Skulduggery Pleasant

361p. HarperCollins. May 2018. pap. ISBN 9780008248789. POP
Gr 5–8—Long-time favorite fantasy series "Skulduggery Pleasant" is officially jumping the pond to land on U.S. shelves. After the death of her uncle Gordon, 12-year-old Stephanie's quiet life is thrown into chaos as an epic mystery unfolds involving her uncle's secret abilities, a mythical secret, and an ancient threat. Stephanie is involved further by Skulduggery Pleasant, an ace detective skilled in elemental magic who is investigating Gordon's death. He also happens to be an undead skeleton with a flair for the dramatic. The unlikely duo's investigations will uncover a plot to reawaken the old gods and destroy the world as they know it, with a path already steeped in blood. With breakneck pacing, this witty adventure is populated by a campy cast of characters including a woman who fights trolls in the middle of the night and an unsightly tailor for the magically gifted. Though at times tending towards grisly descriptions of violence, this page-turner is nevertheless a sure recommendation for fans of fast-paced fantasy and mystery alike. New editions of the book's sequels will follow this year.
VERDICT If not already on shelves, this is a first-purchase for collections with interest in smart, and dark, speculative fiction.

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