Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Skulduggery Pleasant #2: Playing With Fire by Derek Lindy

Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2)My name is Valkyrie, and Baron Vengeous is trying to raise a Grotesquery with the powers of a Faceless One combined with other creatures. This could lead to the arrival of other Faceless Ones and the ruination of mankind! Skulduggery has been training me in elemental magic, since I'm a descendant of the Ancients. My new skills have come in handy, but Vengeous still seems determined to capture me. I don't know why. He's sent a murderous vampire after me, and I've made it even more dangerous after scarring its face and stealing its razor. Skulduggery always appears whenever I most need him, but I've had some real close calls recently. Vengeous has the magical armor he needs to complete his plan, and we have only two days to figure out how to stop him.

It will be helpful to read Skulduggery Pleasant first. Skulduggery is a fun character, as he solves mysteries with bravado and a sense of humor. Most of the evil characters fear or respect him, but his teasing usually irritates and annoys them. Valkyrie was known as Stephanie in book one and joined the world of magic after her uncle died. The plot follows her character, as the evil characters are focused on her, in addition to raising the Faceless Ones. This book touches on her conflicting emotions about leaving her pre-magic life and missing "normal" life with her parents. She's able to absorb the memories of the mirror image that is replacing her at home and school, but it's not the same as experiencing that life. The book is mostly an adventure story even though Skulduggery is a detective trying to solve a mystery. There are plenty of action scenes, and Skulduggery brings a sense of playfulness. Even when he's losing an arm! I'm enjoying the series and recommend you give it a try.

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