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Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy
The last stand for Detectives Pleasant and Cain?
Skulduggery is facing a battle he can't win this time, at least not without Valkyrie's help. With every injury Kenspeckle must treat his clear hatred and verbal attacks increase on Skulduggery, much to Valkyrie's horror.
Even the newly returned Ghastly Bespoke wants the partnership to end, and he reveals a terrible vision to Val, trying to save her life. But she is determined to stick by her partner, even when he himself seems to be feeling guilty about the whole partnership. With a new threat on the horizon will she be willing to die to protect both him and the world?
All scans are from my own copy, all other art is credited and linked. If you own the copyright to any art used herein and want credit and a link, or something removed, please contact me.
Warning: massive spoilers ahead.
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones
This has to be one of the saddest books in the entire series. Everyone wants to either kill the partners or break them up. Anyone who knows Valkyrie knows she is with Skulduggery because she wants to be, danger or no. Add an annoying new teleporter to the mix though, and will her fondness for her partner remain?
Skulduggery seems to be on the ropes in this one. Everyone beating him up verbally about the partnership has him shaken, since he does have a fiercely protective attitude towards her. Add a case that involves the whack job du jour trying to bring back the Faceless Ones, and he may have more than he can handle. Will the friendship survive?
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant
Isn't this series too violent? - Scan of the sweet cover artwork
For whom? The recommended age is nine and up, and a brief history lesson is called for. Two World Wars were fought on European soil. Ireland herself has been the site of military and para-military violence for decades. The country is broken in two. So too violent for children born into that kind of world? Goodness no.
Now for those born in US soil, they have to deal with parents who have, in the vast majority, a policy that teaches children that ignoring violence makes it go away. That if we don't learn how to fight back, the bad guys will never come for us.
That is utter foolishness. Americans have a fine habit of shooting one another in the streets, we have child abductors at large, and all manner of unsavory ilk about. Children have to learn early that the world can be a dangerous and violent place and to be prepared.
There isn't always a Skulduggery around to rescue you. So being alert, learning to spot and avoid danger, and learning how to spot adults they can trust are some of the best lessons we can teach our children.
"The world is a dangerous place. In order for people like you to live in relative safety, there need to be people like me."-- Skulduggery Pleasant
Do you agree that we need people like Skulduggery?
My Personal Reaction
As people have pointed out to me before Skulduggery sounds exactly like a dear friend of mine. Well perhaps he doesn't talk as much or swear as often, but other than that, he could scarily be a carbon copy of the man.
So I found myself doing mental head shakes at times. I know very well Skulduggery isn't my friend, still the resemblance is uncanny. Also, like Valkyrie I rather resent anyone who would call my friend arrogant or say anything else negative about him, for that matter.
Since we've know one another for years it is like, in a sense, getting to watch our own relationship unfold all over again. The poor man, and I have said to him in the past, taking the brunt of all my frustrations, much as Skulduggery does for Valkyrie.
So I admire Skulduggery, because I can see that as wonderful as he thinks he is, he loses all confidence whatsoever when it comes to keeping Valkyrie safe. Losing her would kill him, and the same applies to her as well.
Sometimes we get connected the most strongly to those the world would keep us away from. Sometimes the world needs to take a flying leap. Luckily for readers Valkyrie is determined to ignore the babbling masses, even when Skulduggery himself is inclined to give in.
If my friend should read this, well one, good on him. Never thought he would go to the effort since he is so aloof. Two, I sincerely hope he enjoys the lens, and don't ever say ever again that I haven't gotten you anything. Your very own Squidoo lens, you egomaniac.
I loved this novel as much as the rest of the series, all the plots and subplots, the inability to tell who some characters side with. It was really surprising to see Mr. Bliss flip out when China is in danger. But then war with gods can do that to you.
Skulduggery ends up making the ultimate sacrifice to beat back the Faceless Ones, much to Valkyrie's despair. This is not a happy series in general, and the scene of his capture makes readers who have grown fond of him cringe in horror. Heck, some cry because they know what is coming in Dark Days.