cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
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Book 7 for 2011

Skulduggery Pleasant - Playing With Fire by Derek Landy. 351 pages

Another. mostly enjoyable outing for the wisecracking skeleton detective and his teenage sidekick, Valkyrie Cain (formerly Stephanie Edgley).

Review under the cut, because I plan to go into considerable detail about a plot problem.

The evil Baron Vengeous has been broken out of prison and is plotting, like Nefarian Serpine before him, to bring back the Faceless Ones to rule the world. He plans to do this by reviving a creature called the Grotesquery, a sort of Frankenstein creation made partly from the body of a Faceless One augmented with parts from other supernatural creatures.

The Grotesquery has the ability to heal itself very rapidly. Towards the end of the book, our heroes must fight it, and try to wear it down enough that this ability becomes exhausted so that they can kill it.

And that's where I have my biggest quibble with the book. Earlier we are shown a weapon which, it is stressed, inflicts wounds which do not heal. This weapon is in Valkyrie's possession at the time of the fight against the Grotesquery, yet at no point does anyone suggest trying to use it to try to couteract the Grotesquery's rapid healing ability. It's true that the weapon in question is a straight razor and thus they'd need to get in dangerously close to use it, but they didn't even dismiss it for that reason, it was just never brought up at all. A small thing really, but it niggles at me.

Apart from that though, this was a good, fast=paced, fun read, with lots of snappy dialogue and desperate battles against overwhelming odds and I enjoyed it a lot.
Tags: fantasy, young adult
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