Review Blog

Jul 01 2009

Skulduggery Pleasant: The faceless ones by Derek Landy

cover image

HarperCollins, 2009.
(Ages 10+) The Faceless Ones, the third title in the series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, is best read sequentially as the story line and myriad of characters could otherwise prove confusing. In book one, until she meets an extremely well dressed skeleton named Skulduggery, Stephanie (aka Valkyrie) is a relatively ordinary teenager. Life soon changes from the mundane, once she and Skulduggery pair up to fight the many magical and evil forces revealed throughout the course of the books. Landy has created an assortment of fascinating characters from the strong, manipulative females such as China Sorrows and the Sea Hag to Fletcher Renn, the last Teleporter in existence. He also adds a liberal sprinkling of evil characters such as the Faceless Ones. By the third book, Valkyrie is able to lead a double life thanks to her 'Reflection' emerging from the mirror to carry out her daily human existence and she has become a confident, independent young woman, capable of making her own decisions and better able to protect herself.
This series has become immensely popular, particularly amongst competent male readers eager to read novels containing humour, fantasy, violence and gore. With the opening line, 'The dead man was in the living room, face down on the floor beside the coffee table,' Landy creates the hook for the reader to go on and devour the novel. With the amount of trailers and internet advertising for the film, the audience for these books will only increase, especially with Landy having already set the scene for a thrilling sequel.
Jo Schenkel

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