Posts Tagged ‘death bringer’

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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Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men (Back Cover) – Derek Landy

I just want to say how FREAKING AWESOME THIS IS.

I am like 80% sure that is Madame Mist, looking freaking awesome and terrifying at the same.

All those spiders are really not helping how creepy this is. Also the lack of face. And the fact that she looks like a rotting dementor who will suck out your soul with her evil spidery fangs.

And with those happy thoughts, I leave you.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men (Cover) – Derek Landy

I have made the cover flipping huge for your viewing pleasure.

And damn that is a long title; I think we’re just going to refer to it as SP8 from now on.

But seriously, look how flipping badass this book is going to be. The fire and possibly dead Valkyrie and rubble of the world burned to pieces.Not to mention, Skulduggery looks like he’s lowering Valkyrie down (or what if it’s the REFLECTION?), like he’s laying her down to rest, like he’s holding a freaking corpse. And somehow they managed to put emotion on a skeletal face. And that title? Are they talking about Skulduggery’s last stand? What is going on? Why is that title so freaking badass?

Also:

Eccentric, clever mad man who’s really old and has one liners; is really goofy but has this dark, hidden past with a dangerous side takes smart, young, sarcastic girl around on adventures and they save the world together.

This is going to be freaking awesome. Apocalypse and magic showdowns (and hopefully Tanith and Fletcher and China back because I missed them oh so much in the 7th book). I’m hoping this is going to be my favourite yet of the SP series.

OH MAN I AM SO EXCITED!!!

HAPPY DANCE! WOO!

(On a separate note, I’m begging for a Skulduggery Pleasant TV Series, with each series/season (depending on where you’re from) on the three trilogies in the book series. And I want it animated; like Rise of the Guardians style, because if you saw that movie you know what I mean by the animation being completely gorgeous. The sand. The ice. The detail. Flipping beautiful. I will settle for live action though, if they’re able to do Skulduggery without making him look like a funky CGI green screen photoshopped insert.)

Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked – Derek Landy

Lots and lots and lots of spoilers. There’s too much to talk about that I can’t help it.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THE FEELINGS. I JUST. I CAN’T EVEN. OH GEEZ.

So, I finished Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked at about 1am this morning. And let me just say.

WHAT.

HOW.

I.

OMG.

Right.

So, if you’ve not read Skulduggery Pleasant, then basically Skeleton Detective + Not-So-Normal Girl = lots of awesome.

NOW GO AND READ IT AND TELL ME I WILL BE OK OR JUST HOLD ME BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Summary

So now everyone is getting magic, and then there are these kids who are also psychos who are really powerful, plus Argeddion and alternate dimensions.

Cons

Hmmmmm.

Well.

Erm.

Oh!

The Summary

Ok, the official summary wasn’t bad, but for a person that has never read the Skulduggery Pleasant books and doesn’t know the awesomeness that is Derek Landy, they might be unsure of it.

“Magic is a disease.

Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Infected by a rare strain of magic, they are unwittingly endangering their own lives and the lives of the people around them. Terrified and confused, their only hope lies with the Sanctuary. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever.

And then there’s the small matter of Kitana. A normal teenage girl who, along with her normal teenage friends, becomes infected. Becomes powerful. Becomes corrupted. Wielding the magic of gods, they’re set to tear the city apart unless someone stands up against them.

Looks like it’s going to be another one of those days…”

Kitana’s mention made me go, “oh no.”. Believe me, I have so much faith in Derek Landy to write amazing characters and books, but there was this tiny nagging feeling in my head saying:

“What if this is like Dylan from Maximum Ride? Oh god, what if Kitana is a Dylan character?”

It just shows that I should trust authors more.

The Eighth Book

I swear, yesterday/this morning was so cruel. First, Pond Life part 5 ripped out my heart and crushed it into smithereens in the space of a minute and a half, and then that ending decided to do the same, except it was not the same type of ending.

You are not going to believe me when I say this, but let’s go. It was worse than the Son of Neptune ending.

I know.

It’s hard to compare, because they’re very different endings. Son of Neptune is the promise that everything is going to be good and amazing and so happy and just when it’s about to get amazing and happy and rainbows and cake and hugs, it just ends.

And you’re just sitting there going “WHERE IS THE NEXT PAGE?????”

This book, though. This was cruel.

Right at the end, there is the promise of something so happy and so good happening and then suddenly _____ dies and you’re like oh damn, they are in trouble. Oh god what are they going to do? This is bad. This is bad.

Oh god.

And then.

AND THEN.

THE EPILOGUE.

THE. EPILOGUE.

I don’t know how to even.

I’ll talk about this in the pros, because I’m getting sidetracked, but here’s what you need to know. I was completely terrified and surprised and shocked and screaming with my hand over my mouth.

For those who’ve read it, I understand your pain. Oh man, I understand it.

For those who haven’t. Good luck. You’re going to need it.

I CAN’T WAIT AN ENTIRE YEAR FOR THE NEXT BOOK I NEED IT NOW.

Fletcher

I MISSED FLETCHER SO MUCH.

He is my favourite character and I wanted him and Valkyrie to just get together and get married and have kids and sure, they didn’t really make a great couple but Valkyrie can grow up and realise that she is in love with Fletcher, even though she really isn’t but I don’t care. I WAITED TWO ENTIRE BOOKS FOR YOU TO GET TOGETHER AND WHEN YOU FINALLY DID ALL YOU DO IS CHEAT AND BREAK UP.

WHAT.

He only appeared in one chapter. Every time they mentioned getting a teleporter, I was waiting for them to mention Fletcher or find an alternate dimension version of Fletcher.

And he got a girlfriend.

What.

URGH. I should not care so much about fictional characters.

Seriously, though, it’s not a con. It’s just me being weird.

China

I missed her. So much.

But I know she’s probably not appeared because she’s going to be awesome in the next one, but I still missed her. So much.

Pros

How do I even begin this.

Oh, as always. Amazing writing style. Amazing amazing amazing amazing dialogue. Love the recurring characters. Love all the characters. Amazing amazing plot. Amazing setting. The usual.

Ok. Let’s start with the obvious.

Kitana & Co.

I usually don’t want evil characters to die that much. Even Lord Voldemort, who was beyond evil, I still felt bad for. He had a bad past and so on. Even Aaron from The Knife of Never Letting Go wasn’t that bad. Sure I didn’t like him, but I felt bad for him for being such a weirdo.

But not Kitana.

I wanted to punch that stupid…. Ok, I promised I wouldn’t swear so I’m gonna replace this word with Sandwich.

I wanted to punch that stupid sandwich in the face, she was so damn sandwichy.

Like, take Regina George from Mean Girls, times her by a thousand, then make her a complete murdering psychopath. Then add more sandwichyness and really really really powerful magic powers. Ta Dah, welcome Kitana.

The fact that they were powerful without trying as well, and battling these sorcerers who had a ton of power and trained for years and years, and they thought they were ultra special and really stuck up and sandwichy.

But the thing is, I didn’t full on hate her when they were killing people. I was thinking, oh maybe they can redeem themselves. Maybe she’s a complete psychopath but I don’t full on hate her.

But the moment I decided she was a Sandwich. WHEN SHE TOOK VALKYRIE’S JACKET. I was like, oh, that sandwich is going down. She turned me into a sadistic sandwich. When Darquesse was beating her up, I was smiling. When she came back to life, I was so annoyed. I kept thinking, oh just die already, sandwich. When Skulduggery became ______ (censored because Yanni is reading the books and I don’t want her to know) , I was like, hell yes, this is getting awesome. Die, Doran, die.

And I thought Doran was pathetic, and Sean was even more pathetic, and Elsie was awesome. I hated how much she defended Sean though, but she was so awesome.

Alternate Dimension

So awesome. SO TOTALLY AWESOME.

Is there really any other way you can describe it. Everyone in their Alternate Dimension forms were so awesome. Eliza Scorn being completely psycho and so totally different from the calm, collected and beautiful Eliza in the normal world. I think that was my favourite bit.

When Ghastly died in the Alternate Dimension, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. Ghastly is one of my favourite characters. He’s equal, to Fletcher’s top spot. Though, let’s be honest, quite a lot of people share Fletcher’s top spot. And those who don’t are about a millimetre off.

Which reminds me.

Tanith

Why do you do this to me, Derek Landy?

Why do you make me want to cry over fictional characters?

Ghastly and Tanith. I just want to hug them and tell them it’s all going to be ok.

If they don’t get together, and if Tanith doesn’t get that remnant out of her by the last book, I will be so distraught.

My poor fangirl heart will probably cease to exist, and I’ll just die from all the feelings.

You are so cruel, Derek, you are so so so cruel.

Darquesse

I think I like Darquesse way too much. Every time she gets out I’m so excited. I’m like, oh yeah. Things are about to get kickass.

And oh yes, are they kickass. Every single scene with Darquesse is awesome, and this is no exception.

Reflection

I began to love the reflection. Like, seriously love her. She was bypassing Fletcher and Ghastly and Valkyrie and Skulduggery and I didn’t even think that was possible.

Because in the third book, when we found out she was hiding stuff from Valkyrie, I was like, oh damn, this is getting bad. This reflections is going to turn out to take over Valkyrie’s body or something or strangle her in her sleep. But then it turned out that she was turning into one of Valkyrie’s only friends, and she was so awesome, and after she got tortured, and couldn’t scream, but didn’t want Valkyrie to live through that memory, I just wanted to hug her and sob into her shoulder. It was so interesting to see her personality develop and grow and see that she had feelings.

AND THEN THE END.

SHE.

SHE.

I.

When she __________ (more censoring for Yanni), I swear, I thought I was hallucinating. I read that sentence over two or three times to see if I’d interpreted it wrong, but no, she actually ________. She _____.

My jaw was on the floor.

I mean, sure, make me completely fall in love with a character, then turn her into a psychopath.

And now I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next books. Derek Landy is so good with cliffhangers and twists that I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Book 1: Ghastly! Nooo!

Book 2: The Faceless Ones are coming back!??!?!

Book 3: Skulduggery! NOOOOO!

Book 4: She’s Darquesse? SHE’S DARQUESSE!?!!?

Book 5: Tanith! No you can’t do this to Ghastly!

Book 6: Skulduggery. Is _________. But. No. BUT. BUT. BUT. NO.

And now this. And now _____ and the Reflection and ______ is dead and war and the Reflection and Darquesse.

The next book is going to be so freaking awesome.

Quotes

This is the most important one.

  • “He could wear a fez. Fezzes were cool. Hadn’t someone once said that fezzes were cool? He was pretty sure they had. And they were. They were cool.

If you got that reference, I officially love you.

  • “What?” she asked again.
    He pointed ahead of them. “See that?”
    “What, the snow?”
    “Beyond that.”
    “More snow?”
    “Stop looking at the snow.”
  • “You’ve done what?”
    “I know,” he said. “You’re impressed. You send me out for bread and I come back with a boy. Well, not literally. That would be weird. Even for me.”
  • “He could be a butterfly dreaming he’s a man.”
    “Well, he’s not. He’s a big fat man dreaming he’s a big fat butterfly. What the hell am I supposed to do?”
    There was another hesitation. “I’m not sure. You don’t happen to have a large net handy, do you?”
    “I want to hit him. I want to hit YOU, but I also want to hit him.”

Overall

Oh come on, You know what I’m going to give this. You know. 5 shuriken stars. This is officially one of my favourite book series ever. I love it so much. Go read it. NOW.