Tag Archives: Bücher

Skulduggery Pleasant (#3): The Faceless Ones – Derek Landy

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5 stars out of 5

Once again a few new characters, all of them very well-written. I wanted to kill Remus Crux practically instantly after having “met” him for the first time, but Finbar Wrong is probably one of the best characters ever written. (Even if he doesn’t have much “screen time”, so to say.)

Fletcher Renn is incredibly irritating at first, but he gets better towards the end.

Solomon Wreath is intriguing. I wonder what he really wants to gain. I’m not buying that altruistic reasoning for a second.

But seriously: If Thurid Guild and Remus Crux are supposed to be “good guys” (and the Grand Mage is supposed to be a good guy), I’ll stay with the bad ones. What a pair of jerks!

The scene in the “pretend house” beneath Gordon’s actual house was absolutely terrifying. I loved it!

There’s a very, very nice twist at the end! I’m usually good at spotting things like this, but I didn’t see that one coming. Clever.

Will we ever get to learn more about Skulduggery’s past? Kenspeckle Grouse seems to really despise him, and I’m curious as to why.

It’s starting to get a liiiittle bit “romance-y”, but so far it’s all veeeery low-key and pretty much non-existent, so I can live with it – for now.

A great book, but not for children, I think. Melting eyes, adhering lips and bodies turning inside out are hard even on me, and I’m an adult (at least age-wise).

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

I can’t believe they killed Mr. Bliss!! *wails* Our only hope of getting rid of that stupid Grand Mage Thurid Guild!!

And seriously: can’t Stephanie see that the reflection might become a problem? I know she has a lot on her plate, but she can’t be that stupid, right?

Paddy being Batu was just… wow! I never suspected him for a second! I mean, yeah, I knew something was a little off about him when he started this kind of “philosophical discussion” with Stephanie, but I just thought he’ll turn out to be a sorcerer in the end. Or he’ll have some magic, but nothing “spectacular” or something. Huh. I guess his tactic worked better than anybody thought, if even the readers were fooled. Hats off to Derek Landy!

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Skulduggery Pleasant (#2): Playing With Fire – Derek Landy

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5 stars out of 5

I don’t know what it says about me, but for some reason I can relate more to the “bad guys” than the heroes. (With the exception of Vaurian Scapegrace. Christ, what an idiot!) I usually like them better, too. Especially Springheeled Jack. I mean, I could totally do without the killing-innocent-people thing, but both attitude- and humour-wise they’re really charming. (Yeah, I know, I’m weird. I’m reading a book about a skeleton detective. Are you really surprised?)
At least the straight-forward ones. I absolutely hate Thurid Guild and everybody from the so-called Sanctuary (ha!). Mostly because they’re arrogant, stupid, unreasonable and completely unable to actually listen. Plus, they think they know everything better. This combined with their other character traits makes them all utterly despicable.
The really evil ones (and the heroes, too, I suppose) chose a side, and chose it clearly. They don’t try to hide that fact or bully someone with “regulations” and “laws” and whatnot. They just want to kill you, and you always know where you stand with them. Those Sanctuary guys are slimy little weasels who got it all horribly wrong, but are too vain, dumb and/or rigid to admit their mistakes and learn from them. I really hate people like that.

Anyway.

A very good read. Again.

I still love Stephanie’s parents (especially her father), because they’re so decidedly normal, yet totally weird in an utterly adorable way. Sometimes I wish they knew what was going on with their daughter, sometimes I wish they’ll never find out.

Still no love stories. Yay!

The ending was a tad too dramatic for my liking, and I found the “Stephanie-saves-the-day”-thing a bit… irritating, but well. She is the main character. Still. I hope she won’t turn out to be yet another “Super-Mercy”, like the main character in a different book series. Let’s see.

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

I’m curious about the consequences of shooting Stephanie’s reflection. I mean, yes, the reflection isn’t suppose to feel things, but it had been made very clear that, since Stephanie uses it every day, it seemed to have changed quite a bit. Like, gaining more self-awareness, leading an independent life, parallel to Stephanie’s, or the “memory transfer” that’s not complete. Sure, there are maybe about a few seconds missing, but it’s still not like it should be. And, of course, since Stephanie is Stephanie she doesn’t tell anyone about it, but I really think this reflection business will come back to bite her in the arse. Big time.

Skulduggery Pleasant (#1) – Derek Landy

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5 Stars out of 5

In short: Still one of the best books I’ve ever read. (And that’s not only because of the walking, talking skeleton – but seriously, HOW COOL IS THAT??? OMG!!!!) I’ll try to write a full review in a few days (hopefully), but right now this will have to do.

Okay. And now for something a little more coherent…

Then again… I’m still a bit hung up on the thought if Derek Landy knows me personally somehow. Like, did we go to the same school and I forgot all about it, or some such. (Well, obviously not, because completely different countries and stuff. – But we were born in the same year, so that would check out… Anyway.) Because that book seems to have been written for me. I mean, a “living” skeleton who works as a detective!? Come on! I have loved skeletons (for whatever reasons) since I can remember, and I usually read only crime stories.

I was still a bit… hesitant, because Fantasy just isn’t my genre anymore (save for a very few exceptions), but well… You can’t find new authors you like, if you don’t try to read anything written by them, right? (And it helped that I’ve already read the German translation of this book, like, two years ago or so, I just haven’t written a review for some reasons. But I’ve been hesitant back then, too, so there.)

And the risk was absolutely worth it.

Stephanie Edgley, our heroine, is a twelve year old girl, and probably a bit too “old” for her age, but Derek Landy manages to not turn her into an obnoxious, annoying, knowing-it-all brat who succeeds in  everything immediately, but a likable, down-to-earth (despite all the magic stuff) character who has to learn a lot, and is at times very insensible and extremely persistent, but never annoyingly so. At least not to me, and I’m easily annoyed.

Skulduggery Pleasant has a pretty dry sense of humour, is far from perfect and not everything he plans goes exactly according to said plan, but he always pulls through in the end. Plus, he really does his best to not get Stephanie killed. Or harmed. In his line of work that sometimes can’t be helped, though, and since Stephanie had insisted on becoming his apprentice,… Well, there you are.

This book has a lot of likable characters in any case. Even the evil ones are not all unlikable. And there are some… “shady” characters you don’t know what to make of yet. Like China Sorrows or Mister Bliss.

The case itself is pretty straight-forward, and they manage to solve it. Which means: this adventure is completed and can be read as a stand-alone.
So in case you wanted to give this book a try, don’t like it and don’t want to read any of the following stories, you’re not left with a cliffhanger or unanswered questions.

Also: Derek Landy is obviously a master in naming characters. Everybody who can come up with names like Nefarian Serpine, Vaurian Scapegrace, Kenspeckle Grouse or Ghastly Bespoke deserves a reward. (Oh wait…)

The absolute best thing in there? No romance! No far-fetched, incomprehensible, cringe-worthy love story! Between none of the characters! Yay!
But then, Stephanie’s only twelve years old in the first book, and I’m sure she’ll age through the following nine parts, so I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to dodge that particular bullet, but I hold out a little hope that the author might be able to write it in a way that I don’t want to burn the book and never want to have anything to do with this series ever again.

I also like that there are vampires in this book, and they don’t sparkle in the sun or look sexy!

I’m not sure whether this is a children’s book, though. I mean, it will probably depend on the child’s age, but if you’re a parent and want to be on the safe side: read it first! There’s some pretty dark stuff in it, and from what I’ve heard already it’s getting darker from here on out. (I mean, the whole setting is kind of a clue, but if you’re expecting something like Sonja Kaiblinger’s “Scary Harry” books: they’re nothing like that!)

Jon Krakauer: Mord im Auftrag Gottes

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(Jon Krakauer, “Mord im Auftrag Gottes”, Piper Verlag GmbH München, 2003, S. 54)

Es ist doch wirklich IMMER dasselbe mit diesen Psychosekten!

Da wird der Untergang der Welt / die Wiederkehr des Messias / irgendetwas ähnlich unmögliches vorausgesagt und wenn das dann nicht klappt, dann gibt der Oberguru den Mitgliedern die Schuld. Sie waren nicht fromm genug, haben nicht genug gebetet, nicht genug Opfer gebracht, blablabla.

Und die Mitglieder LASSEN sich die Schuld geben und kuschen noch mehr!

Dieses Argument, GENAU dieses Argument, haben die Täufer in Münster damals auch gebracht, und jetzt lese ich es fast wortwörtlich wieder in eine Reportage über fundamentalistische Mormonen.

Die Leute werden nicht schlauer, oder?

(Keine Ahnung, wie man einen Link einfügt, aber wen das Buch jetzt interessiert: http://www.amazon.de/Mord-Auftrag-Gottes-religi%C3%B6sen-Fundamentalismus/dp/3492045715/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1375865272&sr=8-6&keywords=jon+krakauer)