Spirited jazz, screams, and chilling sound effects open this action-packed and humorous sequel to Playing With Fire. Narrator Rupert Degas is sublime; every one of his characters is splendid. Of course, the best is Skulduggery, whose scarf and hat hide his skeleton self while his voice matches his uncommon appearance. Skulduggery's 14-year-old sidekick, Valkyrie Cain, is also fully believable as she goes from being a sorcerer-in-training to a schoolgirl and daughter of delightful parents. Degas artfully takes her from home and school to help Skulduggery save the world as we know it..
©2009 Derek Landy; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Mr. Landy again brings magic, loyalty, treachery and surprise to the third Skulduggery Pleasant book. I'm ready for the next one and if you read it, you will be too.
I don't know what it is about Skulduggery Pleasant, but I think he's adorable. That's not to say I'd be brave enough to enter his world. I think that's a step too far. But Derek Landy can take me there any time.
In this third book of a series, Skulduggery and Valkyrie Cain (aka Stephanie Edgley) set off on yet another adventure against Nefarian Serpine. But in this book we see Valkyrie starting to question all the things she's missing in being a normal girl. Can she be jealous of her reflection who's covering for her while she is otherwise occupied? It seems that may be the case. We also see Stephanie literally growing. Her crime fighting protective garments are getting too small, which is a nice touch Landy throws in to show us she's now 14 and not 12 (her age when the novels started).
In another interesting twist, Valkyrie/Stephanie starts to question her mortality. This marks some personal growth in her, which makes her a much more interesting character. Juxtaposed to this is the shadow of her Uncle Gordon who is questioning who he is as well. This puts some unexpected depth into the novel.
Don't get me wrong. These elements are scattered throughout the book in bits and pieces. It's still primarily a fantasy mystery for kids and adults alike. The series is so good that in 2010 it was voted the Irish Book of the Decade, winning over many best selling novels.
I'd tell you more about where the book ends, but it's unexpected cliffhanger and I don't want to ruin it for you.
Of course Rupert Degas, the Mel Blanc of the book narration world, does an outstanding job of reading the story. The production is stunning.
These books are a perfect read for that long vacation drive time. I highly recommend this book and the series, although audible.com is a little slow getting the last four to us. Still, don't let that stop you.
I totally love this series! But even more than the series, I love Rupert Degas and the way he reads this. I love this conclusion but I can't seem to find the fourth. It was an awesome series to listen to. I listened to all of them within two months!
It might seem like a cop out to rate five stars overall on a item. It creates the idea that the reviewer is incredibly biased in favor of the media being critiqued but in this case while 1. I am incredibly biased towards this book and it's reading, 2. It has 100% earned this bias through being an amazing piece of fiction brought to life by an incredible voice. This is the third book in this series, the third audio book that Rupert Degas has recorded in this series, and each book builds upon the last in a way that makes you hurry to look for the next audio book in the series once you're done listening.
Darek Landy is a better writer than I am, he'd probably think of some really clever and witty way to write this review and describe his work, but I'm not him. So you just have to trust me and my not witty and clever assurance that this book is top shelf.
Rupert Degas has a voice that could bring life to a rock. He is such an amazing voice actor. He really understands the characters and brings them to life.
Hope to continue to see more of this on audible
Awesome series, can't wait for the next book. The narrator is an absolute gem. Be warned, if you change him, I will do something terribly drastic and clever....to something. Anyway, great book, the banter between the characters is hilarious. Very fast paced and easy listen. You will enjoy.
This book has it all, a charming and witty (although skinless) hero, a tough and resourceful side-kick, lots of interesting supporting characters and an engrossing story.
The scene where Skuldugery's side-kick was trying to escape the underground house was a lot of fun.
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