Book Slam – Round 9

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 The Dying of the Light (and shame on you if you haven’t), be aware that this post contains spoilers! ***




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: Seán / Taken Name: Mendacious Blaspheme – Darquesse must be stopped. Everything goes horribly wrong. Repeatedly.

Given Name: Jos / Taken Name: Joseph Misnomer – The end of the world, and other fun things.

Given Name: Pablo / Taken Name: Petrichor Quaint – Valkyrie, Stephanie and Skulduggery face their ultimate challenge: Darquesse!



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.B. – Skluduggery: charming, powerful, sarcastic, hilarious, suave, always there for Val.

J.M. – Skulduggery: narcissism, heroism, and other isms, with a cool hat.

P.Q. – Valkyrie: confident, kick-ass, independent, sassy, incredibly kind, but equally flawed.



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.B. – When Val and Skulduggery are escaping the caves and see the dragon. A much-needed uplifting moment after all the darkness of the previous events.

J.M. – “I am Vaurien Scapegrace,” the woman announced, “and I’m here to save the world.”

P.Q. – Practically every scene between Val and Skul makes me grin, but this bit especially:

“Just admit it,” said Valkyrie. “You’re going to miss me, aren’t you?”

“Obviously,” said Skulduggery.

“Thank you.”

“Like a drowning man misses the land.”


“Like a hesitant man misses the chance.”


“Like an oblivious man misses the point.”

“I have a feeling you’re mocking me somehow, but I can’t put my finger on how.”




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.B. – At the end of the book when Skulduggery says goodbye to Valkyrie, gives him his hat, walks towards the Accelerator, then walks back and throws Ravel into it instead as a “willingly given” soul.

J.M. – When Skulduggery combined consoling Valkyrie about Gordon’s second death with venting about his lost hat.

P.Q. – When Skulduggery comforts Val by essentially insulting her. It’s such a sweet thing to do, and with that typical Skulduggery twist! It says a lot about what kind of man he is.




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.B. – Sad the story was over. Happy the pair survived.

J.M. – Masterpiece.

P.Q. – Flabbergasted, emotionally drained, incredibly satisfied, still eager 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.B. – Bittersweet. Nostalgic. Unpredictable.

J.M. – The perfect end.

P.Q. – Epic, breath-taking & touching


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.B. – The Dying of the Light should be crowned the best book in the series because although it is by far the darkest book in the series, it is the perfect ending to the Darquesse saga. In true Skulduggery fashion, everything that can go wrong does go wrong, yet in the end the good guys win. TDOTL has many twists and turns, keeping you engrossed and guessing throughout the book. It tests the limits of Skulduggery and Valkyrie’s relationship, and shows just how far they’d go for each other. This book, being the last in the series, gives a sense of things coming full-circle. The caves, the Sceptre, Gordon – all started Val and Skulduggery’s journey together, and they all play a role this time around again, in bringing that journey to a climax. Skulduggery must also say goodbye to his family, further strengthening the theme of letting go and moving on.


J.M. – The Dying of the Light brings together all the many threads of character and plot that have been steadily woven together over the course of the previous novels, including but not limited to the named Skulduggery Pleasant books. The audience sees the soul destroying deaths of many much loved (or hated) characters, as well as the final victory of the Detectives over Darquesse. However, the best (or worst) part is, if the reader were to go back in the series and change anything, Darquesse would have destroyed the world and any characters saved by the alterations, so the reader is forced to conclude that there is almost no way that the Detectives would have emerged victorious without the demise of their friends and allies.


P.Q. – It’s like Mr. Landy took all previous novels and put them into the accelerator. The result is one glorious and dangerous supercharged novel. Where the story is more gorgeous than China Sorrows, the twists more ground-breaking than Sanguine (get it?) and the mysteries more enigmatic than Saracen’s power!

It combines everything I loved from all previous novels: the Skul/Val dynamic, amazing storylines, kick-ass action and humour. At the same time it shows Darquesse in all her terrible glory and we see the continuation and end of Stephanie’s story. It also feels even more complex and deep than we’re used to. Valkyrie tries to deal with guilt and redemption as she must face the consequences of her actions and those of Darquesse.
From the enigmatic beginning, all the way through the last (nameless) chapters, the book has possessed me! And like a remnant, I’m afraid it bonded to me permanently!

And you JUMP.

It’s the final book in the series (well, at least for another week) but would you rate it first in your all-time Skulduggery ranking?? With the vote kicking off TOMORROW, catch up on all the Book Slam heats so far and jump into the fray over on Facebook

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


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