original. A walking, talking skeleton. This seemed like it was written for TV judging by the banter, but it was funny. This book brought back what I have been looking for, wich was a tight knit group of people that are witty, but do not totally trust ech other, and an orignal take on a fantasy world.
The only thing that bothered me was the fact that some minor characters were very forgettable, and sometimes tjose characters came back to play a big part, causing me to think, "Who the heck are yo...ohhh." The parent-kid relationship wasn't very strong either. And then there was the cheesiness in names. However, if you are looking for a series that is fresh, original, and filled to bursting with all kinds of questionable characters, Go on and try the first one.
In case you are wondering the reading level of these books and the series order - here you go:
Book one - Skulduggery Pleasant - Scepter of the Ancients
Lexile = 760L
Book two - Playing with Fire
Lexile = 700L
Book three - The Faceless Ones
Lexile = 680L
Book Four - Dark Days
Book Five - Mortal Coil
Book six - Death Bringer
Lexile = No info on these last three. I'll fill them in later when they become available.
You can learn more about Lexile Measurements on Lexile . com. To over simplify it, the lower the number, the easier a book is to read. If your son or daughter has taken a standardized test at school, he or she will have a score. You can go up or down from this score. Up to challenge your young reader, down to give positive reading sessions and success.
Derek Landy, the author, obviously has a love of fantasy and detective stories. For his first novel, he combined them, creating the character of Skulduggery Pleasant, a wizard reduced to skeletal remains who wears an old suit and carries a big gun. Of course, Skulduggery also knows several magical spells. His trademark seems to be throwing fireballs.
His partner-in-peril is Stephanie Edgely, a precocious twelve-year old who soon negotiates her way into Skulduggery's investigation of her uncle's death. I loved the way she stands up to him and threatens him with different things to get in on the action. Once she even promises to stand on his hat if he doesn't allow her to accompany him. You have to understand that Skulduggery prides himself on his appearance and he's quite taken with his hat.
Since Skulduggery has been involved in the fantasy private eye business for hundreds of years, he's got a ton of backstory and friends/enemies in the biz to reveal to Stephanie and the readers. One of the best facts that surface in Stephanie and Skulduggery's dialogue is that the skull Skulduggery wears isn't his own. You'll have to read the book to find out what happened to his original skull. And China (one of the deadly female characters in the book) is equal parts mystery and danger. I'm hoping Skulduggery and Stephanie find it impossible to stay away from her.
From the first time Skulduggery crosses paths with Stephanie, he's dead-set on not acquiring a partner. Stephanie is dead-set on finding out who killed her favorite uncle - plus she's never quite fit into the "normal" world anyway. That's one of the reasons she enjoyed her uncle's horrific tales. Now that's she's been exposed to a world filled with magic and menace, she's drawn like a moth to a flame.
My son and I enjoyed the cast of characters Landy casually drops into the mix. Either the author spent a lot of time building this world or it sprang full-blown into his mind. There are a lot of intricate details and everything seems to have rules that Landy plays fairly by.
The story progresses quickly and aggressively. Landy doesn't mess around much with hand-wringing. It isn't long before he and Stephanie are invading a museum guarded by vampires and discover that Skulduggery's old foe (and the man that killed him!) is back from the dead and trying to grab power. Maybe no one else is willing to entertain the possibility that Serpine is back, but Skulduggery's been looking for his old enemy for hundreds of years.
The cover on this book drew my eye at once. As soon as I saw it, the book was in my hands. But it's Landy's writing and the great hours of fun that I spent with my son that make me glad I bought it. SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT is a terrific read-aloud that can be shared.
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