Skulduggery Pleasant is a series surrounding the life of Stephanie Edgley/ Valkyrie Cain. When her uncle died a few years ago and she was attacked by a magic wielding lunatic and was saved by the mysterious Skulduggery Pleasant, her whole life changed. Skulduggery Pleasant is a magic-wielding skeleton who somehow rose from the dead, who now works as a detective solving magical murders. Together, as partners, they manage to fight deadly creatures, defeat evil villains and encounter odd friends.
The fifth book in the series, The Deathbringer, was quite a shock. After reading the ending of Mortal Coil, I wasn't really looking forward to it, there will be no Tanith, no Kenspeckle, less of Ghastly, and vampire love - how could this novel possibly be good?
The immediate issue is that Lord Vile has returned to kill the DeathBringer, who until now, we thought was Valkyrie, except that it isn't. It's actually Melancholia. However, in this instalment of the Skulduggery Pleasant saga, it isn't only about the end of the world and the ridiculously hilarious conversations between Skulduggery and Valkyrie. It's also about character development. Finally!
I found myself (to my dismay) extremely loathing Valkyrie, simply because I found her to be a cow. You forget that she is a teenager, and that what she has experienced from such a young age does have a drastic effect of your perception of the world. Valkyrie is presented as selfish, cruel, inconsiderate and egotistical and you will find yourself thoroughly disliking her. Nevertheless, the whole book is much better for it.
What I was most dreading was the prospect of a love triangle developing between Valkyrie, Fletcher and Caelan. Great; exactly what the world needs, more pathetic gothic romance! - Not quite. The DeathBringer shares no similarities to Twilight whatsoever, something which gave me reason to plunder through. In my opinion, I feel that the love triangle was simply more reason to hate Valkyrie, and to warm more towards Fletcher.
Another reason why I chose to plunder through was because of the many secrets to which the answers were revealed. Few were warily anticipated and most were not. I found myself at times angry, laughing, crying, but always coming back for more. The Deathbringer turns a much darker, twisted corner as some characters' colours are truly shown.
Landy's writing isn't unordinary. His style of writing and his range of vocabulary are very limited and basic, yet the action was well paced (though I found some parts unnecessarily gruesome and detailed) and the humour generously handled.
The DeathBringer is a bittersweet read.
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