Sunday, 4 January 2009

Derek Landy, Playing with Fire

The sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant, this YA adventure has a fair bit to live up to. After the events of the first book, Stephanie Edgeley is settling into life having assorted supernatural adventures, but a bigger threat is on the horizon, with the evil Baron Vengeous being broken out of jail.

The names haven't improved, then. The story's just as fast paced though, with plenty of action right from the start. Possibly slightly too much, since the endless fighting and running and throwing magic around rather gets in the way of the mystery supposed to be at the heart of the book. Perhaps because it's not so much a mystery as simply a case of finding and destroying the big evil monster, it doesn't quite fill out the heart of the book in the same way as the first book did.

That's not to say that this is a bad book. It's still an excellent adventure, well written and with some memorable characters. It's still a little too much in the shadow of a certain other series about a young wizard, but that doesn't stop it being tremendously good fun.

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