Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men – Derek Landy

Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8)FREAKING SPOILERS FLYING EVERYWHERE. READ THE REVIEW ON YOUR OWN RISK.

It seems that the eight book is “The Avengers” of a series.

First Mark of Athena, which I refer to as “The Demivengers” (yes it is a crap title, doesn’t keep me from saying it), now we have Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men, which I guess is “The Magevengers” (even worse of a title, apparently) except instead of Loki, we have Darquesse, a seemingly invincible psychopath, who also happens to be our lovely protagonist.

Summary

ALL THE PLOT LINES FROM THE LAST SEVEN BOOKS CONVERGE AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

YOU ARE BRILLIANT, DEREK LANDY.

Cons

These cons are completely personal to me, and my standing in particular things.

The Romance

Or implied romance that I was reading. I really dislike the possibility of a romance between Valkyrie and Skulduggery. Not only are the age differences massive (Skulduggery was MARRIED. He had a KID. that takes a level of maturity that Valkyrie isn’t even close to possessing), but the relationship, as I saw it, was always a tutor and a student. I saw Skulduggery as the uncle figure Valkyrie lost when Gordon died.

However, I know fan support for the “Valduggery” relationship is terrifyingly huge. I think it’s probably 98% of the fanbase, and that made me cringe every time the two characters had heartfelt interactions because I was very aware they could turn romantic.

But that’s just my personal stand on the books, and most people probably enjoyed these conversations between Valkyrie and Skulduggery.

Pros

We all know by now that Derek Landy is brilliant at characters and plot and dialogue and action and setting and so forth. I’m only going to mention a few choice things, because 1. this book was so freaking long that mentioning everything would take an eon 2. you want to know more? READ IT.

That Reflection

I do not trust the deranged psychopath who MURDERED HER COUSIN. I know that people trust her, and that she’s redeemed herself or something, but every time she appears, I’m expecting her to gut someone to death. Her development was very well handled, and I TOTALLY CALLED IT. I knew Fletcher would want to date her, even if I didn’t approve of it because she, as I said, KILLED CAROL.

POVs

Valkyrie is our main character. We see most things from her perspective in the first seven books, however, in LSODM, she steps slightly out of the spotlight. Of course her chapters are important, and for a large chunk of the book she is there, but I would say only every other chapter. We have massive chunks devoted to China and Fletcher, which was great for me, seeing as they’re two of my favourite characters.

It really adds a lot more depth to our lovely minor characters, and, also awesomely, we get to see lots of characters reappearing from previous books. I was worried Derek Landy would just drop them and forget about them, and just keep adding more characters until they became an indiscernible mess, as some other series have done (*cough* Maximum Ride *cough*).

The Man With the Golden Eyes

Holy crap that twist hurt my emotions.

They killed off two amazing characters in a few sentences.

The reveal of who was behind this, hurt.

I may need time to recover.

Quotes (Unfortunately goodreads doesn’t have many quotes for this book and because it’s so freaking massive I really don’t want to go back and find my favourites so you’ll have to deal with this for now)

  • “Are you sulking?”
    “Me? No. I don’t sulk.”
    “You sound like you’re sulking.”
    “I’m just waiting for the violent urges to subside.”
  • “Reading those books is all he does these days. I think he’s even read some of them twice. What kind of disturbed individual would read the same book twice, I ask you?”
  • “She turned to Skulduggery and held out her arms. “Come here, you.”
    He tilted his head. “My hugs are for special occasions only.”
    “Hug me.”
    “I prefer the old tradition.”
    “Hug.”
    “Would a handshake do?”
    “Hug.”
    “A pat on the back?”
    She stepped forward and wrapped her arms round him. “Hug,” she said.
  • “If he can’t get to the clock, any idea how we deal with this lot?”
    “With great care,” Donegan suggested.
    “How about we run off shout and they follow?” Said Gracious. “Then, just when they think they’ve caught us they fall into our trap.”
    “OK,” said Tanith. “And that trap would be?”
    “A big hole we’d dug earlier and covered with branches.’
    Tanith frowned. “I thought you were meant to be smart.”
    Gracious frowned back at her. “Who told you that?”
    “Gracious is book smart,” said Donegan. “He leaves the real world thinking to people like you and me and small dogs that he meets.”

Overall

I absolutely love Skulduggery Pleasant so this is a completely biased review and as a biased review with my unchanging love for the entire series this will be 5 shuriken stars.

This series is ending in a year. I’m going to have to find a new series to replace the hole in my heart… Perhaps I’ll finally get round to reading Artemis Fowl and it can fill the Skulduggery Pleasant shaped cavern that will be left in my chest.

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