Skulduggery Pleasant follows herione Stephanie Edgley, whose uncle–a famed horror author–dies mysteriously, leaving Stephanie with his fortune and mansion, but as Stephanie spends the night in her late uncle’s house, she is thrust into a magical underworld full of murderous hunters, vampires, ghosts and monsters that appear to mirror those written about in her uncle’s books. Stephanie meets Skulduggery Pleasant, a humorous skeleton brought to life with a special kind of magic, and the two will journey through present-day Ireland protecting the magical world from crime and learning more about her family’s truths along the way.
One of the reasons that I enjoyed this book was because of our main character, Stephanie. While the general appeal is–but not limited to–tween and teen boys, readers of both genders will enjoy Stephanie’s character: throughout the novel, Stephanie is portrayed as a strong female character who speaks her mind and is eager to make her own way in the world. Stephanie is a great role model throughout the series, demonstrating wit, nerve and intelligence far beyond her years.
Both young and young at heart readers will be able to enjoy this for its humorous dialogue; while the novel sometimes deals with macabre themes, such as torture, possession, and death, the anecdotes sprinkled throughout these scenes helps to soften the blow a little. Almost every phrase that escape’s the titular character’s mouth is laced with wit.
While this series can be considered rather violent for young readers, it is generally considered to be written for tweens; however, it is recommended that you read through the book before deciding if it is right for your child.
I enjoyed this book a lot, as it intertwines many themes, with fantasy (magic use, magical powers), mystery (detectives, crime), humour (general dialogue, delivery) and horror (skeletons, death, murder, blood.)
All over, this book is a fantastic read, and readers with the ability to read quickly will find themselves devouring this book, as the font is rather large in the original binding and is no more than three hundred and fifty pages.