This isn’t exactly how the post was when I initially tried to publish it (this is attempt no.2 – if you follow me on twitter you might have seen what happened. I published the post on time and it just disappeared) but it’s somewhere along the same lines…
I think I mentioned in one of last week’s blog posts that I was considering adding book reviews as a new category on my blog, but I’ve decided I’m not going to do that – I decided that, instead, I’m going to add this series – the Favourite Books Series, under a ‘Bookish’ category. I always have the feeling that book reviews are really what you do when books are new, and it just seems a bit weird if the books have been out a long time maybe, or if they haven’t had that much hype.
This series, then, is going to be me sharing some of my favourite books and book series, spoiler-free (no-one likes spoilers). The books will probably end up as a mix of newly published and ones that have been around a while, but they might be new to me, or new to someone else. Literature is one of my favourite things, so, here’s the first in my new series!
The ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series
Alright, so me and this series go way back. When I was 11 years old, my brother bought me the second for my birthday (he didn’t know it was the second, and neither did I). Only after I read it did I realise that the reason I thought there were some, ahem, narrative gaps, was because I’d missed a book.
The series is by Derek Landy (whose name I always think has two ‘L’s in it, but doesn’t really), an Irish guy with a knack for sarcasm. The books follow the life of Valkyrie Cain, as, twelve years old, she enters into a world of magic and fighting following the death of her uncle – revealing not all is as it seems. She begins to work alongside the ‘skeleton detective’, Skulduggery Pleasant, getting into all sorts of trouble.
I think originally, this series was aimed at the sort of age group I was when I first started the series, but as they continued to come out (the 9th and final book was released in 2014) I’ve kept up with the series. I bought a signed copy of the 9th book when it was released, but I only managed to read it in 2015 due to trying to cope with 5 A Levels at the same time when it came out. The final one sees Valkyrie, now aged 18, battling with her double life and some… well… kinks to having found out who she is (very much trying to keep it spoiler-free here), and brings the series to a resolution.
The last book was infuriating, but in the best possible way. I really admire Landy for how he constructed it – he’d bring you right to the climax of a scene, then switch to another, equally as dramatic scene. He manages to bring up the kind of frantic reading that every fantasy author wants to make their readers experience, the kind when you just want to know what’s next, and it makes it so hard to put the book down… and as a 600-page book, that’s saying something. It was also rather a challenge to take the book to school to read (fit in the bag, dammit!), but hey, I wasn’t gonna back down.
I’d really recommend the series, if you don’t mind reading something you’ll probably find in the ‘teen’ or ‘tween’ section at Waterstones. To be honest, I think their scope ranges far wider than the teen genre, just because they may be fairly easy reads, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some quality content. I mean come on, some of the villains become so familiar you really just want them to succeed at something, they’re so darn hopeless – but, again, in the best possible way. I’ve had this series in my life for the better part of a decade, and I’m still loving it.
So yeah, that concludes the first in this new Favourite Books Series. I’m definitely going to be doing more of these, because I think they’re just so fun, and I can easily work on them. I hope other people like it too!