rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Harry Potter series made it difficult for me to pick up any other books about magic. Every one that I picked up seemed to pale in comparison. I'm glad that I've finally gotten over that mental block; otherwise, I would have missed out on a great story in Skulduggery Pleasant. It is about a 12-year-old girl named Stephanie who discovers a magical underworld in her city when her uncle dies. She is led on a tour of this underground community by her uncle's best friend, who happens to be an undead skeleton called Skulduggery Pleasant.
The author did a good job creating a new universe for his novel that didn't make me compare it to other book in the genre. The explanations of how magic worked in that universe and who the bad guys were was The banter between Stephanie and Skulduggery made my 12-year-old and 16-year-old giggle. As for the ending, it was just right. It made me want to read the next book without resorting to a cliffhanger.
The only hesitation I have about recommending this book is that there is more death than I expected in a kids' book. I would say that if your child can handle The Graveyard Book or the final Harry Potter book, then she can handle this one.
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