Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Skulduggery Pleasant- A Series Not to Be Missed!

Series fiction often gets a bad rap. To be fair, you only need look in your local bookstore to see the seemingly endless shelves filled with serial fiction that earns points for popularity, but are thought of as junk food. Don't get me wrong- I'm not bashing these types of series. There is nothing wrong with something that will be popular with kids and is just fun and easy to read. I loved Sweet Valley High in middle school, and it certainly didn't hurt me to read them!

At the other end of the spectrum are series that are not a trilogy, and are both high quality and popular. I start a lot of series. I enjoy many of them, and never get to the second book. Even if I did nothing but read for a year, I'd never have time to get through all of the books I want to read. But a few series, and they are few, get me completely hooked, and I greedily and eagerly devour each successive book. The subject of this post, Skulduggery Pleasant, is one of those series, and is at the very top of my must-read series list in big bold letters!

The series, which is currently 5 books long (Note to author: Please hurry up and finish book 6!) is written by Irish author Derek Landy, and it is brilliant. I don't use that word lightly either, so that should tell you something right away! The series stars Skulduggery Pleasant, an undead, sorcerer and skeleton detective,(Who wears immaculately tailored clothing and drives a Bentley.) and his partner Stephanie Edgley (aka Valkyrie Cain), who is 12 in the first book, and ages in the successive books. By book 5, she's 16. They are supported by numerous allies, comprised of various magical sorcerers and mages, (don't call them wizards- they don't like it) who help them battle against evil forces.

What really makes these books work is how amazingly witty they are. The plots are fast-moving and action-packed, but the writing is clever and funny, drawing comparisons to The Thin Man, for the rapid fire exchanges between the characters. It is difficult to do dialogue well, and Landy does it exceptionally well, appealing to adult readers as well as kids. It's also extremely refreshing to find another fantasy series with a kick-butt heroine. She's smart, strong and quick-witted, and never runs from danger.

I could gush on even more about these books, but you'll just have to trust me and read them for yourselves.