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PLAYING WITH FIRE by Derek Landy Kirkus Star


Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 2

by Derek Landy

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-124088-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

In a kicking sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant (2007), 13-year-old Valkyrie Cain (née 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 melée 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)