7 Mar 2013


Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there's his sidekick, Stephanie. She's...well, she's a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out.. Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. When all hell breaks loose, it's lucky for Skulduggery that he's already dead. Though he's about to discover that being a skeleton doesn't stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there's anything Skulduggery hates, it's torture...Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

Skulduggery Pleasant is the coolest, smoothest, most awesomest (and probably the deadest) Detective around and you may not know he exists, but he saves you from some of the evilest supernatural people and creatures around on a daily basis. And it's not easy, no. In fact it's most dangerous. 

Made-up words aside, I am thoroughly in love with this series already - don't let anyone tell you that 'grown-ups' can't enjoy reading books for younger kids. It just proves that done well books can be accessible to anyone. It has an incredibly spot-on humour: kind of dark in places and completely sarcastic. Its straight up my street. I don't know what took me so long to actually get round to reading it but now I'm completely hooked.

Stephanie, our main heroine and guide, is a great character. She is down to Earth, tough and really funny. She has a fantastically dry sense of humour and finds a great, loyal friend in Skulduggery who shows her the world that her beloved late Uncle had inhabited. And more importantly he sweeps her away from her humdrum ordinary life. I love Skulduggery for that ironic reason of how 'fleshed out' he is. He is so set in his ways, like his love of his Bently and his noir-style crime fighting dectection. He's a brilliant father figure and semi-moral compass for Stephanie. He also has a really interesting, if not grim, backstory that is eeked out in this book:

“I woke up, a bag of bones. Literally. They had gathered up my bones and put them in a bag and thrown the bag into a river.”


Room meets Lord of the Flies, The Bunker Diary is award-winning, young adult writer Kevin Brooks's pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true - and how will you survive?

I can't believe I fell for it. It was still dark when I woke up this morning. As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was. A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete. There are six little rooms along the main corridor. There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out. What's he going to do to me? What am I going to do? If I'm right, the lift will come down in five minutes. It did. Only this time it wasn't empty . . 

The Bunker Diary appeared one day in my pigeonhole. I hadn't requested it, didn't know anything about it, and I've never read anything by Kevin Brooks before. Odd. They say that the right books find the right people in the end and if that's the case this book should find everybody. It is truly incredible. 

Linus is abducted and put in an old bunker, soon to be followed by 5 other people from completely different walks of life. No one knows why they're there but they're stuck. In each cell is a notebook, and the story is a transcribe of the day to day diary that Linus keeps. Linus is an incredible narrator. He is strong and humble and really likable. You will root for him against a faceless enemy. Its a cruel, horrible book in places. Its cold and nasty, but it will makes you understand how the human psyche reacts to these things. It will make you ask yourself how you would cope, what you would do. Would you give up and wait to die? Hope for rescue? Plan your escape? 

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