Friday, 14 September 2012

Skulduggery Pleasant - Kingdom of the Wicked

At last, it arrived! Well, not really at last, because I got it and read it about two weeks ago but.. school's very busy. Anyway. I went to the book signing on the first of September in Waterstones and met Derek Landy. He was really cool when I told him I was from his blog and gave him my letter. We got a picture together but I'm not really sure where it is...oops! I'd only bought the book that morning when I reached the shop but the queue was so long that I was on page 150 by the time I met him. So, that was great, I was buzzing as I left. Has anyone reading this met him in the signings, whether in NZ & Australia or Britain & Ireland?

I finished KOTW that night although it's a hefty read. My first impression, apart from 'Oh my God I cannot believe that just happened' (You'll know what I mean when you read it, because I won't spoil it so soon after the release date) was that Death Bringer had been a little better in plot-furthering (is that a word?) - except for the very, very last chapter of KOTW, of course. However, KOTW was very funny, with alternate-universe-people-who-shall-not-be-named, and it was so sweet to see Valkyrie and Carol getting closer. Until the end happened. Am I dialing up the suspense now? Am I forcing you to get off the internet and read it? Good. Serves you right, hehe. One bit I hated, because it really went against my first post (, was the bit where Fletcher makes his big return.. which doesn't turn out to be very big at all. And Derek, why??? I'm all for Fletcher rights, but you can't just write him out of any screen time, it's not fair on the fangirls...Even though he seems happy with ****.

So, actual factual things now. The book starts with Jerry Houlihan, who thinks he's a butterfly. As the blurb says, 'Magic is a disease. Across the land, people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. One of these is Kitana. A normal teenage girl who, along with her friends, becomes infected. becomes powerful. becomes corrupted. Wielding the magic of gods, they're set to tear the city apart unless someone stands up against them, Looks like it's going to be another one of those days...'. Mortals all over Ireland are gaining powers and Skulduggery and Valkyrie in their corny-but-cool duo have to find out where this power is coming from, how to stop it and how to stop the infected mortals. Oh yes, and they have about a week to do it. And the 'Supreme Council' of international mages are breathing down the Sanctuary's figurative neck. Things basically just keep going wrong. Like, everything. Valkyrie gets Shunted into a different dimension, which just so happens to contain... certain people who have been mentioned the odd time through the books. At least she comes out alive though. Oh come on, that's not a spoiler. We all know she's going to survive at least until the ninth book. It's almost a scientific inevitability.
My favourite quote, which I can't find in the book at the moment, is something like when Ghastly explains to Valkyrie that 'Yes, we could achieve what ********* dreams of, but we'd have to step over a generation of dead bodies to get there'.

Four point eight stars. I'm being picky here because I have the rest of the series to compare to. It was very, very good. But Kitana had better stay far away. And Doran. Oh, and there is a cliffhanger about as bad as the one after Dark Days. Wow.

I'll leave it at that so as not to spoil your enjoyment. And Derek, if by some chance you see this, I accidentally gave you the unfinished letter. You see, I had two, and then... yeah, that was sort of the draft version...

I know some people who complained that they didn't like the first book. They think this means that they won't like the rest of the series. Perhaps not the first three for those in my year, but they are amazing from the second trilogy onwards. Go on, read it. I dare you.