Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy

Skulduggery PleasantA twelve-year-old girl, niece of a now-dead bestselling horror writer, teams up with an old friend of her uncle’s to investigate his death and other weird occurrences. This old friend happens to be a brilliant, witty, well-dressed, fire-throwing, skeleton detective.

If you think that would make a great movie, you’re right; I have no idea whether anyone’s optioned it for a movie yet, but I won’t be surprised if it happens. It’s written in a very cinematic way, with exciting chase scenes and fight scenes and inventive visual detail. I am so loath to compare books with Harry Potter, but – yeah, in that respect it does remind me of the HP books.

But the other part that made this book fun for me was the dialogue between Stephanie and Skulduggery, which is wall-to-wall deadpan sarcasm. And it is fun, at least at first, but after a while it starts to wear thin and become predictable – it’s not the kind of book where you really get attached to the characters, and it’s hard to expect anything more than fun from a book like this.

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