Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying Of The Light
Is Fun Time Over?
Firstly, this is an excellent book and you really should read it, I don't care how old or young you are. Children's book or series, has to me, always been a misnomer. There are seven-year-olds who would love this book and there are grown adults who couldn't handle it. And it isn't, surprisingly, because of any of the reasons so many of us expected for so long. I'm going to try to keep the spoliers to a minimum this time around, but trust me there are You Tube videos aplenty to ruin the ending for you.
But I can tell you what the book jacket will tell you. Darquesse had risen and Skulduggery must find a way to stop her and save the world yet again, one last time. Long time readers and new alike should love this novel, and you'll get to see plenty of characters you might not have expected. And no, everyone does not make it to the end. But sometimes that's a good thing.
The Art Alone is Awesome, Right?
What is it About?
This is a book about endings and beginnings. One of the very first things you ever learn about Skulduggery Pleasant, right after you learn he is a skeleton all the way back in book one is that his family is dead. He saw them killed, then was murdered himself, only to rise for revenge. Centuries later he crosses paths with a young girl whom we shall call Valkyrie Cain because she would hurt us otherwise, and the rest is history.
By this novel the loss is still there. It's still one of the things Skulduggery has to deal with. And many other characters along the way face loss of a loved one or their own deaths. Now before you say that is too heavy for young readers, or adult ones for that matter, it isn't. Why do you think every Disney movie has the loss of a parent? Or two? Part of growing up is learning that things happen, both good and bad, but that life does indeed go on.
And I can tell my young readers, that yes, adults do struggle to handle the scary stuff the same as you. Sometime life can seem like all the bad guys are pouncing on us at once and we get knocked down the same as you. The same as Skulduggery. But the secret of course, and one Skulduggery knows very well, is to keep fighting.
No matter what, no matter what happens, you keep fighting. And that doesn't mean that life or this last novel is grim. If fact it is one of the happiest in many ways. I mean, come on. This is a Derek Landy novel. Somebody's going to die. Horrifically. Spectacularly. And depending on how you feel about that character you may feel sad or you may laugh, you just never know.
And what makes it great is that the whole tone keeps with the series, yet it is better than anything that came before it, except maybe book one. You can expect Skulduggery to perk up at times, you can expect him to be more clever than the bad guys, and you can expect to see some of his plans go well. Not all of them, but enough. And the fun thing is, the way it is written, maybe everything up to now happened just the way the Skeleton Detective would have it happen.
No, Seriously, What Happens?
This is really hard to get into without spoilers, but yes, a major character does come back. And yes, Skulduggery manages a decent speech about that character, the only one I've ever remembered him giving, come to think of it.
And yes that pesky Accelerator is still set to go off without a soul willingly given. And it will have to be given. So you have the usual multiple threats to the world what with Darquesse wanting to make it her playground and other threats starting to rise. Not to mention that you know this is the last novel, so a lot of questions have to be answered. They don't all get answered, and I won't spoil the fun by telling you which ones aren't, but enough do.
And the ones that aren't just help make the mystery around Skulduggery and his world endure that much longer and will leave readers wanting just one more book. And that is it, I'm sure you can spoil the surprise by reading reviews. But there have been hints, all along. So you do know what is going to happen, you really do. It just won't be the ending you expect.
The Video You've Been Waiting For
The Books Are Over
But a series ending isn't a bad thing. You think you feel sad now? You should have been in America, yes, country of the baddies in the novels, when Harry Potter ended.
There were adults in actual mourning and therapy groups were started. So what to do if you are sad? Read them all again. First to last, make it a fun thing to do in your free time or set aside a weekend or two.
Throw a party with your friends, do art, do fan fiction to answer the questions you want answered or make the characters live again. But they didn't die, you know. They are still there, alive and well in Landy's wonderful magical world, a world many of us adults wish we could be in too. Wouldn't it be fun to be an Elemental or an Adept? Or even a Necromancer?
For those wondering what the heck I'm talking about, read the novels. Yes, in order. Yes, it is an awful lot of words, glorious words, but I've been into the books for two years and I'm still fairly normal. Just because I just accidentally pasted a bit of fan fiction here while editing doesn't mean I'm in any way damaged.
But have fun with this novel, because it really is a lot of fun. Darquesse gets to do her thing, Skulduggery get to do his thing, and well, I really shouldn't tell you this, but it is the best ending you will ever read. But you have to read the book to find out what it is.
A Last Look
Loved the Ending?
Well, did you?
Rise of the Valkyrie: Contains Some Spoilers
You'll be sorry, so don't say I didn't warn you, but here it goes. Skulduggery must save the world yet again. No big deal, right? But this time Valkyrie isn't with him. He has a new partner who will never be Valkyrie as hard as she tries, and I did feel sorry for her. Until I remembered she tried to kill Valkyrie. Yeah, remember that?
But the good news is that he isn't stuck with her forever. This is a world of magic where anything can happen. Characters you thought were gone for good can come back and they do. Cue dramatic music. Valkyrie returns, yay! Not as soon as she should, but I can't tell you why without spoiling things.
So I loved getting to see the partners back together again, and yes, it is all the silly, witty banner you could ever hope for. And some sad stuff too, because Skulduggery is Valkyrie's mentor, even though she'd likely hunt me down and kill me for saying that. Or scowl at me, or sulk or something.
And she is a character that goes through a lot of changes in the novel, magically and otherwise, which is a good thing. And if you love her you will love the ending. No, it isn't rampant Valduggery. But there is one scene, and people who read it know where it is, well, several, that fans who ship it should like.
It's the final novel and things don't look good for Skulduggery just based on the cover. But this is Skulduggery we are talking about, remember? He's lost his head before...
For American Readers
This novel isn't due to hit our shores according to nifty sites like Amazon until next Spring (2015) though your local bookseller or library might have a copy or be able to order one. I went to the library since for me I can only order through Amazon and I can never seem to do the smart thing and wait until I could just buy it here when it should be a tad cheaper.
So now we have the choice of ordering through the UK and waiting what seems like forever for it to arrive or waiting for it to hit American shores and ordering it then. Which is kind of nice since even though we are the baddies in the novels (someone had to do it) there are enough American good guys in the novels that you shouldn't feel too put out.
And think. By the time the rest of the world has moved on to Landy's new novel due out next year we can still have the thrill of getting our own copies. Then getting our favorite snacks or what have you and curling up with the novel.
The choice is ours to make, and since I've ordered both ways, UK and America I can't tell you either of the books seem more special, though the first one to arrive from the UK with a nifty bookmark pertaining to sustainable fish of all things will always hold a place in my heart.
And, yes. I broke down once again and ordered from the UK through the American Amazon site this time. There's even a copy to be had from Ireland. Nifty, eh?
- Skulduggery Pleasant - Official Website of the Skulduggery Pleasant Books
- Skulduggery Pleasant Wiki
Skulduggery Pleasant Wiki is a community-driven wiki about the Skulduggery Pleasant book series by Derek Landy that anyone can contribute to. It includes character profiles, location summaries, and more!