My 13th read of the year was Until the End by Derek Landy, which is the 15th book in the Skullduggery Pleasant Series. More importantly, I went to the book signing for the release of the book at Forbidden Planet in London and I met the author and it was everything I could have hoped for *squee face*
Quick summary because I’d rather talk about the signing
Also, spoilers for book 14 because there’s no way to summarise these events without spoiling the end of 14. Skip to the next heading!
This book starts just after the Faceless ones have been unleashed on the world, Valkyrie is compromised and Skulduggery is forced to try and save the world alone this time, all the while trying to stand by his partner, bring her back and keep her safe (even if it’s from herself). Auger Darkly is no longer able to be the hero and so Omen must step up to the plate. Things have never looked worse. The bad guys have essentially won. Skullduggery has to hold off his and Valkyrie’s friends from taking the most obvious course, which is ‘eliminating’ Valkyrie, while trying to slow down the invasion of the Faceless Ones and stop the creature that Auger has become from consuming the entire world.
My thoughts (Also super quick)
These books absolutely never disappoint and this is no exception. This had me on the edge of my seat (metaphorically) the whole time. I had no idea how Skullduggery and Valkyrie were going to get out of this and at one point I basically thought the author had really done it and decided to kill everyone off (I would not put it past him). And the resolution? SO FUCKING GOOD. When we finally find out who Sebastion Tao really is (the plague doctor), I audibly gasped out loud. I spent an entire day off basically reading this book so I could finish it before the signing.
I have met people whose work I have admired before and was let down massively (looking at you Lion Whisperer) but Derek Landy was exactly who I expected him to be from how he appears on socials, interviews etc – this may not sound like high praise but its the easiest way to explain how much of genuine person he was.
They had a board for when you waiting in the queue where you could fill out a plea on behalf of the character you hoped he wouldn’t kill this time (most people hadn’t read it by the signing, as it came out so soon before). There were some cute little freebies and things to take selfies with. The queue was quite long but that’s because you were given all the time you wanted with the author. He was funny, kind and genuinely excited when he’d found out that I finished the book and even asked my opinion (he also seemed surprisingly pleased/ abashed with my excited, happy babble about the book). My friend presented him with some Skullduggery stickers from her Etsy store and he did a little happy dance, which was the nicest reaction for my friend.
Basically, it was everything I could have wanted out of meeting an author I admire and only helped make me love these books more. I attended this signing shortly after I lost someone in my family and this day really helped lift some of that dark cloud, so I can only thank him for that.
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