Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light, by Derek Landy

As a former teacher, it would be very common to see Derek Landy books on the tables in the library, under kids desks and not on the shelf. Big kids, especially boys were always attracted to the gruesome covers consisting of at least one skull.

His latest installment is no different. I gave it to my twelve year old son and had to dig around in his room a few days later so I could get a chance to flick through a few pages as well. The book was, as expected, squirreled away like some treasure map to a world of monsters, adventures, hunters, killers… all that stuff that your boy loves.

The usual quick catch, like in many of Landy’s book, as a mysterious stranger moves in to a small town. From that point on it’s no more beating around the bush as the action kicks off the very next chapter.

For fans of the past eight Skulduggery novels, you will only be disappointed by the fact that this is the final chapter. However, after countless battles and revenge seeking, maybe you’ll be relieved that everything is wrapped up nicely. Of course, if you’ve read the series before you will know nothing in these novels can be easily classed as ‘expected’.

Unlike massive series authors like JK Rowling, I don’t feel that Derek Landy has got to big for his boots. Sure the novels keep getting longer and there’s the old adage that the reader has ‘grown’ with the series. But unlike in the Potter novels, the same level of humour, action, darkness and associated evils have remained relatively constant. Where as I stopped letting my kids read Harry Potter from about book five, my eldest boy has read all of the Skulduggery books over the past couple of years and hasn’t commented that the feeling of them has changed. He was the one that let the Potter books slide and just watched the movies.

Now that the series is over, movie deals are probably the next thing on Landy’s mind, but at least you know the magic, the villains, and of course Skulduggery himself will live on in the novels… although ‘live on’ is not really the most accurate way to describe it.

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TITLE: Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light (Book 9)
AUTHOR(S): Derek Landy
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
RRP: $34.99
ISBN: 9780007489251

Drew Thompson Drew operates a successful hobby farm for pampered cattle in rural South Auckland. He once dabbled in education, where he discovered any book was a good book. As with most ex-teachers, he realised he was better off spending his time and patience on his own awesome children.

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