Reviewed May 5, 2008.
Harper Audio, 2007. 7 1/2 hours. 6 compact discs.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2008: #5, Audiobooks
I would love to meet a well-dressed detective with a voice like Skulduggery Pleasant. The narrator does a magnificent job of making him sound tough and reliable and a hero to turn to when young Stephanie Edgely needs saving from deathly peril. His Irish accent is irresistible. When he turns out to be a living skeleton, we find we still want him on our side.
Stephanie is plunged into a world of magic and ancient evil after her uncle's death. She comes close to death countless times as she finds herself working with Skulduggery to try to save the world.
This book is full of action and narrow escapes. The banter between Stephanie and Skulduggery is full of fun, wit, and affection.
The magic world Derek Landy creates -- the one that ordinary people don't know about but goes on around us -- is much darker and more sinister than Harry Potter's. The villains here are truly evil, and there are some gruesome deaths.
But most of all, this is a fun and captivating adventure yarn. The narration is completely magnificent, and found me wanting to linger in my car even after I'd reached my destination.
The things that happen to people (in the past of the story and its present) are horrible and gruesome enough that I would save this book for teens and up. But for those who don't mind a little grit in the story, I highly recommend this book. Better yet, listen to the audio version and enjoy the Irish accents!