Book Slam – Round 5

The Skulduggery Book Slam – the ultimate battle of the books!
With just weeks to go until the release of Resurrection, join us for 9 days of heated wordsmith warfare as the world’s most dedicated fans take to the arena in an attempt to convince YOU that their favourite book deserves to be crowned the ALL-TIME FANDOM FAVOURITE! Want your chance to join the fray? Don’t get caught cold, follow along on Facebook for all the latest ring-side action…

*** Warning! If you haven’t read Mortal Coil (and shame on you if you haven’t), be aware that this post contains spoilers! ***




We told you the Skulduggery Book Slam would be the Battle to end all Battles, and boy were we right: you can practically hear the whistle of flying fists over on Facebook! Things are about to step up a notch as three more Skulduggery scrappers fight out their case for BOOK 5 – MORTAL COIL – will they win YOU over?? Over to you superfans… 


Q1. You’re trapped in an alternate dimension. The evil version of you is threatening to use the Decapitator Device on you unless you can explain the plot in less than ten words. What do you say?

Given Name: Chris / Taken Name: Manipulous Charming – Skeleton detective and friends face worldwide possession.

Given Name: Edith / Taken Name: Medacious Absinthia – Valkyrie seals her name as Remnants ravage the world.

Given Name: Amelia / Taken Name: Adamant Menace – Angry souls terrorise teen girl who honestly needs a break.



Q2. You break free of the Device, and run. Evil-You gives chase. Evil-You is EVIL. You get to a door, and a voice demands the password. The password is the name of the best character and an explanation in no more than nine words as to WHY this character is the best.

M.C. – Skulduggery Pleasant: handsome, funny, and a little bit dead

Skulduggery Pleasant_Character Card

M.A. – Ghastly Bespoke: self-sacrificing, loyal, headstrong, funny, wears his scars well.


A.M. – Valkyrie: said teen girl. Badass. DEFINITELY not a role-model.



Q3. The door opens. You find yourself in a dimly-lit bar. You tell the bartender you’re looking for a shunter named Shadowface. The bartender demands to know which moment from the book made you grin like a demented idiot. Answer him!

M.C. – When Valkyrie uses Necromancy on Nye. Such a satisfying moment, a dead girl using death magic, and Nye begging for his life – to which Val doesn’t show any remorse.

M.A. –

“Elvis, I think the death of your brother has affected your judgement. You’re not thinking clearly. What you’re asking for is…. unsettling.”

“It’s what Adolf would have wanted.”

“I’m sure he would have appreciated a more peaceful resting place.”

“His last words to me were, ‘Don’t bury me.’”

“We also provide a cremation service.”

“And then he said, ‘Don’t burn me either’.”


A.M. – 

“He stepped on it. Squished it. Squashed it. Killed it. Cut it down in its prime. It kicked the bucket, turned up its toes, shuffled off this mortal coil. It was… an ex-rabbit.”
“He’s a dangerous man, your father.”
“The baby better learn to dodge.”


Q4. The bartender nods to a man sitting in the corner. You approach. Shadowface tells you he can send you home, providing you tell him which moment in the book would compete for ‘most Skulduggery-ish moment ever written’.

M.C. –

“Stop doing that,” she sighed.

“Stop doing what?” Skulduggery responded in that gloriously velvet voice of his.

“Stop smiling. The person we want to talk to lives in the only dark house on a bright street. That’s not a good sign.”

“I didn’t realise I was smiling,” he said.

They stopped at the door, and Skulduggery made a concerted effort to shift his features. His mouth twitched downwards. “Am I smiling now?”


“Excellent,” he said, and the smile immediately sprang back up.

M.A. – 

“What a burden it must have been. You’re very brave for facing it alone.”

“Thank you,” she mumbled.

“Amazingly, astonishingly /stupid/, but brave.”

She cracked a smile. “Yeah.”

“Very foolish, is what I’m getting at.”

“I can see that.”

“Thick, basically. Just thick. Dumb as a bag of hammers. Not too bright there, Valkyrie.”

“You can really stop complimenting me now.”

Skulduggery pulled her gently into a hug, and patted her back. “You brainless moron. You simple-minded cretin. You’re a half-wit. A dimwit. An imbecile. You’re as sharp as a marble. Thick as a ditch. Not the sharpest knife, nor the brightest crayon, and not the brightest bulb. You just fell off the turnip truck. The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.”


A.M. – “I’ll buy you a stick for Christmas.”



Q5. Shadowface takes you on a perilous journey across this dark, unnamed city. You battle unholy terrors. You bond as warriors. He opens a portal to send you home and Evil-You appears, striking him down. With his dying breath, Shadowface asks you how you felt when you finished reading this book. He only has moments to live — answer in less than ten words!

M.C. – Even though it felt like all hope was lost there was… well… hope.

M.A. – I felt drained, but ready to continue the adventure.

A.M. – Furious – because I had to wait another year for more!!




Q6. You rise, and turn to Evil-You. Evil-You laughs, and says nasty things about your hair. You attack! As you fight, you distract your evil self by describing the book in just three words.


M.A. – Funny, sarcastic, enticing.

A.M. – Not Tanith AGAIN!



Q7. Using nothing but skill, determination, good old-fashioned courage and a rock you picked up from the ground, you emerge victorious from this battle. Before you jump through the portal you look back, and you tell Evil-You that good shall always triumph over wickedness. Then you add, in no more than 150 words, why your favourite book deserves to be crowned the all-time greatest Skulduggery Book Slam champion.

M.C. – There is no better book out there full stop. Mortal coil is where stuff starts to get real for the Skulduggery universe. From the character lines, to the gratuitous deaths, this is all brought to life by Derek’s brilliant writing style – full of humour and twists. For the first time in the series, all hell breaks loose, and the world truly feels like it’s at its end. No other book creates that feeling throughout as well as this one.

M.A. – Mortal Coil deserves the win, because it’s a fully encompassing book. You have sarcasm, wit, heartbreak, humour, and one of the best villains of all time – our very own Vaurien Scapegrace, and his faithful companion Thrasher. We suffered heartbreak because of the death of Kenspeckle, and Tanith becoming a Remnant possessed. We were traumatised by Dr. Nye, and intrigued by Caelen’s sudden interest in Valkyrie (although, in my opinion, letting a vampire taste your blood is extremely foolhardy). I laughed. I cried. It changed me.

A.M. – This book has it all – the central book of the central trilogy, it marks a tipping point in the series as a whole. This book, I believe, is where the series really turns dark – showing Valkyrie’s internal struggle with her secret, her decision to face it alone illustrating just how much she’s grown since we first met her as a tiny twelve-year-old girl. This isn’t to say that Mortal Coil is a swirling black hole of seriousness however – as it’s brimming over with hilarious moments and dialogue, fantastic character interactions, and an overall sense of wonder and mystery that engages readers from the very first page. It’s straight up magical – a tapestry of interweaving plots and exciting adventures worthy of reading over and over until the pages fall out.

And you JUMP.

A fair fight from today’s superfans, but what do YOU think? Have they done another to immortalise Mortal Coil forever and see it crowned as the all-time fandom favourite? Join the skirmish over on Facebook

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of Derek’s wit and brilliance (he said modestly)


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