Monday, 3 November 2014

Mortal Coil by Derek Landy

Series: Skulduggery Pleasant, Book Five
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardback
Published: 2nd September 2010
Number of Pages: 604
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Comedy, Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Action-Adventure, Mystery, Children's, YA, Children's-YA Crossover
Recommended Age: 10+
Contains: Violence, Death – Lots And Lots Of Violence And Death! – Gore And Mild Swearing
No Alcohol or Drug References
Skulduggery Pleasant Site: Skulduggery Pleasant


“The blonde girl with the black lips turned to Valkyrie.
‘We know,’ she said.  ‘We’ve seen the future.  We know you’re going to kill the world…’”
Skulduggery Pleasant is back, but all is not well in the magical community.  For one thing, there’s an unstoppable assassin with a metal mask on the loose… and for another, Valkyrie has discovered that she is Darquesse, the evil sorceress set to destroy the world.  The problem is, she doesn’t feel she can tell Skulduggery what she’s learned, and so she must try to change her terrible destiny alone.
But the price of changing your destiny is high, and if she fails, she’ll die alone too.
With Valkyrie on her own quest, Skulduggery and the gang are even more vulnerable.  Which is a shame, as the Necromancers have a body-snatching Remnant that they’re about to release…
When no one is who they seem, when she can’t trust her friends and her enemies are closing in from all around her, the only thing Valkyrie can do is run.

"When you're dealing with magic, you can never trust your enemies to stay beaten, or to stay dead…"
So I'm going to try to give the spoiler free version of this plot...
Alright, so Valkyrie Cain just found something out – something huge, so huge she doesn't know what to do. 
So huge and so horrible that she can't even tell her friends...
Something... life shattering...
Meanwhile, the Irish Sanctuary is reeling from... well, the bomb that killed most of them.  It needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up – preferably safely and securely.
Yeah, right.
And on top of all of this, some mysterious people are plotting to take Skulduggery, Valkyrie and the Sanctuary down.  You know.  Again.
Oh, and the Remnants – evil soulless things that killed thousands last time they were free – are walking among the living once again.  And this time, they have a purpose – which is “bloody terrifying”, to quote Tanith Low…
All in all, it really isn't going too well.
But then, when does anything ever go right for this group?
Once again, I'm going to state how much I love the Skulduggery Pleasant series.  And each book is even better than the last.  Take Mortal Coil, for example.  It still had all the action, all the humour, all the fun, all the magic – but it was darker too, more... grown up.  More YA than children's – but still appealing to a pre-teen audience, as well as an older one.  What can I say: the magic that is SP appeals to everyone, everywhere.  It's just so freaking good that it's untrue!  So good, in fact, that I finished this 570-odd paged book in an afternoon – on the edge of my seat and laughing my head off the whole time, of course.  For that is the magic of Skulduggery Pleasant: more addictive than drugs and funnier than Live At The Apollo crossed with hilarious animal videos.  
Valkyrie...  I really felt for the girl in this one.  Poor Val.  Still, she's so strong, even when dealing with all these really tough things.  And funny all the way through, of course!
As for Skulduggery: I love him so much.  I don't care about all the kinds, all his dangerous and borderline-sociopathic tendencies – he's so funny, so good, such a good friend to Val...  I really hope he stays this way…
Tanith: she rocks.  Like totally.  Ghastly is amazing too.  China, whilst being quite cold at times, is awesome.  But Fletcher Renn really stole the show for me.  He kills me – he’s so funny, but if his ego was any bigger, planets would revolve around him.  Seriously.  Also, I've gotta say, I kind of liked Billy-Ray in this one.  He was good... ish and so freaking funny.  And Clarabelle, Grouse's assistant, absolutely killed me – she always does!  She's so ditzy!  It's brilliant and so, so funny!  Val's dad is brilliant too – he, too, is freaking hilarious!  Um, have you gathered that I adore the characters in this book, flaws and all?  You have?  Awesome: moving on.
Once again, Landy's writing is stunning.  Like I've said multiple times, his writing is pure magic.  The dialogue is hilarious and so witty: Landy really knows how to ramp up the suspense and make you laugh all at the same time.  His fight scenes are beyond compare: so vivid and bloody that you can see it all in your mind...
And as for the plot of Mortal Coil: holy hell, Batman!  This plot was nonstop thrills, spills and violence!  Seriously, there were so many freaking twists it was untrue.  I never knew where I would go next.  I also didn't know who would survive til the next chapter: Derek really has a passion for killing off his characters...  Seriously, though, Mortal Coil was dark and exciting and suspenseful and I loved every single moment of this twisting rollercoaster.
I can't believe it took me this long to point it out, but I'm really pleased that Skulduggery Pleasant isn't set in America or even the UK – there are sooo many paranormals set in the USA so one set in Ireland is a really nice change.  The notion of Ireland being "a cradle of magic" is cool too – much, I guess, like the theory behind Sunnydale in Buffy or the house and nexus in Charmed; natural sources of magic and supernatural activity.  This is really turning into a nerdsfest, which wasn't my original point at all (I think) so I'll move on now...
Anyway, what I'm trying to say in this long and rambly fangirly review (well, might as well continue the trend: I have a whole series of fangirly SP reviews – why stop now?!) is that Mortal Coil is the best book in a brilliant series.  I could be stuck on a desert island with any of the SP books and I'd be happy for eternity because they just never get old.  SP is the perfect escape and I will love it forever and ever.  I will also never stop recommending it to everyone, no matter their age, gender, etc – not even when I'm old and grey and meant to pretend I like 'intellectual' books, like War and Peace
So yes.  Mortal Coil is amazing.  And you all need to read SP.  Right now.  I mean it: I can't recommend it enough.
Derek, I love you and you are my god.  I worship you the way the Remnants worship Darquesse.  Maybe that's wrong, but I don't care. 
And on that (mildly disturbing) note: Megan out.

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Department 19 by Will Hill
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Happy Reading


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