The Maleficent Seven

The Maleficent Seven

Title: The Maleficent Seven

Author: Derek Landy

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s

Format: Paperback

Standalone/Series: Series – Novella (offshoot) from the Skullduggery Pleasant series

Pages: 288 


The plot centres around Tanith Low, who assembles a group of criminals, and Dexter Vex, who assembles a team of good guys, who race to find the four God-Killer weapons. Tanith wants to destroy them so that Darquesse, when she emerges, won’t be harmed and Dexter wants to stash the weapons away so they have a way of defeating her. You know from the start what you’re going to get in a Landy novel: explosive action, incomparable wit and OMG moments throughout. The story delivers on every level and even in a short novella, Landy manages to provide twists and turns and weave lies and secrets into the plot. A beginning that will pique your interest, a middle that will keep you reading and an action-packed ending.



The third-person, omniscient style of narration is consistent with the series. As is usual in Landy’s novels, we get to observe different characters and Landy keeps us in the dark, moving to a different character and leaving us with a burning desire to find out what happens next. The voice is funny, creates dramatic suspense and ratchets the tension.



Some of the characters we’ve met in the other Skullduggery novels but some are new like Sabine and Black Annis and fit perfectly into Landy’s world. Tanith is the breakout star for me but there’s so many great characters within the novella, each with the certified, Landy stamp of approval.


Quality of Writing:

The writing is a joy to read. The words all but flow off the page and paint the picture. I especially love how Landy demonstrates and differentiates between the old Tanith and The Remnant Tanith. He’s able to show just how cruel and brutal she’s willing to be to get what she wants.



Again, Landy doesn’t fail when it comes to his settings. From the English Sanctuary to Jackie Earl’s compound in Chicago, we get the full experience.


Comparative Literature:

Landy creates a world in the Skullduggery Pleasant series and is able to build upon and reinforce it in this novella. He does this with an incomparable wit and an imagination to rival top children’s authors. Landy creates worlds that rival the dystopian worlds of The Hunger Games and Divergent and characters as memorable as those from iconic texts ranging from Harry Potter to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


Overall Score:



  • Great characterization
  • New and interesting characters
  • High quality writing that makes you feel as though you could be watching a movie
  • Incomparable wit and explosive action throughout

Books You May Also Like:

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – for another story about magic and the good and bad within all of us


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White – for more great world-building and a story packed full of humour and action


Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins – for another story of magic, betrayal and secrets


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May 30, 2014 · 8:52 pm

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