Pleasant, you're dead."
Stephanie Edgley has no idea
that her Uncle's fantastic fictional tales are
in fact, the stuff of reality. Nor
has she any idea that the strangely clothed
man at his funeral is actually
a defective detective from the otherworld.
Skulduggery Pleasant has a mystery
to solve, and Stephanie's coming
along for the ride. It's a world
full of vampires, of daemons, and magic
that co-exists with our own.
The peace between them is being
disturbed, the fate of the world
is at stake, and Stephanie's name is
on the Bad Guy's lips. But she's
got her own new name to conjur
with. Skulduggery Pleasant.
Wiseguy detective. He's a fast-talking
skeleton, and he's most-decidedly
Wow. This is a riproaring read. Those
368 pages race by at a breakneck
speed, probably because the
author has come from a screenwriting
background. Now some folks may
think it's too breathless, that this
tale needs more flesh on its
funky skeletal bones. But this Gnome
loves its style. There's some fabulous
banter between the heroine and
her new boney buddy, and for
once, we're not tripping over great chunks
of doomladen exposition.
I don't know about you, but
there are an awful number of big weighty
fantasy volumes out there that
sit like doorstops on your shelving,
Waiting To Be Read...
...In contrast, "Skulduggery
Pleasant" is a breeze. Nimblefooted and
hip to the beat. Mr Pleasant
takes his cue from Death in the Discworld
books. There's a bit of Jack Skellington
there too, and Mr Bojangles
from "The Corpse Bride".
They're all mixed up in a big mystery bowl,
to produce a new wisecracking,
hardboiled, jazzy star. But better
still, this fellow has weight.
He has a past. He has form.
Stephanie's exploits unearth
a devilish plot to unbalance the world.
There's also a villain who sports
a Red Hand of Doom that would make
even Hellboy jealous. And although the
adventure reaches a tidy
conclusion, the door is left open
to so much more. Which is terrific.
Bring it on!
You know, every other new children's
book is saddled with the label
of being "The Next Harry
Potter", and Mr Pleasant's self-titled tale
is no different. The publishers
have invested an awful lot on the launch.
They're guessing he has the
same crossover appeal. But this time,
they might actually be on to something...
Collectors should look out for
signed First Editions of the book.
Many are dated, too, with 2nd
April 2007 being the UK
...Now let's get a bit naughty,
and turn our attention to the proof copies
of this hip and happening book.
These are the readers copies, sent out
to the industry in advance of
publication, to whet the appetite. Now these
aren't supposed to be put out
for sale. It's a big no-no, in fact. But
Skulduggery's two proofs are
just so fab, I had to detail 'em here.
Here in the UK, we had a shiny black
cover with fantastic day-glo
orange edging on the pages. And in
the US, they got a slightly
tweaked logo design, in oh-so
They're difficult to photograph,
but ain't they fab?
UK Hardback edition.... The
Mr Pleasant has his own mini-site,
downloads and more...
And here's the publishers' home...
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