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Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy

The Blurb On The Back:

”Valkyrie turned to the portal. The wind whipped her hair. She ran, straight into the yellow ...”


Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved plan to save him.

But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans ...




It’s been 6 months since the events of THE FACELESS ONES and Skulduggery Pleasant remains trapped with them in a parallel dimension. The Sanctuary has given him up as dead and refuse to give Valkyrie Cain any assistance but she and her friends – China Sorrows, Fletcher Renn, Ghastly Bespoke and Tanith Low have been executing her own plan. If they can track down Skulduggery’s original head, then they can use it to open a doorway to save him. But while they’re trying to rescue Skulduggery there are other forces at play that have bigger plans – plans that threaten to bring down the Sanctuary and take revenge on Valkyrie, Skulduggery and everything and everyone that they hold dear ...

Be warned – this 4th book in Landy’s excellent series is a very dark and disturbing story, which starts off scary and gets worse as Landy puts everyone the reader cares about into harm’s way.

Valkyrie’s willing to do anything and everything to save her friend, even though only she is sure that he can still be saved. She’s a very different girl to the one encountered in the first book – determined and strong-minded, she’s come up with the plan by herself and has been doing anything to execute it – including Necromancy lessons from Solomon Wreath. As always, I enjoyed the interaction between Valkyrie and her reflection who’s living the normal life that Valkyrie should have – the doubts and slow realisation as to what she’s missing out on is touchingly depicted and Landy promises a great deal more from this in future books.

It takes a while for Skulduggery to make an appearance and when he does, he’s clearly been affected by the torture inflicted on him by the Faceless Ones but at the same time, he’s managed to pick up a load of new and very nifty tricks. His interaction with Valkyrie runs through the core of the book and their friendship always feels very real and is all the more effective because of it.

The side story about Dreylan Scarab is well put together and sees a host of familiar baddies coming back to the story while also advancing the overall back arc to the series. A storyline involving hapless zombies had me laughing out loud.

All in all this was a brilliant read with an explosive ending that has me desperate to read the next in the series.

The Verdict:

A dark and stunning read from start to finish, this 4th instalment in Derek Landy’s MG fantasy series is a delight from start to finish. I’m not convinced that some of the content is suitable for younger readers as there’s a lot of death and violence, but older readers should thoroughly enjoy it.

Cross-posted to books, bookworming, fantasywithbite, kiddie_lit and middlebooks.
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