Thursday 12 September 2013

Book Review - Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men

Title: Last Stand of Dead Men
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant (book 8)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 29 Aug 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0007489206

War has finally come.
But it's not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it's a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they're going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.
But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

My Review
I am an absolutely massive Skulduggery fan, I think Derek Landy is a genius and a really cool guy, I've met him twice, follow his blog and stalk him on twitter. I shout about this series to anyone who will listen and try to get as many people to read it as possible. From the moment I picked up the first book I have been a die-hard fan, so why did I not get lost in this book? Why was I left feeling a bit disappointed? It feels like my world is crashing down around me, a world where Skulduggery doesn't sweep me up into the story and make me laugh, cry and scream just doesn't make sense, and this book just didn't do it for me. 
Is there something wrong with me? It just doesn't make sense. I think part of the problem is that I have waited for this book for so long and psyched it up in my head so much, I was literally counting down the days until the release. It was released on my Birthday and I was thrilled, but my copy didn't arrive until the following Tuesday, when I was back at work and had less time, so maybe having to squeeze reading it into odd minutes had an affect, instead of just sitting to read it in one as I usually do. Maybe I got so pumped, and I heard some rumours of things to come, people saying it was the most EPIC story yet, and that I would hate Derek for what he wrote after I had finished, I got so psyched up and expected all these emotions that I just feel deflated that I don't feel them. 
I mean this book has a lot of deaths and I didn't cry at any of them, and I should have!!! I won't say who dies, but really, what is wrong here? If you have read it you will know what I mean. That was a serious tears moment!

Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood, time, situation to read it. It's literally taken me over a week to finish it, and I know it's 604 pages but I could usually do that in one day if I went for it, or 2 if necessary, but I just couldn't get into it. I have had a ridiculously busy week and it has broken up my reading time. I also have a stack of review books that are due in like a week that I still haven't started!I can feel the pressure!!! Maybe I should have left this until I had more time, but I didn't want to catch any spoilers, and I wanted to talk about it with my friends who are fans. But if I could go back and change it, I would have waited.

Saying all that, it does still have it's charms, I chuckled at parts and still enjoyed the banter between Skulduggery and Valkyrie and even some of the other characters, that's part of what got me into the series in the first place, but there wasn't as much of it and I did miss that. Although, that made the moments it did happen all the more appealing.
I knew this book would be the 'War' book, so I expected battles and violence, and death and blood and general misery, but I missed the easy flow and giggles the characters usually offered. For me some of the war scenes just dragged on a little bit too long, I found my focus drifting, waiting for the outcome and the next scene. 

But saying all that, there are a lot of totally awesome events in this book and things that will make your heart beat a thousand times faster. Derek does have a real skill with his writing, that makes you have to keep reading. And his characters are pure gold, they are the ones that keep you interested. They feel real, like I know them. I can picture them all and feel like I have journeyed with them and grown up with them.

I am going to put this book away for a few months, read the stack of books that are piled up for reviews, release the pressure on me and then come back to this book with a fresh feel and re-read it. I hope then that I will recapture the magic and pure amazingness of Skulduggery and Derek Landy. Because I know this book isn't just good, I know it is amazing!!!
I am 99.9% sure that my problem with this book was purely down to me and my current position, I need to clear my schedule and reading pile a bit and then I can get totally immersed in this Epic tome. 
 Come on Skulduggery fans, give me a boost and make me see how awesome this was!

If you're not a fan, don't be disheartened by my review at all, start the series from the beginning and immerse yourself into that world, you will spot the awesome power of Landy and you won't be able to turn back. 

My Rating

1 comment:

Lizzy said...

Sorry that this wasn't as enjoyable as you hope. I've been in the wrong moods for books before and had to put them down for weeks or months until I could really enjoy them.

It sounds like a good series and I'll have to check it out sometime.