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Skulduggery and Valkyrie are facing a new enemy: Baron Vengeous, who is determined to bring back the terrifying Faceless Ones and is crafting an army of evil to help him. Added to that, Vengeous is about to enlist a new ally (if he can raise it from the dead): the horrible Grotesquery, a very unlikable monster of legend.
Once Vengeous is on the loose, dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. Now pretty much everybody is out to kill Valkyrie, and the daring detective duo faces its biggest challenge yet.
But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home?
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Praise for Derek Landy:
‘Landy [has the] ability to craft an engaging story from start to finish.’ Inis
‘Derek Landy has been something of a publishing phenomenon.’ Irish Post
Praise for Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire:
‘Landy’s writing is highly cinematic ... [the plot] is delivered well and is nicely punctuated by punchy dialogue, culminating in an adrenaline-induced battle that will leave the reader gasping for breath.’ Inis
‘You just can't help but love this dynamic duo of the skeleton detective and his sidekick.’ The Bookbag
‘If, like myself, you thought the first book reinvented 9 to 12 fiction, then this one beats the previous book up and leaves it cowering in the corner of the bookshop it was purchased in.’ Waterstones Bookseller’s review
Praise for Skulduggery:
'Hugely enjoyable – a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud, author of the BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY
'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope Landy revisits these characters.' Philip Ardagh, Guardian
'Skulduggery Pleasant serves up a thoroughly satisfying blend of humour, magic and adventure. Once you've met Stephanie and Skullduggery, you'll be clamouring for a sequel.' Rick Riordan, author of the PERCY JACKSON series
‘Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages ... It's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired.’ Irish Mail on Sunday
‘A rip-roaring adventure.’ Irish Sunday IndependentFrom the Publisher:
Q&A with Skulduggery Pleasant
Hello Skulduggery! Or do you prefer Mr Pleasant?
Skulduggery is fine, and hello to you, too. I don't do many interviews, if I'm to be honest, but I am going to try my best to be humble. I have an associate who keeps telling me I'm egotistical, but she falls over a lot, so I don't really listen to her.
How are you? What have you been up to today?
Nothing that would interest you, I'm sure. Part of my job is dealing with unruly types, troublemakers and the like, so the only stories I have to tell involve lots of hitting, screaming, and my associate falling over in an amusing fashion.
Are you enjoying your new found fame as the star of your own book series?
It is an interesting experience, I have to admit. I stay out of the limelight as much as possible, but my associate is loving it. She is always on the Internet, checking what people are saying about her. I swear to you, if they knew how much she fell over, they wouldn't think she was quite so cool.
Playing With Fire is the new book, out on 31st March. Can you tell us a bit about it?
There's a new villain and a new threat, but the overall evil scheme is still in place. Basically, the bad guys want their dark old gods to return, and we're doing our best to stop that from happening. It gives me something to get out of bed for, you know? (If I had a bed.)
Is the villain in the new book as full-on-scary as Serpine from book one?
Let's just say I am not the biggest fan of Baron Vengeous. The man has NO sense of humour. At least Serpine laughed occasionally, even if it was a laugh of the maniacal sort. But Vengeous... Vengeous is just MEAN.
Are you still crime-solving with Stephanie in the new book?
Oh yes- that IS what I do, after all. Stephanie, or Valkyrie as my associate is now called, has a lot to learn when it comes to deductive reasoning. She's all too eager to leap into the fray or say something at the wrong time or just generally annoy me, but I have a lot to teach her about being a detective.
I suppose she's a quick study, though, but don't tell her I said that.
Have you always wanted to become a detective?
I was born for this job. I'm quite brilliant, you know.
What would you be if you weren't a magical crime-solving skeleton?
I'd be a magical skeleton who collected stamps, or pictures of butterflies, or pebbles.
Do you enjoy spooking and scaring people?
There is a common misconception that I am a scary person. Just because I happen to be a skeleton does NOT make me scary. I think I'm rather cuddly, in fact. And I'm always smiling. How can THAT be scary?
Are there any advantages to being a skeleton in the living world?
I never have a bad hair day, I don't get sunburnt, and I look good in suits.
You're an Elemental - what does that mean?
Elementals have the ability to manipulate the four elements- air, fire, water and earth. I've been an Elemental since I started learning magic, when I was just a boy. I've got quite good at it.
What's the best magic trick you've ever done?
"Trick"? "TRICK"? I don't do TRICKS, my friend. I am not onstage, pulling rabbits out of a hat. I don't pluck coins from behind people's ears (although I CAN). I do MAGIC. It's fierce and frightening and it would make ordinary people quake in their shoes. It's fun being me.
You're a bit of a comedian. Does that come naturally to you?
When you're killed and come back as a living skeleton, you can either wallow in self-pity and brood for the next few hundred years, or you can develop a razor-sharp wit to use every bit as effectively as any weapon.
I happen to be a very funny person. I'm always telling people that.
It's acknowledged that you are, indeed, a super-slick detective (if you don't mind me saying!). Who do you think would crack the case first if you went head-to-head against a spy like Alex Rider on a mystery solving adventure?
From what I know, young Rider is an extremely gifted spy and adventurer, and I have nothing but respect for him. That said, I am, let's be honest, me. I'm a few hundred years older and wiser, I dress better, I'm infinitely more charming, and I can throw fire.
I am the best there is.
You're a snazzy dresser. Do you get your suits made especially for you?
So glad you noticed! Yes indeed, a friend of mine makes my suits. He has to, you see, because as a skeleton, I can't wear just ANY clothes. Ghastly Bespoke has made all of my suits, designing them around a frame to make it look like I'm a tad heavier-set than I actually am.
He makes the clothes, I make the clothes look good. It's a team effort.
I loved reading about your adventures. Do you like to read in your spare time?
Oh I adore reading. I have always been an avid reader. My favourite book is "How To Make Your Own Fireplace", by C.H. Davenport. Wonderful book. Simply wonderful.
What do you like to do when you're not solving crime?
You mean, in my time off? Oh. Oh well, I... That is, I like to, to...
I don't really DO the whole "time off' thing. If people like me, and my associate, took time off from saving the world, then there'd be no one to save the world. We couldn't have that, now could we?
What's your most favourite thing?
What's your most hated thing?
People trying to kill me. It grows wearisome.
How do you get on with Derek Landy, who writes your stories down and turns them into books?
Mr. Landy is an interesting gentleman who lets his imagination run away with him from time to time. It's my job to reign him in, to refocus his attention on the story at hand. He's not too bright, which is a shame, and when he was a child his head was shaped like a potato. He got over it.
Will there be more books available for us to read about you?
Oh indeed yes. Valkyrie and I have many more adventures to embark on, and many more stories to tell. Over the course of the series, I'm sure you will see her grow up, get stronger, learn more magic, and face bigger and badder bad guys. Rest assured, I will be my usual hilarious self the whole way through.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us in this interview that we've not covered?
I have a wonderful singing voice, yet I hate to sing.
Thanks for speaking to us! What are you going to be doing with the rest of your day?
Rescue Valkyrie. She just called. Apparently she's in a spot of trouble. Her friend Tanith is with her, but as usual they need me to swoop in and save the day. It's not easy being me, you know. It's FUN, yes, but not easy.
But sometimes fun is enough.
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Book Description Harperchildren's Audio, 2010. Preloaded Digital Audio Player. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1616576103