Read by Rupert Degas
Book 1 of Skulduggery Pleasant series
Genre: middlegrade urban fantasy
Format: paperback, audiobook
About Skulduggery Pleasant:
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant. Sure, he may lose his head now and again (in fact, he won his current skull in a poker match), but he is much more than he appears to be—which is good, considering that he is, basically, a skeleton. Skulduggery may be long dead, but he is also a mage who dodged the grave so that he could save the world from an ancient evil. But to defeat it, he'll need the help of a new partner: a not so innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie. That's right, they're the heroes.Source: Info in the About Skulduggery Pleasant was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/284440.Skulduggery_Pleasant on 18/08/12.
Stephanie and Skulduggery are quickly caught up in a battle to stop evil forces from acquiring her recently deceased uncle's most prized possession—the Sceptre of the Ancients. The Ancients were the good guys, an extinct race of uber-magicians from the early days of the earth, and the scepter is their most dangerous weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Back in the day, they used it to banish the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, in the way of bad guys everywhere, the Faceless Ones are staging a comeback and no one besides our two heroes believes in the Faceless Ones, or even that the Sceptre is real.
So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off to find the Sceptre, fend off the minions of the bad guys, beat down vampires and the undead, prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones, all while trading snappy, snippy banter worthy of the best screwball comedies.
I like the way Rupert Degas screeched Beryl's lines! I liked the way he reads and his interpretation of the story. He sounds very professional and it made the listening experience very good indeed! I would listen again to another audiobook by him. But I think the Morticia Addams music though was just a tad overdone.
The heroine is impulsive and running headlong into danger with no thought about how to fight the bad guys nor how to defend herself. Passionate, yes! Stupid, that too!! And then as if that is not enough, when the good guys are fighting the bad guys our heroine just sits there and watch and wait for the bad guys to slit her throat instead of doing her bit of the fighting. Not somebody I like to identify with. Or it might be that the fight scenes needed a bit of sprucing up to make it realistic... like an input from a combat expert or something...
Another thing that didn't endear this book to me is that for a middlegrade book it is a bit too gross and too graphic... And for the impressionable middle grade age group I would like to impart the good values of friendship and family, not the value that it is okey to sacrifice a life or your friends for some shit noble cause. That is for mature adults. I have more books of this series in my TBR shelves, but I don't think I would be bumping them up the reading queue soon.
At the end of it, it wasn't that bad. But it wasn't that great either. But quite promising for a first book in a series.
Story telling quality = 2.5
Character development = 2.5
Story itself = 2
Ending = 3
World building = 3
Cover art = 4
Pace = (7 hrs and 9 mins audiobook)
Plot = 2
Narrator = 5
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries
Audiobook Sync for the free copy of Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy downloaded on 18/08/12.
The audiobook edition of this book was downloaded for free from Audiobook Sync on 18/08/2012. The paperback edition was bought with private money. No monetary compensation received for this review.