It’s All Skulls and Bones Until Someone Gets Murdered

Skullduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light by Derek Landy


Plot: 20/20

The ninth and final installment offers explosive action, outrageous humour and twists and turns galore. Darquesse has taken over and it’s up to Skullduggery & Co. to stop her. The plot is meaty. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll, no doubt, devour this book. There are less laughs than previous books due to the dark nature of the content but Landy manages to squeeze in some additional quips right until the last page.

Narration: 20/20

As always, Landy is one of the few authors who can successfully manage multiple story arcs and weave them around each other to ratchet up the tension and make it easy to remember who’s done what and to whom.

Character: 20/20

Do I really need to comment? Landy gives the reader a masterclass in characterisation. Skullduggery sticks in the mind for all the right reasons.

Quality of Writing: 20/20

The writing is funny at the right times and builds on the tensions when needed in in-the-moment, fight scenes. I love the Irishness of many of Landy’s characters and descriptions (and, as an Irishman, I’m in no way biased!).

Setting: 10/10

I’ve visited a lot of the places in which the story is set (obviously, I am referring to the non-fictional places). But even so, I feel like I’ve visited the Sanctuary and Haggard. Landy paints his scenes and settings with masterstrokes upon a vivid and striking canvas. 

Comparative Literature: 10/10

I really think Landy is ahead of the game and one of the most prominent writers in the horror genre. His work is comparable to Eoin Colfer, Charlie Higson, Will Hill and Darren Shan.

NOW, to Skip to the GOOD BIT:

  • Words that will make you laugh and possibly cry
  • An ending that will leave you feeling hollow (we want more Skullduggery!!)
  • More from the characters that we have grown to loathe or love (and sometimes both)
  • A strong, fast-paced plot that reminds us why we enjoy Landy’s writing so much

Overall Score: 100/100

Books You May Also Like:

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – if you enjoyed Landy’s wit

Department 19 by Will Hill – for more monster (and gore) action

The Enemy by Charlie Higson – for more horror and zombie action (think Scapegrace and Thrasher but less laughs)


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