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Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11)

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Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back in their most gripping story yet, as book 11, Midnight, picks up where Resurrection left off – and runs. For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back in their most gripping story yet, as book 11, Midnight, picks up where Resurrection left off – and runs. For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has twelve hours to find Alice before it’s too late. The clock is ticking…


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Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back in their most gripping story yet, as book 11, Midnight, picks up where Resurrection left off – and runs. For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back in their most gripping story yet, as book 11, Midnight, picks up where Resurrection left off – and runs. For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has twelve hours to find Alice before it’s too late. The clock is ticking…

30 review for Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Moonie

    I had to digest this book for a week. More than that, even, counting the spoilers I got beforehand. It’s the most divided I’ve /ever/ seen people over a SP book. Is it super controversial? Does it have any shocking character deaths? Does it have mind blowing plot twists? …. The answer to all three is, nope! Not at all! Honestly? It’s an okay book. It my least favorite of the entire SP series, but not because it’s bad, or made me angry the way Desolation did, but just because it failed to wow me a I had to digest this book for a week. More than that, even, counting the spoilers I got beforehand. It’s the most divided I’ve /ever/ seen people over a SP book. Is it super controversial? Does it have any shocking character deaths? Does it have mind blowing plot twists? …. The answer to all three is, nope! Not at all! Honestly? It’s an okay book. It my least favorite of the entire SP series, but not because it’s bad, or made me angry the way Desolation did, but just because it failed to wow me at any point. It’s not even strictly boring, just … padded, and strange, and in parts very forced. (dad voice) I’m not mad, just disappointed! I can aaaabosolutely see the hallmarks of him struggling to pull something together on time, and I’m starting to, legit wonder if his editor is still, like…. alive? (Alice and Val are 16 years apart, not 18. Val’s grandmothers are alive. Literally everything Militsa says contradicts itself, though I’m praying that one’s intentional…) Midnight has Themes. It has ideas it’s trying to come across, and they have varying degrees of success. I actually am really, really, really intrigued by the hardcore emphasis on pregnancy (with the accompanying focus on family and much much more downplayed theme of intimacy.) I’ve never seen Landy lean that hard into any sort of theme before, and it’s a bold ass move for a kids book series that has not used the word “sex” once. But it was fun to read, and even more fun to analyze, so I’mma give it a bewildered but amused thumbs up. When Landy gets stuck - this book is so well documented in its Production Hell, it even has an entire essay about it in the Special Edition - he tends to go nuts with the POV chapters, to my eternal frustration. Omen’s plotline is a heteronormative waste of time, only salvaged by his likable personality and even more likable brother and best friend, and Sebastian is even more damn useless than I thought possible. Flannery’s torture is at least brief this round. But seriously: would it kill to have more than fifty percent Valkyrie POV? Valkyrie is much closer to her phase 1 self than she was in SPX (and i don’t even care, I still loved SPX Val plenty, though my favorite Valkyrie is always going to be her at her most violent and vain: two qualities I do not possess in the slightest and therefore have a lot of fun living vicariously through.) She’s becoming her own person. She’s lost the magic discipline she shared with Skulduggery, and she’s forming her own moral code, and picking up her own new clothing style if losing her Ghastly duds are any indication. Rebirthing Valkyrie Cain is fine by me, and it’s a fun exercise, taking the supervillain and reshaping her into a new anti-hero. Gonna be real though: had the most fun in the book when she gave up on the whole pacifist thing and started slamming people around bars, ha ha ha. The books biggest detriment is the forced, plot mandated separation of Valkyrie and Skulduggery. Landy has stated (to increasingly concerned fans) that phase 2 is not about a “break up”, but its hard to feel that when just given this book, to see Valkyrie blatantly lie to Skulduggery, choose to spend time with a near stranger over him, and blow him off over and over. I get it: she’s depressed. And maybe she blames him for it. But the main appeal of the entire series is their incredibly close dynamic and now we just get these two friends who hang out, sometimes, i guess, if they’re not busy, and also dont ever talk about the hugely traumatic shocking emotion things in their life cuz uhhhhhh the detailed phase 2 plot outline says they can’t yet. Yes, it’s important for Valkyrie to be on her own to truly grow into her own person, and I think the leaning away from violence is a good way to do that, but there should be a damn good pay off for it, a reminder that their relationship is, you know, the Whole Focal Point of the series, and I just did not ever get it in this book. Resurrection was so wholly about their relationship, even though it was grim and depressing. You knew they cared, it was paid off, and the fact they weren't speaking was portrayed as SAD, HORRIBLE THING, that desperately needed to be fixed. Not here. Sure, they get along, and they banter, but its not even second fiddle in the story. Seventh fiddle, maybe. I ain’t here for that shit, yo. “Friends who hang out sometimes” may be “"healthier”” than “we murder for each other and we’d die without the other”, but it’s BORING, SO. So yeah. Thanks to that: dead last and not budging. HOWEVER! Dead last actually has a pretty wide wide berth for quality, when you love every previous installment, and I actually enjoyed the book a lot more than i expected. The second half is wild and ridiculous and I had tremendous fun with it, the final battle is fantastic, the last few Valkyrie POV chapters are a great end, I personally LOOOOOOVED a certain Baby Daddy Drama plot and can’t wait for more. It’s a great book for Valkyrie, even if Skulduggery’s appearance really just comes down to “glorified cameo”. REPRESENTATION POWER HOUR!! Kill your gays still counts retroactively. Militsa and Valkyrie’s dialogue feels directly lifted from Desolation, which: horf. But Never continues to be a light in my life, and I did think the Dead Gays reveal was neatly done even if… dead gays. Anyway: still have high hopes for Twelve. But this new series has still yet to justify even existing at all for me, and I still long for the days where The Dying of the Light was our perfect, toned with bittersweet but overall happy ending where you knew Deep in Your Heart Skulduggery and Valkyrie were going to stay together forever and go fight space aliens in the year 2300. I want a goddamn good ending, that doesn’t make me long for the simple sweetness of “magic,” she says. Make this actually feel worth it. xoxo, gossip moonie

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alexxy

    HOLY SHIT

  3. 4 out of 5

    Arunima

    I don't believe I have enough words in me to actually lay it down how much I am in love with this series. This series marked the start of my irrevocable love for books and it's so, so, so close to my heart that I can't even. I had expected no less from Midnight. There's not even one book in this entire series that has gotten anything less than a solid five star rating from me. It's just everything that I look for in a book. For me characters for me are the most important part of a book and her I don't believe I have enough words in me to actually lay it down how much I am in love with this series. This series marked the start of my irrevocable love for books and it's so, so, so close to my heart that I can't even. I had expected no less from Midnight. There's not even one book in this entire series that has gotten anything less than a solid five star rating from me. It's just everything that I look for in a book. For me characters for me are the most important part of a book and here as well, I solely read these books for my beloved characters. Don't get me wrong, Derek Landy is amazing with his plot lines but the attachment and the bond I have formed with these characters is golden. Valkyrie was 12 in the first book and she is 25 now. I have literally seen her grow his wonderful woman she has become. I still continue to harbour a major crush on Skulduggery after all these years. You see, if Derek Landy has the power to make someone actually fall in love with a skeleton then you can clearly imagine how amazing he is. This book was hilarious and so cleverly written as always. That's why I can keep on reading these books all my life. I read this book nice and slow, savouring it the best I could but of course, I am only a reader, and when a favourite book of mine is involved, how long can I really keep on with the wait? I was so sad when this book came to an end and that too on such a goddamn mindblowing cliffhanger. And since it was released like three days ago, it was really really expensive in my country. So of course, I went broke buying this but honestly, it was worth every freaking penny. I love the new characters and can't get enough of the old ones. I was so glad that Tanith was back for whatever short period she was. And as I said before, I read these books mainly because of characters. Actually, it's the characters and the humour. Absolutely nothing can beat Derek Landy's humour. But apart form all of that, the actually best thing about this series is the wonderful and beautiful partnership between Valkyrie and Skulduggery. I mean it's so idiotic, funny and perfect. I mean it has the real *feels *. “Of course,” Skulduggery said. “Valkyrie, are you all right? Your parents called me after I’d arrived home yesterday evening. I wouldn’t have come if I had known I’d be interrupting.” “You weren’t interrupting.” “I know how much you were looking forward to spending some time with your family. Believe me, I understand.” She smiled. “Thanks. But you’re never an interruption, you got that? Now quit being considerate. It’s weird, and it makes me want to laugh nervously and run away.” “You are an odd woman.” “Yep,” she said. You see what I mean? I also loved Alice. She is seven in this book and just about the best kid I have ever encountered. Like, I need an Alice for myself. It's impossible not to feel that way after reading Midnight. I have always really liked Omen even though a lot of people didn't like his addition in Resurrection. I feel so sad for him though, like I wish I could give him a huge hug and make it all better. He is just so pure and precious. I remember loving Never in the previous book a lot more than this one because here Never was like so dissattached and everything. I still like him/her but I wish there was more of Omen and Never bonding. Also, the ending I felt was a little over rushed. I put way a little hard for me to keep a track of all that stuff that was happening. But I don't mind it. The book was too good for all the teensy-weensy complaints. I just have no idea how am I going to wait for yet another year for the next instalment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    15/12/2017 SHE'S COMING FOLKS.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Atlas

    * * * 3 / 5 ~review to come~ http://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.com Any other book and this would be four stars, easy, but I feel like should rate Skulduggery Pleasant books in relation to each other, and this one ain't as good as Resurrection

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Midnight can be divided pretty neatly in half: Part one, where there are too many subplots to keep track of, and part two, where Valkyrie has to save her sister. Part one: I was happy to not keep track of the subplots, because each of them was fun and the pages went by quickly, the book compulsively readable. I wasn't sure where all the threads were going, and the constant POV changes felt sloppy. I think it's important for authors to realize that when the POV changes (especially when the charact Midnight can be divided pretty neatly in half: Part one, where there are too many subplots to keep track of, and part two, where Valkyrie has to save her sister. Part one: I was happy to not keep track of the subplots, because each of them was fun and the pages went by quickly, the book compulsively readable. I wasn't sure where all the threads were going, and the constant POV changes felt sloppy. I think it's important for authors to realize that when the POV changes (especially when the characters are focused on entirely different subplots in different parts of the world), the reader is briefly pulled out of the story, and has to work to sink back in. When you change the POV over and over and over again in a series of short chapters, the reader essentially never gets fully immersed in the story. But still. I was enjoying part one for what it was. Then part two seems to be when an editor was like, "hmmm we need more centralized Valkyrie/Skulduggery bonding stuff" and Landy pulled something out of his butt. I appreciate that Landy took a break from his go-to-plotline, the classic WE HAVE TO SAVE THE WHOLE WORLD, IT'S IN DANGER LIKE NEVER BEFORE. There are only so many times that you can have a megavillain who is somehow even more powerful than the last all-powerful megavillain. I made up the word "megavillain" for this series specifically. Things started getting pretty silly by the time Darquesse came around. But here's the thing: Abyssinia's resurrection was such a big deal in book 10, and she was presented as super evil and scary, and her cold dead heart "telepathically" communicating with a worldwide host of villains was genuinely disturbing. But halfway through this book she just...changes. Becomes a normal woman who's subtly made fun of in the Landy-esque comedy way. Also, I need to say it: I'm sick to death of all the bad-ass women in Landy's books wearing skintight clothes. Like literally all of them are essentially described as wearing latex bodysuits. It used to just be Tanith Low's thing, and I was like, "eh, whatever, there are a lot of women who are really different in this series, so I can deal," but now every woman dresses like that. We get it, Landy. You have a type. But you're also writing for kids and teens, remember? Many of whom are girls? I'm not even sure what the point of red-bodysuit-wearing Abyssinia is anymore. The whole Skulduggery family subplot? It feels cheap and tangled. Skulduggery's entire character arc that led to him being Lord Vile was this: Mevolent killed his wife and child, and he became super evil in his post-ressurection grief. The idea that that super evil, unfeeling Lord Vile had a girlfriend? And the fact that Skulduggery's wife and child—his CENTRAL backstory for most of the books—are never mentioned in Midnight? Are you kidding me? Who even is Skulduggery if his backstory suddenly just doesn't matter? I understand that there needs to be changes when you start writing a long series, but the key is to add to the world building without negating anything that came before it. Cassandra Clare pulls this off really well with all of her spin-off series to the Mortal Instruments. I actually thought Landy mostly pulled this off in book 10, as he focused on the world and politics of Roarhaven. It just...disintegrated in this book, but I think he has a chance at pulling things together in book 12. So, onto part two: Valkyrie gets a phone call. Her sister's been taken and Valkyrie needs to save her. My problem with this mostly had to do with pacing. All the other exciting subplots are abruptly put on hold and mostly never returned to. As mentioned, I appreciate Landy aiming for a more personal plot—saving the sister, not the world. Exploring Valkyrie's vulnerabilities and the power of family and friendship, etc. Blah blah. Except all of this has been explored before, it established nothing new in her arc, and there was no reason for it to take two hundred pages. At one point the villain actually remarks on how damn long their fight is taking, and it felt like even he knew the pacing was whack. Also there's a chapter that's basically just straight up stolen from The Matrix. I love Landy's homages to his favorite books, comics, and movies, but what makes those interesting are his little twists and inverses (Omen Darkly's brother is Harry Potter, but that's the point: it raises the interesting question of what would Harry Potter's younger brother have been like). This scene was just straight up The Matrix,, complete with Agent Smiths flooding out of a building and a lone ringing telephone booth. Also, it seems like his own Demon Road trilogy inspired him the most in part two, as Valkyrie stopped feeling like Valkyrie and started feeling like Amber on her monster-fighting roadtrip. I really, really don't like the Demon Road series, and I didn't enjoy feeling like his two series were bleeding into each other. Notes on social issues: I used to be really charmed by Derek Landy's little feminist sidenotes, like when the zombie Scapegrace becomes a beautiful woman and learns that getting catcalled isn't fun. But I guess I'm older now, and now it just feels like I'd rather be reading a book by a woman instead. Every time the Feminism 101 stuff happens I'm reminded of when my well-meaning male friends learn something really basic about gender dynamics and excitedly "teach" it to me, and I have to sit there and smile encouragingly like a school teacher while suppressing my rage. At least Never's representation was better this time around. In book 10 Never's sole character trait was their genderqueer-ness, which isn't even a character trait. Every time they were in a room Derek Landy had to emphasize what gender they felt like in that scene. My friend (hi Rachael) hilariously said it were as if he were pointing a big, lit-up arrow at his own book and going, "Look!! I included a gay!!!" Never actually has the beginning of an arc in this one, and Landy seems to have cooled down over the genderqueer thing. I can't believe I'm writing this last, because it made me roll my eyes the hardest: Derek Landy, you can be inspired by comics and movies and books and stuff, but stop using the plight of real marginalized people to inform your plot. I thought the fantasy genre was over the era of using magical creatures as allegories for real marginalized groups. The magical creatures in Midnight are actually mortal, brought in from an alternate dimension, and they're clearly supposed to mirror real life refugees. But there aren't any like, actual Mexican or Syrian people, et cetera, on the page. And I don't want there to be, because I don't trust Derek Landy to write a person praying Fajr. Yikes. Just don't write about refugees in such a shoddy way. Oy vey, oy vey, oy vey. Also, the Trump stand-in is hilarious, but it's very obvious Landy never had an American go through President Flannery's dialogue. Flannery...does not sound American. It was hard to read his dialogue in an American accent, even. Flannery ends sentences with "eh" and interrogative words (e.g., "He did, did he?") in precisely the way my Irish and English friends do. Lol. This has been a disorganized and wordy rant. Tldr: The book was what is was.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I just love this series too much

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nella

    I still feel a bit like Phase 2 is only just working its way up. Like, there are so many plot points, most of which barely get any room to do much of anything (refugees from the Leibniz universe, Flanery, Sebastian Tao, China being all secretive, sudden-surprise-Serafina Mevolent's never before heard of wife, Kes, reflections being creepy, the church of the Faceless being back at it, Eliza Scorn skulking about, and so on and so forth). I think it will lead to something really cool, but at the mo I still feel a bit like Phase 2 is only just working its way up. Like, there are so many plot points, most of which barely get any room to do much of anything (refugees from the Leibniz universe, Flanery, Sebastian Tao, China being all secretive, sudden-surprise-Serafina Mevolent's never before heard of wife, Kes, reflections being creepy, the church of the Faceless being back at it, Eliza Scorn skulking about, and so on and so forth). I think it will lead to something really cool, but at the moment it feels a bit... fragmented? Tell you what: if it turns out Landy can't tie up all the loose plots waving about before Phase 2 is over I'll go back and remove a star. For now I'll keep my fingers crossed that it all comes together. Anyway, I really do love all the things that carry over from Phase 1, including Skull and Val's relationship and some unexpected consequences of old choices. I like the new characters too (Temper and Abyssinia especially, not to mention Omen and Never), but I'm still at a point where I'm kinda bitter that they take up space that could be filled by old favorites (some of them aren't even dead, dammit, there's no excuse to keep them out - give me Fletcher and Tanith, Landy, and not just cameos!). I feel ambivalent about Val's obvious flirting with Militsa though, not because I'm against the idea of Val being bi (it is coming a bit out of nowhere, but I can deal, though I prefer her single) but because the whole scene felt kinda off and out of character. We'll see where it leads. I like Omen a lot more than expected. His role as the regular person (a sorcerer, yes, but not a very good one) who got a taste of adventure and is now expected to just go back to normal isn't one we see very often. I also like how he is just nice. Not a Nice Guy but nice. He wants everyone to be happy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tanja Voosen

    Wow, mal ein Skulduggery Buch, das keine 5 Sterne von mir bekommt ... ich muss aber leider sagen, dass das hier der Band der gesamten Reihe ist, der mir am wenigsten gefallen hat. Wie ein regelrechter Lückenfüller hat sich die Story gelesen und vieles fand ich auch sehr widersprüchlich zu den Vorgängern. Es ist natürlich immer noch Derek Landy und deshalb irgendwie gut. Aber, ich war schon ein wenig enttäuscht. Muss jetzt eine Runde über das Buch nachdenken :D

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly (spoopyhol)

    ‘For years, Valkyrie Cain has to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle - time and time again - by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has six hours to find Alice before it’s too late.’ I was so ex ‘For years, Valkyrie Cain has to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle - time and time again - by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has six hours to find Alice before it’s too late.’ I was so excited for this book, I was mad excited for Resurrection but this book excited me more because the... I don’t want to call it the ‘new’ universe per say, but the current universe was set in stone by Resurrection and I was very excited to see how Landy carried on the story. And after reading Midnight I’m mad excited to see where this is heading! It easily feels like it could be another ten books, which I am not bothered about in the slightest, and the way Landy sets up scenarios that mightn’t come to fruition until the very last book is very exciting and amazing. I have so many questions that’ll no doubt be answered in the books to come. This book was impeccably paced. And for some reason felt more like a Skulduggery book than Resurrection? I feel like I enjoyed it more but it’s still a 5 star scenario so I suppose it doesn’t matter! Again, I urge everyone to pick this series up! It rivals Harry Potter for sure - I’d say I prefer this series to Harry Potter and that’s a bold statement to confess

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brandon St Mark

    So wow, that was an awesome book with a blow-out ending. Lots of twists and turns in this book. I think Derek Landy is one of my favorite authors, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is my favorite series of all time, truly. If I could read nothing else but these books, I would be perfectly fine with that. I've been meaning to re-read this series again soon, but then this release snuck up on me and I couldn't wait to read through ten bloody books before starting this one, even if I do go So wow, that was an awesome book with a blow-out ending. Lots of twists and turns in this book. I think Derek Landy is one of my favorite authors, and there is no doubt in my mind that this is my favorite series of all time, truly. If I could read nothing else but these books, I would be perfectly fine with that. I've been meaning to re-read this series again soon, but then this release snuck up on me and I couldn't wait to read through ten bloody books before starting this one, even if I do go through Skulduggery books like there's no tomorrow. I don't really know what else to say. What can I saw on book 11 that won't spoil something for a new potential reader to this series? All I have to say really is this was another fantastic book in a fantastic series by a fantastic writer. End of story. Pre-read review: I preordered this as soon as I saw it up on BookDepository!!!! I am super excited for this to come out, I can't wait. This is one of my favorite series (my Harry Potter), and I'm glad Derek Landy is still writing great books in this world (that is shade, just fyi).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emma Bradley

    Got really excited when this arrived, as it was a signed release copy from Waterstones. I usually either struggle through a book or if I like it I zoom through it in one sitting. This was definitely a one-sitting book! I love the characters and although its a series with many books already, you don't get lost in 'wait who was that, what happened back then, why'. The writing is clear in style and the exchanges between the characters, especially Valkyrie and Skulduggery is genius. I'm guessing it Got really excited when this arrived, as it was a signed release copy from Waterstones. I usually either struggle through a book or if I like it I zoom through it in one sitting. This was definitely a one-sitting book! I love the characters and although its a series with many books already, you don't get lost in 'wait who was that, what happened back then, why'. The writing is clear in style and the exchanges between the characters, especially Valkyrie and Skulduggery is genius. I'm guessing it might be a somewhat unpopular view, but I do quite like the idea of them being a couple one day (romance geek, yes I know!) But Omen has to be my favourite. You can't help liking him despite his habit of assuming he's extremely useless. I'm trying to be vague so as not to give any spoilers, but I can't mention much else without doing that, so I'll just say the character development of the evil guys especially, how they twist and entwine around each other and all the different factions makes it a really gripping read. I forgot where I was for most of it, feverishly needing to find out what happened next. Can't wait for the next book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    Quality Rating: Four Stars Enjoyment Rating: Five Stars Skulduggery is back once again, but it's not all smiles and rainbows (unless you get the limited edition with bonus content, which I highly recommend because that last page made my year). The second Skulduggery series takes on its dark magical world in quite a different way to its predesscor, and while I love it dearly, it's not quite the same. And it shouldn't have to be; the whole point is that the world has changed after what our heroes we Quality Rating: Four Stars Enjoyment Rating: Five Stars Skulduggery is back once again, but it's not all smiles and rainbows (unless you get the limited edition with bonus content, which I highly recommend because that last page made my year). The second Skulduggery series takes on its dark magical world in quite a different way to its predesscor, and while I love it dearly, it's not quite the same. And it shouldn't have to be; the whole point is that the world has changed after what our heroes went through in the first nine books. I have trust that Derek knows what he's doing (just don't tell him, or we'll never hear the end of it). I feel like someone needs to set up a line for all of these characters with free hugs at the end, but everyone could use at least a dozen. It's very doom and gloom - and don't get me wrong, Skulduggery has always been dark and not just a little twisted, but there was always hope, there were always laughs and motivation to keep going, just because they can. And those are still there. But the tone is different now. The characters don't so much have that same motivation anymore. It's definitely going back to its horror roots, which isn't a genre I'm as familiar with. But I'm willing to be converted, it just might take a bit longer. But, I will argue that this shift in tone is both a strength and a weakness. I really like the attitude to violence and its consequences we have these days; it's not just fun to be in battle, it is genuinely hurting people. Is that right, is that fair? They're not so much questions being answered, but ones that the characters are asking of themselves, especially Val. That thoughtfulness is done without criticising its older instances, but instead by shifting our perspectives as Val is. It's very well done, as is the commentary on American politics, immigration and many other things. I'd find myself sitting there nodding, agreeing, even smilling at how nice it is to see some common decency acknowledged for what it is. It's not there for the sake of it, which is how it should be done, but the drawback was that sometimes it felt like it was being commented on more than the story was. Action, commentary, action. The plot isn't so much about solving mysteries anymore, but it gave people clear goals they woudl stride to; Midnight is more about the character overcoming what's being forced in front of them. As with every Skuldggery review I've ever written, I always like to take a little time to comment on Valkyrie, because she's the beating soul of this story. Each character is just as real and alive as the last, but Val is the rock that gets beaten, molded and stays with us, the audience, as we traverse the story. To say that seeing her hurt and vulnerable after everything she's been through in the original series reduces the power of these books would be ridiculous, because it's what is continuing to make this story so vivid and resonant. She is hurt, she is regretful, but she also tries to be better when she falls into those old habits. Whether it's my personal attachment to her or the character itself, Valkyrie is an even stronger character than she used to be because now she struggles all the more. Yes, she was never fearless exactly, so she was brave. But Val has finally hit that wall that all of us do when we get old enough to really comprehend what mortality is, and what it means for everything around us as well as ourselves. Val's crisis, really, is about what mortality, magic and consequence means to everyone else, and how she can't control that anymore. You can only really do that with a character who you've seen be (comparatively) carefree, and I'm continually impressed at how Derek is managing to evolve my childhood stories without crushing them. This isn't in with the old and out with the new; it's 'this was the old. Now we have to live with it'. A bit more on the technical side than coming from the heart, but I wouldn't miss Midnight and its sequels for the world. It gets bonus points for Tanith, and minus points for not enough Tanith. (I'll forgive if we get another solo Tanith book - please? I'm begging here.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Berrow

    There's one word in particular that springs to mind after my reading of Derek Landy's Midnight: disjointed. I can barely remember what happened during the first half of this book. I vaguely remember something about refugees coming over from the Leibniz Universe (why is it called that again?), China Sorrows pulling a Cersei Lanister by granting ill-advised powers to the Church, and a mask-wearing weirdo from SPX running around with Tanith Low trying to bring back Darquesse but... the significance There's one word in particular that springs to mind after my reading of Derek Landy's Midnight: disjointed. I can barely remember what happened during the first half of this book. I vaguely remember something about refugees coming over from the Leibniz Universe (why is it called that again?), China Sorrows pulling a Cersei Lanister by granting ill-advised powers to the Church, and a mask-wearing weirdo from SPX running around with Tanith Low trying to bring back Darquesse but... the significance of all this? I honestly couldn't tell you. I expect it'll be covered off in later books, but for the time being, these barely-there storylines were dropped halfway through this book in favour of the "Let's save Alice" storyline mentioned on the blurb. More fool me for thinking the two halves might intertwine or be related in someway... Anyway. Completely irrelevant and, dare I say it, boring first half aside, the second half of this book was great. I got serious Demon Road vibes while reading Valkyrie's race against time to save her sister, encountering one horror trope after another. It's fun! And hilarious. And genuinely thrilling -- I found the Wild Hunt segment particularly amusing. Less thrilling was the inclusion of about several hundred POVs that weren't Valkyrie's. I mean, I get it. I understand that Skulduggery doesn't have a POV, and because he and Valkyrie are seperated (again), we need to go through Temple. But Temple is such a non character -- I honestly couldn't care less what happens to him, and reading from his POV just made me miss reading from Valkyrie's instead. Why couldn't we have found a way for Omen to be with Skulduggery so we could see things from Omen's POV? Omen was barely in this book despite essentially being the protagonist of SPX. And again -- this ties back to the tedious first half -- what is the point of Sebastian? In the afterword accompanying my edition of this book, Derek Landy mentions how the "Let's Save Alice" plotline was originally intended for Book 12, and Flannery originally had a greater part to play in the second half of Book 11. That he struggled to make the plot of Book 11 work, and was ultimately abandoned due to actions by Flannery's real-world counterpart, Donald Trump. Exactly what or how it was affected is not disclosed. Regardless, despite Landy's best efforts, this does read like a book of two halves. I'm immensely disappointed with it. ETA: Sorry, I forgot something. I can kinda see what Derek Landy is trying to do here in terms of representation? Like, you've got a genderfluid character, retroactive gay coupling, possible hints that Valkyrie is bisexual... but it's not very well done. Dialogue on these subjects feels really forced and out of place and a weird amount of attention is drawn to the strangest things. I admire the effort, but it doesn't feel natural at all. The whole thing smacks a little of tokenism, and it just makes me feel uncomfortable. I say this myself as a bisexual woman (who'd love for Valkyrie to be bisexual because YES).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    My full spoiler-free review of Midnight is out now on my Youtube Channel! I vlogged some of my reactions to reading this book, so check out my first ever reading vlog to see some of my initial thoughts!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duOI2... Written review coming soon!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ane Lotherington

    I've redone this bc I've had some time to reflect, the original, spoiler-filled review is below this. So, I still think this book is split into two parts, and for me the second part is still more enjoyable. It centers around a plot we've not been privy to before in these books, which is a "save a single person" plot as opposed to a "save the world" plot. It's a great development that I really appreciate, because while I love a good "end of the world" drama, it's always nice to see what the end of I've redone this bc I've had some time to reflect, the original, spoiler-filled review is below this. So, I still think this book is split into two parts, and for me the second part is still more enjoyable. It centers around a plot we've not been privy to before in these books, which is a "save a single person" plot as opposed to a "save the world" plot. It's a great development that I really appreciate, because while I love a good "end of the world" drama, it's always nice to see what the end of a particular characters world would be! It would be fantastic to see the future books delving into different storylines like this one has. That being said... There's some pretty big things in this book that get glossed over in the first half. I'm sure these things will be brought to the foreground in the later books, particularly since in the afterword (of the edition I've got) mr Landy points out that he had the entire plot for the books in phase two, but realised that it wouldn't work that way, and has mixed and matched the various plot lines he's created. It's not just part one that has parts that leave me wanting, however, the second part also focuses a little bit on Abyssinia, who unfortunately left me wanting in this book. Characters who didn't leave me wanting (surprisingly) were Omen's school mates and teachers, who were lovely, and we truly got to see them shine in this book. Now! on to something I'd like to point out is that it seems to me that Landy is injecting some feminist lessons in these phase 2 books, which is fantastic for a younger audience, and it pleases me that he's taken the time to include these moments in phase two to show youngsters that women are awesome and can do anything and deserve respect. Hoooooowever these moments feel slightly... I don't know the word I'm looking for, really, but as an older reader, I feel like they might come across as a little forced? A little too obvious? The following is a tiny spoiler. At one point Valkyrie pushes through despite some ~circumstances~ and the phrase "Nevertheless, she persisted." is used. It's one of my favourite phrases of late, but it doesn't fit in the narrative of this particular incident, not with the connotations that float around it these days. It unfortunately took me right out of the story, and it took a while for me to get back into it. Overall, it's a tricky book for me to rate, because of all the things I enjoy about it. The overall story is great, the characters are fantastic, their arcs feel realistic to me. It's a good book, but I struggle to ignore some of the factors in it, which can be read in my original review/thought stream, which I wrote as soon as I finished the book (which was at like... two am. so I was a little delirious). Original review/thought stream (view spoiler)[ I have some thoughts, which I'm gonna air out here, and it's obviously going to contain spoilers, because I need to write down these thoughts I'm having. THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY THOUGHTS just my immediate ones For me, this book is divided into two specific, different sections. Before Alice is kidnapped, and after Alice is kidnapped. This would be fine if there wasn't such a clear difference between the two in terms of… I don't wanna say writing level, but that's all I've got at the minute. Landy writes in his special afterword that he had to chop up the storyline he'd created for phase two after publishing Resurrection, because he realised none of it fit anymore, which is fair. What isnt fair is that it feels very much like the whole Cadaverous plotline was already written to some extent, and so he rushed the events leading up to the kidnapping, or "The Main Event." The thing is, there were plenty of things in the first half that I would have LOVED to see more of. For instance, the refugee crisis. It's logical that it'll likely come into play later in this phase, but for crying out loud it was swept under the carpet in such a grandiose fashion. Mysterious device that popped open a portal? No biggie, we'll leave it to someone else! Thousands and thousands of mortal refugees coming through that portal? Unimportant to this books plot, we'll catch up with them later! There's a lot that feels rushed and underdone. Alright, I've whinged about the first half enough. Oops, no I haven't. Val flirts with Militasa or whatever her name is. That was a highlight because, look, as a bi woman of 24 I struggle to find representation. However, given how Landy has treated women in the past (re: Demon Road, using the D-word in those books, and making it weirdly sexual between Amber and Kelly, aka the reason why I didnt read the last book), seeing Val flirt with another woman puts me on edge for more reasons than one. I know Demon Road was supposed to be more "adult" or whatever, but I'm worried it might come across as weirdly sexual in the SP series too, which would be the biggest shame in the universe. While we're on the topic of LGBT+ inclusion in these books, i have a few things to say; ANTON SHUDDER WAS GAY! its a shame we only found out after he dIED, the effort to put a more diverse cast into these books is commendable, because I've not read a lot of books where authors listen to their fanbase so much about what they should include. That being said, finding out that Anton was gay after the fact that he died is a TRAVESTY. Honestly, I would have loved some of that representation when we were in phase one. Lets not look away from the fact that more and more authors are including LGBT+ characters in their boos, and doing it /better/ than Landy though. *cough Six of Crows cough cough* But phase two is gearing up to be more inclusive, which is great, we've even got a nonbinary character who is written fairly well. They're outgoing, people really like them, they're confident in themselves, and they even help a prophesies'd (i have no idea how to spell that word #bilingual) hero!!! It's just a shame that Never is a downright terrible friend to Omen throughout the entire book. Never was pretty cool in Resurrection, but in Midnight, they're downright mean. They belittle Omen for having dreams bigger than himself, and whenever we see them interact, Never pushes down Omen's self esteem, and we basically see Never agree with Omen that everyone hates him. This is in a way highlighted when at the end of the book Alexia, who earlier in the book says a polite no to Omen after he asks her out (which Omen handles beautifully), tells him that he's silly for thinking her friends hate him, because contrary to what he believes, being nice to everyone has in fact made everyone love him. So no, Never, being nonbinary doesn't excuse your shitty, hypocritical behavior. You don't get to tell someone they're being stupid for dreaming of adventure when you're off adventuring behind their back. There are parts of this book that I /really/ enjoyed, such as Val flirting with a woman (regardless of the worry it gives me), and Alice is a fantastic character to introduce! I love her! The thing is, this book has too many things that bugged me for me to look away from, which is why it's gotten the lowest rating I've ever given an SP book. It doesn't necessarily break my heart, because this isnt a bad review, this is just a collection of thoughts and things that bug me, so take that all with a grain of salt. (Can i just say though, Abyssinia is such an anticlimax, like forreal can we talk about that?! She was supposed to be the ~most dangerous~ but she read like an annoying ex in a Britney Spears costume. Also, WHERE THE FUCK DID MALEVOLENT'S WIFE COME FROM???) (hide spoiler)]

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Update: THERE HAS BEEN A COVER REVEAL- I REPEAT- A FUCKING COVER REVEAL!!!! I AM HOLLERINGGGGG WHAT OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH I AM NOT READY!!! I officially name 2018 the year where all my childhood returns in the form of sequels of books that got me into reading. I am actually in tears right now, I am genuinely so happy!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura Barclay

    I read a comment on this book by someone who said that Skulduggery Pleasant was their Harry Potter - they grew up reading the series and grew up with Valkyrie, and (and its been said before) its such an amazing joy to see her grow and become the strong-willed, brave and knowledgable character she is now. Landy has really out-done himself with distilling her individuality and uniqueness without sloppily laying on the 'chosen one' philosophy that is so common in urban-fantasy these days. I loved se I read a comment on this book by someone who said that Skulduggery Pleasant was their Harry Potter - they grew up reading the series and grew up with Valkyrie, and (and its been said before) its such an amazing joy to see her grow and become the strong-willed, brave and knowledgable character she is now. Landy has really out-done himself with distilling her individuality and uniqueness without sloppily laying on the 'chosen one' philosophy that is so common in urban-fantasy these days. I loved seeing the character of Kes fleshed out (pun-not-intended) a little in Midnight. She's not exactly a character in of herself, but this weird phenomena that allows for interesting plot details to flourish and add interest and complexity to the overall story (e.g. (view spoiler)[when she saves Omen from being killed (hide spoiler)] ). It's such a wonderfully strange dynamic that she and Valkyrie have. I'm still not sure exactly what Kes is, or how she has come to exist. And presuming that Sebastian brings Darquesse back, I'm curious as to how Kes fits into that narrative - will she fuse back into Darquesse, or is she her own being now? Will she grow to full physical strength but remain invisible, or is she just like a spare limb that Darquesse can reattach when she returns (if she does indeed return)? I think the whole dynamic is one of my favourite of Midnight, more than SP and Val, but slightly behind Abyssinia and SP, because THAT whole interaction was golden and read like a sit-com (and I truly believe Landy is at his greatest when he's mixing genres). A mystery that was hinted at slightly was the issue of reflections, and the extent of their power and individuality - a huge plot-line of phase one. I feel there are so many unanswered questions when it comes to reflections. I started to wonder if Kes is in fact whatever is left of Valkyrie's reflection, Steph, after Darquesse inhabited her body. I gave the book four stars because whilst I loved it, and thought it was structurally sound and written well, I don't think it's up-to-par with Landy's previous books. He's set a very high standard for himself, which is hard to overcome, especially with a sequel after the first book in a reboot of a beloved series. Resurrection had the advantage of being able to abandon tired old plot-lines, but with Midnight, I feel Landy struggling to know how to move forward with the new plot-lines he's set up. SP and Valkyrie had very bare-bones interactions in Midnight, and Omen's storyline was at times very slow, maybe even unnecessary. When Landy announced phase 2, he said that he wanted Omen to be the new semi-protagonist, giving his younger readers someone to relate to - but you cannot deny that Omen's storyline was uneventful and lacking. The portal to the Leibnietz Universe was a brilliant idea, but was left stranded in the story very quickly with no resolution or real exploration, apart from Omen's crush on a Leibnitz human, which - again - amounted to... not much. I feel that Landy is hammering home the idea that Omen is brave, courageous and kind, despite his uselessness and unluckiness, so when things turn around for him (and he gets to be the hero and gets the girl), it'll be a really beautiful and striking moment - the problem is, for the mean-time, we have to wait FOR YEARS in build-up, which is EXTREMELY unsatisfying. I feel for Omen and his struggles with finding his purpose, but he's so extremely obtuse at times - which often tips the scales from endearing to annoying, and its never good to have an annoying main character. Also, Never and Omen - I'm sensing a budding chemistry between them, and its never really addressed. When Never admitted to helping Auger, Omen's understandable confusion and sadness could have been a vehicle for this storyline, but again, amounted to not much. Omen's storyline is just a broken record of 'amounting to not much.' It really only changes in the last 100 pages, with the final battle. The slow-pace of this narrative is such a stark contrast to Valkyrie and Militsa's sudden flirt in the cafe, which - and I'm not alone in this, I've read the reviews - came out of NOWHERE! Valkyrie's bisexuality has never been revealed at in previous books. And remember - this is a girl that by-passed high school (and growing up with teens) in order to experience very intense adult relationships with adults very early-on. I feel Valkyrie has A LOT of growing up to do when it comes to her sexual identity - her primary love interest was Fletcher, whom she couldn't commit to because she was enamoured with Skulduggery, who she had romantic feeling for, despite him being a brotherly-mentor figure in her life. Wooph, that's a lot of complicated emotions for a 14-17 year old. And so, Milista as romantic potential seems shoe-horned in. Maybe its a set-up for later betrayal/drama, but I feel Landy was given a deadline on this book and didn't really think clearly about that aspect of it. If I was 14 and just starting to read SP, I would be very confused and conflicted with the constant HINTS at sexual identity and identity struggle. And if that's the audience Landy is trying to get to, he needs to either wise up and make things clearer - or ditch the theme entirely. Or, perhaps bring the books to the YA aisle of the bookstore and let Lnady get more into themes of sex, romance and LGBTQ+ The final battle was incredible and clever and chaotic, masterfully using magic and violence and trippy plot-twists in tandem - classic Landy writing. Cadaverous is one of the best villains of the series, not because he's all-powerful and without feeling, but because he's acting on very human instincts: revenge, hate, anger, loneliness. I had shivers when Valkyrie gets outside his house and he darts back in, truly afraid of her without his strength. I could see so clearly Valkyrie's broken, bloody face let out a sharp laugh at his cowardice - it was such a visceral and striking moment that revealed his weakness compared to Val's utter determination and will. Again, Temper Fray steals the show. He's one of those characters that doesn't need a lot of emotional moments to fuel his characterisation. He's constantly entertaining, and just when I think he's going to be spineless, he comes through and shows himself to be a truly solid human being - which is nice amongst all the depression and grim in this book. China is a conundrum. She's always been a slippery eel, and this book is no different. I squirmed in my seat when Landy describes her palace and how she acts like a queen - I feel like this is foreshadowing her return to the evil side, and I'm hoping she becomes the phase 2 villain. I've always felt she's had the potential to be a ruthless villain, because she's truly gutless, selfish and without conviction. The return of Tanith felt....odd. I've never been a big Tanith fan, and her small cameo here felt utterly pointless, other than to introduce a storyline that will likely be pursued later. In general, I feel Landy is at his strongest when he's NOT writing in service of a long-winded over-arching plot. These little set-ups stall the book exponentially and are the reason I'm not giving it five-stars. I'm hoping the next instalment does less of this and focuses on the immediate events in front of the characters. That's not including the cliff-hanger - which was genius, because I honestly don't know what it means for the characters, and makes me desperately want to read the next book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leseratte

    I felt kind of meh about this book when I heard it was getting released, then I started reading the sample on amazon and bought the e-book because I couldn't wait for my physical copy to arrive. Yeah, I know, I'm trash. But I have no regrets. I read this book, and I'm not kidding you, I was so excited I sometimes had difficulty breathing. I loved it. That doesn't mean it didn't have flaws, but we'll get to that. **Update 9.06.18** I added some spoilers (under tags naturally) so I can go into more I felt kind of meh about this book when I heard it was getting released, then I started reading the sample on amazon and bought the e-book because I couldn't wait for my physical copy to arrive. Yeah, I know, I'm trash. But I have no regrets. I read this book, and I'm not kidding you, I was so excited I sometimes had difficulty breathing. I loved it. That doesn't mean it didn't have flaws, but we'll get to that. **Update 9.06.18** I added some spoilers (under tags naturally) so I can go into more details. The fun I had while reading this book far outweigh any doubts I have about the plot, but the book was by no means flawless. Still, four stars it is. Midnight is, as all the other SP books too, pleasant (ha) to read, partly because Landy doesn't spend ages on descriptions and inner monologues and instead focuses on action and dialogue, which is as funny (and weird) as always. Especially the conversations between Skulduggery and Val were a ton of fun. In fact, I loved the dynamic between Val and Skul in general. I don't even need to elaborate on this point. If you read the books so far, you know what you have to expect from Midnight when it comes to them. Val is a treasure and deserves all the good things in the world. Naturally, she gets the opposite - no surprises there. I enjoyed reading about Omen as well. I liked his storyline. I was a bit surprised by how long it took him to meet Val and Skul, but I liked to read about him nonetheless. There were once again a bunch of POV characters, but I didn’t mind that as much as I did in Resurrection as we already know most of them. (view spoiler)[I’m not sure what Sebastian’s chapter are supposed to add – maybe comic relief, but I personally didn’t find his chapters funny. So far he does very little, but I’m sure that will change in the next book. If that’s good or bad I can’t say. (hide spoiler)] I also thought that it was slightly odd that the chapters were pretty short at times, since it would have been possible to fuse some of them into one longer chapter, but that’s just nitpicking. I already said that there aren’t a lot of descriptions in Midnight. I sometimes could have done with more, mostly when it comes to characters, as they become hard to distinguish from one another after a while. If I'm honest with you, I already forgot a lot of the new characters from Resurrection, at least what they looked like – Nero and Destrier, for example. (Was Destrier in Resurrection? I don’t even know anymore.) Abyssinia’s connection to Skul feels constructed and I don’t buy it. I’ve try to suspend my disbelief, I’ve tried to kill it, but it just wouldn’t stay down. (view spoiler)[Same thing with Serafina. In fact, I find this entire focus on the past and the Faceless Ones weird. It made sense for the first three books in the series to be about Mevolents allies, but since then the focus has been on Darquesse, the gulf between mortals and sorcerers, and some random villains of the week. Now all of the sudden it’s again about Mevolent and we are introduced to characters that we should have known about sooner, at the very least in Kingdom of the Wicked when Valkyrie visits the Leibniz universe, and it feels off. Maybe Landy noticed this, because at some point Val is all like “Oh yeah I heard about Serafina, she is really important so of course I did :P” Then why didn’t we?! Sorry but it doesn’t work like this. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Also I’m not sure whether I should laugh or cry at Skul being the dad of Abyssinia’s son. Like – no. I’m putting my foot down. You can’t have kids through magic. You can try to convince me otherwise, Landy, but I can assure you, you won’t succeed. It's just going to make me cringe every time it comes up. I admit it makes for nice and potentially funny drama, though. (hide spoiler)] Something that also struck me as odd was how (view spoiler)[the portal to the Leibniz Universe (hide spoiler)] was treated with so much, eh, nonchalance, like it’s no big deal, and I’m sitting there like … you guys know that this is terrifying, right? Right??? I found the way it was introduced weird and off-putting. Additionally, it doesn’t lead anywhere. It will probably have consequences in future books, but why wasn’t it introduced then? This is a neutral point that doesn’t affect my rating in any way, but I’m not sure how I feel about the queer representation in Midnight and in the SP series in general. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that it was homophobic or transphobic. The thing is – and this is probably just me – that Landy treats the subject with extreme … levity. There are quite a few characters that are in relationships or attracted to people of the same sex, and it’s treated as no big thing. And hey, that’s great! But for some reason, I feel like in spite of that, Landy’s characters don’t have a sexuality. Actually, no, let me rephrase that: it feels like they don’t have a sexual identity. I don’t mean to say that sexuality has to be this mega huge thing for a character, but I just sometimes had the feeling that it wasn’t a thing … period. As a queer person, I don’t constantly thing about my sexuality, but I’m still aware that it is there and affecting my life. I didn’t get that feeling from any of the queer characters in SP. If it is well written, sexuality can add depth to a character, and I’m not sure if Landy realizes that. (view spoiler)[The main reason I’m saying this is Val, because I am totally confused by how we are supposed to read her conversation with Militsa. I would love for Val to be bisexual. But by that, I mean that I would love to read about her realizing her feelings towards another woman, or just about her acknowledging her sexuality in some way. I don’t mean that I want her to all of a sudden flirt with a woman, especially with one she rejected in Resurrection. Furthermore, apart from saying some vaguely flirty/plainly weird things to her, she doesn’t act like she is attracted to her at all, or to any woman for that matter. If I’m brutally honest, it read more like a straight woman trying to flirt with a lesbian than anything else to me. Writing Val’s bisexuality (if she even is bi idk) would have been such a good chance to explore her identity, and I almost feel like it was wasted. (hide spoiler)] I’m sure that this is something that differs from reader to reader, and if you are an lgbt+ reader of SP and you didn’t feel that way, then that’s great! And, as I said, it wasn't bad representation. But it was weird for me to read about queer characters that I should be able to relate to in theory and to feel … alienated, in a way. Also, is it just me or is literally every empowered woman in SP a strong and/or sensual hot badass in tight clothing? (view spoiler)[Guess we’ll see what Serafina wears. (hide spoiler)] But, as I said, I enjoyed Midnight a great deal, and can only recommend it if you liked Resurrection. I’m a bit skeptical about where this series is going in general, but for now I am cautiously optimistic that I will at the very least enjoy the dialogue.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    I have loved the Skulduggery Pleasant series for years! I have met Derek Landy a number of times and have every single book signed in my collection. So I always knew that I would be buying and reading this book as soon as it came out. I collected my Special signed edition from the bookshop the day after it came out and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. With work and other commitments I didn’t get to dive in as quickly as I wanted to but finally last week I had the opportunity to sit down with the b I have loved the Skulduggery Pleasant series for years! I have met Derek Landy a number of times and have every single book signed in my collection. So I always knew that I would be buying and reading this book as soon as it came out. I collected my Special signed edition from the bookshop the day after it came out and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. With work and other commitments I didn’t get to dive in as quickly as I wanted to but finally last week I had the opportunity to sit down with the book and within 2 days I had completely finished it. That’s one thing I love about Landy’s books – they are so well written that you are guaranteed to be swept up into the world and carried along, you never want to put it down until you know what will happen next. As it’s been a while since I read the series I was worried that I wouldn’t remember what had happened in the last book, but there are enough hints and reminders within the story to bring it all back to you without feeling like he is rehashing something you’ve already read. Events and characters started coming back to me and I was once more immersed into that magical world. Valkyrie is back but still recovering from the whole Darquesse incident and trying to forget about the whole Cadaverous Gant thing, she’s woring with Skulduggery again and they are back on top form. The two of them together is the ultimate dream team, such chemistry! Their conversations never feel forced, they are so natural it feels like you are there talking to them as well. I love how Derek has developed them over the series too, they really do grow and adapt over the course and are always changing. I really liked having more chapters with Omen Darkly too, he’s such a good character, kind of wimpy and pathetic but you know he means well and you can’t help but wish him well, I’m still waiting for him to turn around and save the day at some point. He has a good sense of humour and a bit of a no nonsense approach – although he day dreams a lot he does know what he wants, he’s just not sure how to get it. I also like that we saw a softer side to his brother, he’s not just the ‘chosen hero’, but a real person too. When Alice is kidnapped Valkyrie must race to rescue her, but the rules are she can’t contact anyone for help, this is between her and Gant, and time is running out. Meanwhile Skulduggery is on his own mission. The suspense of the story is perfect, nothing is for sure, I kept wandering if Skulduggery would find Valkyrie or vice versa. Every time I thought I had figured out what would happen next, Landy would through in a curve ball. The book ends with a bit of a cliff-hanger in that it reveals some things that you definitely want answers to! Derek Landy is such a tease with his books, so evil having to make us wait for the next one. But I just can’t get enough! Each book is just as incredible as the previous and Landy is a real legend of storytelling.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Olga

    Time hasn't come yet, when I rate SP book anything other then 5/5. But, really, I cannot be blamed, because amount of pure happiness and blissful joy I get while reading SP deserve the highest mark. On the down to earth level of rating I realise that it might be on the same rate as some of the other 5 stars book I've read this years, but on the emotional level is way above. I even stopped reading my current book (which was amazing 5 star Children of Blood and Bone), just to spent the entire day Time hasn't come yet, when I rate SP book anything other then 5/5. But, really, I cannot be blamed, because amount of pure happiness and blissful joy I get while reading SP deserve the highest mark. On the down to earth level of rating I realise that it might be on the same rate as some of the other 5 stars book I've read this years, but on the emotional level is way above. I even stopped reading my current book (which was amazing 5 star Children of Blood and Bone), just to spent the entire day in this familiar and loved SP world. And now I am fighting the urge to re-read all of the previous books. Oh, this series has me hard. I didn't actually knew what to expect from this one, so I just went along for the ride. It was quite a while since I've read the book in less then 12 hours, but luckily for me it did arrive when I did, and I was able to read it straight away. I loved how this hardback felt in my arms as I curled up on the bed reading. I loved how the words flowed and swiped me in when I opened the book to "just look at the first chapter". I loved how the character grew, yet again, and how we get to know more of the villain, who actually didn't even seem as the villain in here. I just loved the moment when Skulduggery gave Valkyrie keys to Bentley. I mean, what bigger confession there could be? I am biased, sue me, but it was perfect. I liked how Auger makes more appearance in this, and oh, I need a companion novel, that follows his adventures, because this could be fantastic fit! The family dinner, oh, overwhelmed. And just to mention the ending, it was so heart-breaking, I just cannot cope. I need to do some re-read, and get myself together, and just wait for the next book. Ohh, this is perfect.

  22. 4 out of 5

    J. Taylor

    I'm liking the newer books less and less but I cannot give up on Valkyrie and Skulduggery so I will continue in the series despite liking this one even less then the previous one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Valquiria

    rtc This was... sadly disappointing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Doherty

    This was a much better book than the previous one resurrection. Midnight was a bit longer than I would have liked and slightly boring in parts. I still think that the first nine books were more than enough for this series. However I am still going to keep reading them. I miss the great twist that usually ended each of the first nine books. It was good to see Tanith Low back again but as I expected she had a very minor role. The new series is not as exciting as the first series and will be diffic This was a much better book than the previous one resurrection. Midnight was a bit longer than I would have liked and slightly boring in parts. I still think that the first nine books were more than enough for this series. However I am still going to keep reading them. I miss the great twist that usually ended each of the first nine books. It was good to see Tanith Low back again but as I expected she had a very minor role. The new series is not as exciting as the first series and will be difficult to replicate. I can't help but feel that Skulduggery and Valkyrie stories have been told and there really is no need for another series. But there are other ways the series can be good. We do not yet know a lot about Omen Darkly and it will be interesting to see how Alice will turn out and what kind of magic she could be capable off. I am still going to continue to follow this series, however the new series fails to capture me the way the first series did.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Oda Renate

    WE HAVE A TITLE AND A COVER!!! AND A SUNMARRY! finally!!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Swift

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's midnight right now (haha! No pun intended) and I should really be in bed but I have to get my feeling out about this book. This has been my favourite series since I was eleven, it is simply the best piece of literature ever created, I don't give a shit about all those boring old classics, this is the best thing there is. I'm not gonna lie I was slightly disappointed with resurrection, I just didn't feel like that was the comeback that the series deserved. But Derek seriously blew me away wit It's midnight right now (haha! No pun intended) and I should really be in bed but I have to get my feeling out about this book. This has been my favourite series since I was eleven, it is simply the best piece of literature ever created, I don't give a shit about all those boring old classics, this is the best thing there is. I'm not gonna lie I was slightly disappointed with resurrection, I just didn't feel like that was the comeback that the series deserved. But Derek seriously blew me away with this one. I don't really know what to say, my feeling are all boiling up inside of me and I can't seem to decipher what the hell they actually are. I pre-ordered this the second I learned about it and I got it the morning it came out (yesterday) and I could not for the life of me put the fucking thing down. I took it to the supermarket and read it while pushing the cart around, I read it at the dinner table with my family glaring at me but I didn't even notice when I walked into the back of a car, or collided with a feral shopper in Sainsbury's, or when my brother threw dollops or rice into my hair. It was THAT GOOD. The frickin bants. Let me tell you, Derek is the KING of banter and humour. I was laughing my ass off in public. Skulduggery is just the most amazing character, he has so many emotional layers; there is so much love in him but also violence and death. I mean when Alice stood up for him near the end and he said "You tell him Alice." I almost cried it was so adorable. If Skulduggery wasn't a talking skeleton I would have such a crush on him. Scratch that I won't lie to you, I already do. I want him to marry me. I don't care that he's just bones we're destined to be together. Valkyrie is such a badass in this one. I mean she always is but she kind've loses her rag in areas (I mean that bar scene "Palter!!!") and I love it. It reminds me beautifully of when Skulduggery gets all silent and deadly when Valkyrie is threatened (I love it when that happens, it shows how much he loves her). She was so relentless and brave and clever and strong and no matter how hard she got hit or how hopeless the situation became she just kept getting back up. I love her. Alice is the sweetest little sugar plum and she needs to be protected at all costs. The actual plot itself is FANTASTIC. It's so cleverly written, things in this book explain small events that happened in the very first book and that's absurd, we're on book eleven for Christ's sake. There were so many twists and turns and when you thought that things might finally work out Derek throws another curve ball at you and you're fearing for everybody's lives again. I never ever got bored, I didn't turn the page to a new chapter and think "oh no not this person again" like I did with Resurrection in certain chapters. I loved everyone, even Sebastian who bored me a little in Resurrection, I'm totally rooting for him now despite his obvious faults (the whole worshipping Darquesse thing for one). Abyssinia was great, I found myself not hating her at all. She also had many layers, she clearly loves her son and I believe still harbours great affection for Skulduggery despite him not being evil anymore. Also how about that whole Caisson fiasco eh? I frickin loved it. Valkyrie trying to figure out how the hell Skulduggery is his father was so funny, I had so much fun. As well as that though, the book may be hilarious but it also deals with so many very real issues. Valkyries PTSD is pushed further and further towards real insanity is so well portrayed and I really feel for her, when she saw that Alice was colourless and possibly didn't have a soul because of something Valkyrie did I was physically shaking. I feel so bad for her, she has a lot of issues that are so difficult to escape from and her guilt is so bad it could end up making her ill. I worry. So summed up, IT WAS BEYOND SENSATIONAL. I am rather upset that I've finished it. I am in love with everything to do with this series, it is a legendary piece of literary artwork. Bravo Sir, Bravo.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jack Wilkinson

    Reviewing Skulduggery Pleasant is tough for me, and I've figured out why. I read the first book when I was around 11 years old. I fell in love with it instantly and it followed me throughout my teenage years. I grew up with Valkyrie, learning to love Landy's sense of humour, pace, dialogue, action sequences and horror elements- essentially, his whole style. So when I read Midnight and noticed that it had literally everything I wanted in a book, I was kinda blown away. Just amazed that somehow, e Reviewing Skulduggery Pleasant is tough for me, and I've figured out why. I read the first book when I was around 11 years old. I fell in love with it instantly and it followed me throughout my teenage years. I grew up with Valkyrie, learning to love Landy's sense of humour, pace, dialogue, action sequences and horror elements- essentially, his whole style. So when I read Midnight and noticed that it had literally everything I wanted in a book, I was kinda blown away. Just amazed that somehow, everything I love had come together in a single book. But then I realised that everything I love was influenced by the rest of the series I read throughout my childhood, so it made perfect sense that the newest book would take all of that and put it in a format that speaks to my now-21-year-old self. It kind of feels like Landy cheated, setting up a magic trick by planting ideas in my head years beforehand then bringing them up now to spring the trap, but that's not to discredit the quality of this individual book. For it to make proper use of all those years of setup, it had to feel like a natural progression and it does. This is exactly what would happen even if it wasn't written down. It makes sense for old adversaries to come back and cause trouble, it makes sense for secrets from the past of a 450 year old skeleton to come back and haunt him, it makes sense for Val to struggle with her mental health and her new powers, and deal with some genuinely surprising consequences of her reckless past actions. Even though the Dumbledore on rollerblades phenomenon is present a little in regards to some war stories, there were gaps that needed to be filled and they've been filled in a way that isn't entirely unrealistic and will lead to some hopefully amazing stuff further down the line. My favourite thing about midnight though, is the sheer imagination required to think up the situations presented. Did you ever get that feeling when reading Harry Potter where you stopped and thought "ha, I just read a sentence where a boy wizard locked wands with the murderous dark wizard who killed his parents because of a prophecy" and suddenly became aware of the series of utterly ridiculous ideas you accepted to get to the point where that's normal? I got that feeling towards the end of midnight and it hit tenfold. There's an environment that much of the last act takes place in (and an environment within that environment, and the environment within that) which is so satisfying when it's filled with the whole cast of main characters doing entirely reasonable yet utterly absurd things that I stopped reading for a moment and audibly said "wow," just to take stock of the situation and make sure I didn't miss anything. I owe Midnight a reread, but that place might help this book overtake lsodm as my favourite sp book. It's got Valkyrie character development overflowing the pages, it's got horror and dreamscapes and humour and emotions and nostalgia and shock value and the odd weak spot of slightly awkward exposition or social commentary can't even begin to dull that experience for me. I just really, really loved this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    I'm enjoying having Skulduggery and Valkyrie back to normal, that witty, easy-going banter and chemistry they have, it's awesome :D There's just so much going on in Part 2 of the series and I'm finding myself a bit confused with all these characters been flung at me and like 8 different points of view and trying to keep all the side bits going on in line with the main story.. #confused It took a while to get to the "main" storyline too, like literally everything in the blurb didn't happen until th I'm enjoying having Skulduggery and Valkyrie back to normal, that witty, easy-going banter and chemistry they have, it's awesome :D There's just so much going on in Part 2 of the series and I'm finding myself a bit confused with all these characters been flung at me and like 8 different points of view and trying to keep all the side bits going on in line with the main story.. #confused It took a while to get to the "main" storyline too, like literally everything in the blurb didn't happen until the last few chapters?? And the paradox thing? Huh? o.O But I'm very intrigued about where this is going and the "new prophecy"..?! Super mad/disappointed/heartbroken that we're on to book two and my favorite teleporter has yet to make a goddamn appearance?!!?! -_- But overall, interesting to see where this is heading :) *Update after authors word* LOL I can't believe people read the last page first but that is a good way to mess with them! Gosh I love you Landy! :') I totally believe you! ;)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book review ~~~ 3.5 . 💀 Non spoilery section 💀 Skulduggery Pleasant Midnight by Derek Landy is the eleventh book in the series. It had a slow build, and I wasn't sure where any of it was going. By the last hundred pages, everything was intense and fast paced. This is a great build up for the next installment where a know a lot more is going to go down. Derek has things planned. I love shade throne at President Flanery of USA (AKA Trump 👌) . . Kinda spoilery 💀💀 You can kind of see the unhealthy dynamic Book review ~~~ 3.5 . 💀 Non spoilery section 💀 Skulduggery Pleasant Midnight by Derek Landy is the eleventh book in the series. It had a slow build, and I wasn't sure where any of it was going. By the last hundred pages, everything was intense and fast paced. This is a great build up for the next installment where a know a lot more is going to go down. Derek has things planned. I love shade throne at President Flanery of USA (AKA Trump 👌) . . Kinda spoilery 💀💀 You can kind of see the unhealthy dynamic of how much Valkyrie relies on Skulduggery as an attachment to the world of magic, and how she won't let it go. It'll probably be a few more books when it's too late for her, before she decides to become mundane again. That ending fucked me up. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK OH MY FUCKING GOD!! This is not going to be easy for Val to get through. Also loved how they V S and A were dancing at the end, it was almost happy. . Also enjoying the contemporary issues brought into this, like harrassment, fragile masculinity, refugees.

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