Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer – Derek Landy

Before you ask, yes, I am well aware that the rating on this book is 9+ and I had to get it from the kid’s section. I don’t care. It doesn’t make it any less awesome.

Because I’m lazy, I’m not going to review each book individually, and instead do the last one, but assure you that the others were really good as well.

Because they were.

I’m also going to warn you, this review is going to have spoilers. It came out a year ago, so I’m presuming that you’ve read it, or don’t care if I spoil it.

Ok. Summary time.

Summary

Oh, if you’ve never read Skulduggery Pleasant, then I will say this. It’s about a girl called Stephanie Edgley who meets a skeleton detective and has awesome adventures. Like Sherlock and Avatar: the Last Airbender and Percy Jackson all mixed together. That’s not a very accurate description… I don’t really know how else to… It’s basically just really awesome.

So now, Melancholia is the new Death Bringer, and they basically have to stop her from killing the world.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I mean, yeah, there are loads of subplots and stuff but that’s the meat of this story.

Now, I don’t really have any cons, but I need some, so let’s go.

Cons

The only thing that annoyed me was supposed to annoy me. I’m pretty sure that was the desired effect but STILL. VALKYRIE WHAT THE HELL I WAITED 2 ENTIRE BOOKS FOR YOU TO GET TOGETHER WITH FLETCHER AND THEN YOU JUST GO AND BREAK UP WITH HIM? WHAT. WHAT THE HELL.

Seriously, though. Valkyrie is a terrible girlfriend. She dates Fletcher, but treats him like trash and always has to have her way and Fletcher always comes off as the stupid one, and basically she has fun telling him how she just tolerates him and he’s annoying. And THEN she goes and makes out with the creepy, evil Vampire, Caelan, WHO I HATED WITH A PASSION.

It’s not really a Con, to be honest, because that was the desired effect. And if an author can make you feel so much about these characters, then they are obviously good at their job.

But Valkyrie straight up tells Caelan that she doesn’t like him she just thinks he’s really attractive and he’s got that mysterious thing about him. But that’s what I found really annoying. Because in the beginning, Valkyrie didn’t like Fletcher just because he was good looking, she liked him for his personality. But now she’ll just go and run of with some vampire for no apparent reason apart from that he’s dangerous and stuff. AND THEN WHEN SHE DOES BREAK UP WITH FLETCHER SHE DOESN’T EVEN CARE THAT MUCH. SHE GOES OFF AND FLIRTS WITH RANDOM PEOPLE AT THE BALL.

I’m sorry. She is such an awesome character. It’s just that Fletcher is also one of my favourite characters and he probably feels terrible that he suddenly got dumped and cheated on by this girl he was in love with for 3 BOOKS.

Sorry. Done ranting.

THE EYEBALL

Again, a personal thing, because I’m just really squeamish with that type of stuff. BUT HOLY WAFFLES WHEN DARQUESSE HAD HER EYE BALL SQUISHED IN HER EYE SOCKET AND IT STARTED DRIBBLING DOWN HER CHEEK AND SHE JUST PUT IT BACK IN WITH ALL THE BLOOD AND MUSH AND URGH AND THEN JUST FIXED IT.

I am not good with stuff to do with slitting wrists, or eyeballs or fingernails or stuff like that. That’s why Fear was so hard for me to get through.

Pros

Well, since this is my first review of this series, I guess I have to be really precise about what I liked.

The Writing Style is so awesome. And so funny.

The book in general is so hilarious. It’s really dry humour, mainly, which I love. It’s dry and sarcastic and smart and awesome. The dialogue is so good and flows so well and the character interactions, especially between Valkyrie and Skulduggery are awesome.

Characters. Let’s start with Skulduggery, because let’s be honest. There’s something I have to say about him.

HOLY COW I DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING. I MEAN GEEZ HOW THE HELL DID. WHAT. HOW. I DON’T EVEN. HE’S ______ (Yanni’s reading the series, don’t want to ruin it for her) HOW CAN HE BE ______.

Basically, it was an awesome twist. I mean, maybe other people saw it coming, but I did not see that one. HOW THE HELL. GEEZ. It takes some skill and thinking to work that out. Now I really want to read all the other books again just because I know this massive secret.

So Skulduggery is basically awesome. He’s dry and sarcastic and funny and awesome, but throughout the entire series, Valkyrie gets warnings that he has a dark past, and that he shouldn’t be trusted. NO WONDER, HE’S _______.

Valkyrie’s character development is actually really interesting. She starts off as a pretty normal girl, who is kind of bewildered by all this magical stuff but has a good sense of humour and is brave and all that. But as the series goes on, and she realises how special and powerful she is, she becomes more and more like Skulduggery, until by this book they could basically be twins. But with that, she also becomes more arrogant, more willing to take risks, and unaccustomed to failure. Everyone thinks she’s a wonder child, since she’s got blood of the ancients and you know, is FREAKING DARQUESSE.

But she isn’t invincible. In The Faceless Ones, it all becomes too much, and for the first time, we see her break down in tears from all the stress and action and so on. In the 6th book, she believes she’s going to die, and is crying as she desperately tries to break free. But she’s also got the will and determination to survive, which usually overpowers her fears. But what I find interesting is that Fletcher calls her out on all this stuff, saying she’s selfish and takes stuff for granted just because everyone thinks she’s amazing and likes her. But I appreciate her more because she has flaws, because she’s so much more real in our eyes, and it’s about her overcoming those things that make her a better person. FLAWS CAN BE A GOOD THING, LISTEN YA AUTHORS YOUR CHARACTERS DON’T HAVE TO BE AMAZING AT EVERYTHING.

Fletcher reminds me of a lot less angsty version of Jace Wayland/Lightwood/Herondale. He’s good looking, but knows it and is cocky about how he looks and all that stuff. He just has a lot less teen angst. Obviously, he didn’t have a great childhood, since he ran away from home and didn’t have a good relationship with his dad. But he doesn’t bring it up in every conversation. (Yes, I know Jace’s childhood was a lot more traumatic and stuff than that and that’s not really that fair) But my favourite thing about him is that Valkyrie doesn’t like him at first.

She acknowledges that he is very good looking and powerful and so on, but she isn’t attracted to him because of it. She finds his cockiness annoying and his hair ridiculous and doesn’t show any sign of being attracted to him. It’s only when he starts making her laugh and helping her that she starts caring about him. He has a bucketful of character development, but it’s not forced. He goes from being cocky and annoying to maturing and not being so showy. It’s that final talk with Ghastly that really shows this. That he seriously cared about Valkyrie so much that she seems cruel.

Wow, I’ve gone on about characters for quite a while. But seriously, I could go on about these characters for ages. I won’t. I don’t want to make this review go on forever.

Oh! One more thing. China’s development was also awesome. About how she really needs company, how she wants to feel genuinely needed instead of the people just falling in love with her. And how she hates losing Skulduggery and Valkyrie.

And I actually liked Melancholia for once. That was surprising.

Plot

Awesome. I don’t know what else to say. It’s just awesome.

But it did kinda remind me of Maximum Ride when they were like, half the world will need to be obliterated. But the Necromancers were jerks. Talking about how death is awesome and stuff, but then wanting other people to die for them instead. Hypocrites.

I really don’t know what else to say.

I really don’t.

Let’s just go onto Quotes. If there is anything I forgot, that can go in my Kingdom of the Wicked review. These Quotes are gonna be LONG btw.

Quotes

  • “Valkyrie patted Fletcher’s arm. “Don’t worry,” she said. “If the bad man comes, I’ll protect you.”
    “If the bad man comes,” Fletcher responded, “I’ll bravely give out a high-pitched scream to distract him. I may even bravely faint, to give him a false sense of security. That will be your signal to strike.”
    “We make a great team.”
    “Just don’t forget to stand in front of me the whole time,””
  • “You think Bernadette Maguire killed him?”
    “Uh… no. She’s, like I said, she’s old.”
    “Old people can kill people too.”
    “I know, but…”
    “She could be a ninja.”
    “She’s not a ninja, for God’s sake. She’s somebody’s great grandmother.”
    “I want you to think carefully about this, Kenny. Have you ever seen her with a sword?”
    “What?”
    “How about throwing stars?”
    “This is ridiculous.”
    “Have you ever seen her dressed up as a ninja? That would have been my first clue.”
  • “I think zombies are kind of cute.”
    “Seriously?”
    “I may be thinking about bunnies. Which one has the fluffy little tail, zombies or bunnies?”
    “Bunnies.”
    “Then it’s bunnies I’m thinking of.”

Wow, that’s a seriously long quotes section. The thing is, the best moments come from awesome dialogue. So it’s not my fault.

Overall

I don’t know. I don’t have any cons with this book. So… I don’t know! You know what. I’m going to do it. I don’t care if Yanni kills me for doing this, but I’m gonna do it. 5 shuriken stars. There. Done.

READ THESE BOOKS I AM IN LOVE WITH THEM.

AND SO EXCITED TO READ KINGDOM OF THE WICKED.

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