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audiobooks Fantasy Middle Grade Paranormal

Dark Days by Derek Landy (Book Thoughts)

Yesterday here in WNY another person with terrorist ties made their way to the area and did something terrible.  First the Buffalo massacre, now this attack on Salman Rushdie, it seems insane that crazies are coming from hours away to do their business here.  My head is in knots and I am probably going to write a separate post about the actual vs figurative power of words, something weighing heavily.

So…. Dark Days

There’s not much to say about the book that I haven’t said about the series already. I would reiterate a point I made that Landy definitely expected the readers to age with the protagonist, as the content and themes are getting a little darker in each book.

Bookish Quick Facts:

  • Title: Dark Days
  • Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #4
  • Author: Derek Landy
  • Publisher & Release: HarperCollins Children’s Books, January 2010
  • Length: 414 pages
  • Rate & Recommend: I do like the series, and the audios.

A Quick Note on the audio:  8:08 narrated again by Rupert Degas.  This is his last in the series apparently, sadly. I love his narration. This installment dropped the musical soundtracks which made it feel a lot shorter

Here’s the synopsis:

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior.

Oh yes. And dead.

Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him.

But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans.

The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it.

Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands.

These are dark days indeed.

The books in general are getting darker and Valkyrie is now training and fighting with necromancy. While Skulduggery was gone she was working with a necromancer who is trying to recruit her to their cause. I like the Shadow magic, it’s a little more interesting than the elemental magic and going forward we will have to see which branch of magic she chooses to specialize in.

There’s a found family theme too that I like between Valkyrie and Tanith.  We got to see the real Kenspeckle.

The stakes are getting higher and the villains are getting nastier. This was still action packed and fast paced, just darker. There is still plenty of humor too, like naming the bad guy club and Skulduggery’s changing 💀

I think the funniest part was how the zombies couldn’t stop squabbling over dumb things and were absolutely not terrifying at all. Poor guys lolol.

And Valkyrie got a boyfriend! Haha ish.  Her role is starting to change too as she has finally established herself as much more than a sidekick, able to seek her own resources and set some of her own missions.

With visuals of parental death, torture, and more detailed violence that does balance well with some more hopeful themes, I would still recommend this book to upper middle grade. The first three would be fine for almost any age.

Here’s some interesting reading I found about the series not taking off in the U.S. originally and was reissued with the new covers, in 2018

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/76749-he-s-baaaack-harpercollins-reintroduces-skulduggery-pleasant.html


Skulduggery Pleasant so far

  1. Skulduggery Pleasant
  2. Playing With Fire
  3. The Faceless Ones
  4. Dark Days

 

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