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 Last Stand of Dead Men (and shame on you if you haven’t), be aware that this post contains spoilers! ***
PREPARE FOR THE (SECOND TO) LAST STAND… IT’S ROUND 8!
With just 2 rounds left in the Skulduggery Book Slam, three more fans limber up to represent BOOK 8 – LAST STAND OF DEAD MEN. 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: Christina / Taken Name: Annalee Nightfall – To win the war Valkyrie joins a team of legends.
Given Name: Andrew / Taken Name: Bellicose Menace – Everything turns to hell in a hand basket. Friends die.
Given Name: Blake / Taken Name: Váli Ro – The Dead Men reform to fight their hardest battle yet.
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.
A.N. – Skulduggery: sarcasm and humour incarnate never looked so stylish.
B.M. – Skulduggery! Wit. Charm. Fine clothes. 206 bones give or take.
V.R. – China Sorrows – I love you. Please marry me…
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!
A.N. – When Skulduggery knows that his friends are silly enough to fling themselves down a dark chute, just because he dares them to a race.
B.M. – Scapegrace as a woman. ‘Nuff said.
V.R. – When Anton Shudder is proudly telling the other Dead Men about Saracen Rue’s capture behind enemy lines. He promptly finds out that Saracen merely stayed with the Butcher’s wife, quite contently, instead of enduring round the clock torture.
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’.
A.N. – The moment where Ravel kills Ghastly and Shudder. Awful and heart wrenching as it is, it is a perfect example of why ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ is such a good series. The humour is great, but the seriousness and the mind-blowing surprises are what leave you with that feeling of “WHOA!”
I loved Ghastly and hated to see him die, but it was such a surprise, such a deciding moment for so many of the characters that it just pierced my heart with sorrow, dread and anticipation at the same time. Few works can do that.
B.M. – When Skulduggery gave Valkyrie her “stick” which she believed to be useless. He then hit her on the head with it and said “see? It hurts people.”
V.R. – Skulduggery-ish… Usually I’d go for a hilarious ‘the sparrow flies south for the winter’ bit. But what I love most about him are his heart-warming moments, in particular, the ride on the seat to the Bride’s pyramid, from his façade flapping about in the wind to amuse Valkyrie, to Skulduggery carrying her to the pyramid. It’s the last moment in the series where they’re truly happy together, and I love it.
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!
A.N. – Sat for a while thinking, “So that happened.”
B.M. – Worried for what would happen to characters next.
V.R. – Broken. Anxious. Hurt. Vengeful (damn Ravel). But mostly hopeful.
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.
A.N. – Surprisingly soul wrenching.
B.M. – Completely soul destroying.
V.R. – War never changes.
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.
A.N. – Over the series the characters and plot has developed from more than a children’s book. The complexities of Valkyrie and Skulduggery’s psyche have deepened, with the battle between Valkyrie and Darquesse, and the discovery of Skulduggery as Lord Vile. But it was in this book the characters reached their point-of-no-return: Valkyrie finally gives in to Darquesse, despite her fear and she literally must be beaten to the point where she has no strength to fight it anymore; Skulduggery loses three good friends, two to death and one to betrayal; and he gets close to losing Valkyrie and all that their friendship means to him. For Skulduggery and Valkyrie, their journey has been a way to keep the darkness that they both feel at bay, and this is the book that really challenges that and leads them down a road deciding if they will defeat or give in to the dark.
B.M. – Last Stand of Dead Men deserves to be crowned the all-time greatest Skulduggery Pleasant book (so far) because of its commitment to not holding back. The series had always been brutal but our favourite heroes always emerged alive… maybe not too well, but alive. In one fell swoop Last Stand of Dead Men changed that and removed two of the series (and one of my) favourite characters. At the time, I was 19 years old and was in the army: this didn’t stop me from having a tantrum and throwing the book across the table, only to pick it up a moment later and continue reading. Skulduggery and Derek’s writing got me through a tough personal time. Last Stand of Dead Men is my favourite because, despite all the awful things that happened to its characters, they still stood up, made a joke and got ready for the next fight.
V.R. – Everything from books 1-7 lead up to book 8, Last Stand of Dead Men. After re-reading the series, small details began to align with what was to come – Ravel (damn Ravel and his damn eyes) plotting from the beginning. This book has it all and it’s heart-warming to see Valkyrie accepted into the Dead Men. They fight with bravery and sacrifice. Then comes the betrayal. Oh, the betrayal. From then on, it’s just pain, fight and pure determination for revenge. By the end, the book leaves me as an empty husk of a human with a lump in my throat.
And you JUMP.
So what’s it to be? Is Last Stand of Dead Men the last word in Skulduggery storytelling??! With just 2 days left before the votes are cast, don’t miss out on the conversation over on Facebook…