Skulduggery Pleasant #4: Dark Days – Derek Landy

Standard

5 stars out of 5

I really, really hate Davina Marr.

Okay. Here we go. A kiss from Fletcher Renn quite close to the beginning, and at the end they’re “together”. Yes, it’s still pretty low-key and even Stephanie’s… And maybe I should really start calling her Valkyrie… okay, so Valkyrie’s reaction to said kiss was quite understated, but… irchz. Let’s just wait and see. (But really: experience tells me that it usually gets worse from that point onwards.
And I actually agree with China on that one: there can’t come anything out of it. I don’t think Valkyrie has realized it (yet), but at this point she is neither willing nor able (not to mention old enough) to have any kind of serious relationship, plus, she loves “adventuring” with Skulduggery way too much. I don’t see Fletcher deal all that well with playing second fiddle all the time. Maybe for a while, yes, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be fed up with the way Valkyrie’s handling this relationship thing at one point.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler when I tell you that Valkyrie’s mother is pregnant. At this point I’m just exuberantly happy that it’s not Valkyrie who’s pregnant. I mean: book 4. Many writers of dystopian novels (not that I’m saying this series is dystopian, but still) would’ve probably jumped at the chance. Then again, in a lot of dystopian novels Valkyrie would have fallen in love for about five times by now, so…

Wow. Skulduggery is really messed up from his time in the parallel dimension. Almost just like his “before-self”, but with quite an edge. I thought it was a lie when he told Valkyrie that it was just ruse to fool Marr and Guild, and that his “messed-up-ness” will flare up again at some point, but apparently he was telling the truth, because his time over there is never mentioned again. (Or just once. Briefly.) Which is a pity. I would’ve loved to see more of a slightly disturbed Skulduggery, and his friends doing his best to help him back on track.

Solomon Wreath reveals his own agenda; and, while I knew he had one, I didn’t know it would be quite that big. Anyway. Good luck with that. I’m not entirely sure yet, but I still think Valkyrie will knock them dead. (Whether literally or metaphorically I don’t really care. Apparently it’s true and all Necromancers are a) not to be trusted, b) not very nice people, c) idiots and d) idiots – no that’s not a typo, that point just bears repeating.)

The case itself is pretty straightforward: The bad guys try to destroy the Sanctuary. Well, it’s a bit more complicated, but essentially that’s it. This books lead bad guy also wants to take revenge on Guild (which I can totally understand), and goes about it in a very smart way. Once more Team Skulduggery has to really work for it to save the world (again), or at least a few thousand people. I liked it.

Also: Clarabelle is unsettling.

Also no. 2: There was a point in this book where Remus Crux wanted to kill Valkyrie to make her “pay for the crimes of her ancestors”.
“Original Sin” was, is and ever will be the most stupid, ridiculous, useless and just plainly idiotic concept ever thought of, and I will never be able to like, respect or take seriously anybody who actually believes in it.

And, of course, as if things weren’t bad enough already, the book ends with quite a bang. I’m sure this will get even more interesting than it already is.

Like I said, dark days is a very apt title. Dark days, indeed. And they’re probably going to get a lot darker.

***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS***

Davina Marr is the most horrid, despicable being on earth and deserves a slow and painful death a hundred times over. Myron Stray wasn’t a very nice man, but nobody deserves to endure what he did. Except Davina Marr. Actually she should be kept in a time loop, reliving his last 72 hours forever.

And thank you so much, China, for killing that moron Remus Crux.

Valkyrie is Darquesse. Or… will become Darquesse at one point. I’m curious how they’ll get out of that one. If they do at all.

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