Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-9-In this sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant (HarperCollins, 2007), 13-year-old Valkyrie Cain and her mentor, the living skeleton detective, are faced with the return of the evil Baron Vengeous, who has been freed from prison. Vengeous is trying to reanimate the Grotesquery, a monster made up of pieces of a variety of evil creatures. If his scheme is successful, the Faceless Ones, "the terrible dark gods, exiled from this world," will return. Faced with treachery within the ranks of good magicians, Valkyrie and Skulduggery must rely on their own Elemental magical powers and a few trusted allies to confront Vengeous's magic and helpers, such as the vampire Dusk and Billy-Ray Sanguine, who has the ability to tunnel underground. One magical action sequence follows another as Valkyrie must find the courage to face what seem to be insurmountable foes. Humorous conversations between Valkyrie and Skulduggery add flavor to this generally dark and often-violent novel, as does the girl's appreciation of the dichotomy between her evil-fighting life and that of a quiet student lived by her reflection while she's off saving the world. Fans of the first book will particularly enjoy the new schemes and evil creatures found here. While the back-and-forth between Skulduggery and Vengeous's forces repeats a few too many times, readers looking for a mix of magic and action will find it here.-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this sequel to Skullduggery Pleasant (2007), skeleton-detective Skullduggery and his apprentice, Valkyrie Cain (aka 13-year-old Stephanie Edgley), track down the recently escaped Baron Vengeous, who plans to animate the Grotesquery, a vicious monster assembled from a variety of fearsome beasts. The Baron has finally located the remaining ingredients necessary to complete his work the late Lord Vile's armor and some blood from one of the Ancients. There's not much character development, but Landy, who has also written horror screenplays, is in his element here. His style is cinematic, and the action nonstop. Skullduggery's subtle humorous asides (some referencing classic horror films and stories) lighten the mood, and magical details, such as Valkyrie's ability to throw fireballs, add to the fun. Fans of the earlier title as well as fantasy buffs pining for the now-vanquished Voldemort will enjoy this tale of good versus evil. A final scene suggests another installment is in the works.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2008 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Valkyrie Cain, nee Stephanie Edgley, may be only thirteen, but, paired with suave skeleton Skulduggery Pleasant, she is the prettier half of a first-class evil-fighting duo. Meanwhile, the arrayed baddies--each with his, her, or its own agenda--are again trying to raise the godlike, doom-spelling Faceless Ones. Deadpan banter, sly humor, and creative action sequences make this a page-turner. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
In a kicking sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant (2007), 13-year-old Valkyrie Cain (ne Stephanie Edgley) and her bony, ever-dapper mentor face off against both a sorcerer rated "11" on the 10-point Evil Villain Scale and the more-or-less unkillable chimera he raises up to summon back some terrifying elder gods. The gods don't show (this time), but it comes right down to the wire, and even the supporting cast--which includes a corps of shambling larval vampires, a spider-spitting shapechanger and an iteration of Spring-Heeled Jack who makes Freddy Krueger look like the Singing Nun--is good for goosebumps atop goosebumps. The plot speeds along amid a whirl of chases, last-tick rescues, one high casualty mele after another and plenty of snappy, hard-boiled dialogue. Landy gives the term "deadpan humor" a whole new meaning; readers who prefer their heroes laconic and their action nonstop are in for a wild ride. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.