Skulduggery Pleasant – a review

It’s finally time. I’m finally reviewing Skulduggery Pleasant!! This is a series that I have read and reread since I was around 14 and that I’ve been rereading this year as part of the Dead Famous Readalong which has been so much fun! We follow a young girl, 12 years of age, who’s uncle has recently passed away. At his funeral she meets a very weird man. Later on she discovers that he is a detective. A living skeleton detective. That Ireland is filled with magic. And that the world is a lot stranger than it seems.


This is a very dark middle grade read, and one that I have adored from the very first page. We get violence and magic and mystery and all sorts of weirdness that continues throughout the series. This is a hard one for me to review because of how many books there are in the series in total. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I’m hesitant to give even the slightest of details.

What I can say that if you’re worried about starting this very long series, it’s actually split into trilogies. You could read the first one and leave it at that. Or you can read just the first trilogy (which I originally did…. cause the rest of the books weren’t out!). And the trilogies continue through the series so that can be an easier method of making your way through.

If you’re actually the intended age range for middle grade (unlike my 24 year old self) I would warn that this is a book on the darker side. As in I often am surprised at how violent and dark this gets. If you’re like younger me and that sentence made you excited and wanting to read it even more? Go for it! Otherwise this might be one to miss. For older readers though, unless you really cannot handle death and violence you should really enjoy this series.

It also has Irish wit, which is reasonably similar to the British variety, so that’s a lot of fun to have the dry humour throughout mixed with the utter absurdity of the magical “reality”. This is a surprisingly hard book to review, the whole series is (and given I’m rereading them all please pray for future me) as all of the cool points are best found out by yourself! Even those that aren’t spoilers are just that much more fun to read for the first time and I don’t want to be the one to take that away from you!

So all I will say is that if you like action, wit, magic, and dark books. Pick this one up. No matter how old you are (unless you’re under 9, there’s a wee sticker on the back that says 9+. Always pay attention to stickers….. mostly always…. sometimes). This series is an absolute blast and I will forever love my mother for gifting me these books! (this reason only, of course).

Highlight here for trigger warnings: one swear word, mild violence, gun shooting and an implied instance of torture, death, magic

For my CAWPILE ratings I gave:

Characters: 10

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 9

Plot: 9

Intrigue: 10

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 9

For an overall 9.29 rating which of course comes out at a 5* read! Did we expect anything else? I gave it a five star when I first read the book and a five star every reread since!

6 thoughts on “Skulduggery Pleasant – a review”

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