Number 12 on this year’s pitiful what I have read list, was Dead or Alive, the 14th instalment in the Skulduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy.
I recently did a post summarising my thoughts on the other 13 books in the series, which you can find here.
This book is a nail biter throughout because you really don’t know how Valkyrie and Skulduggery will get out of this one. After the events in the previous book, where Valkyrie accidentally travelled into the future, this books opens with the knowledge that they have just days to prevent a cataclysmic disaster. Damocles Creed intends to execute one last, destructive, bid to find the Child of the Faceless ones, which we know is Valkyrie’s sister in the future from her little trip there.
They are faced with a dark choice but it is the only one for people like them, who get the job done, no matter how distasteful it is in the doing. They decide to assassinate Creed, just to be sure they can prevent the worst future possible from coming to light. Valkyrie knows this crosses a line and worries it’s one they can’t come back from but someone beats them to the punch and all their plans unravel.
Once again, the pair of detectives seem to be fighting enemies from all sides, including their future selves. Someone from Skulduggery’s past has returned to haunt him, as has one of Valkyrie’s ex’s, a trained killer and assasin. Sometimes, the books in this series are gentle building blocks leading towards the next big ending but this one really was just stuff happening to everyone under a little ticking time bomb the whole time.
I was about 100 pages from the end of the book and literally panicking about how they were going to win this one. I know Landy isn’t averse to killing of main (beloved!) characters, so I did have a genuinely reason to worry.
But otherwise, I am utterly biased in favour of these books, so of course I’m going to say that I loved it. The cliff hanging ending is so… well, without any spoilers, let’s just say, I shouted the words ‘fuck, noooooo’ as I read it.
If you’re looking for a series to binge, there are so many of these, you will be kept going for a really long time and if you enjoy the genre, you will not be sorry!
I cannot wait for the next one and I’ve got my eye out for when I can pre-order it!