Saturday 17 June 2017

Resurrection (Skulduggery Pleasant #10), Derek Landy

This is how I'm going to die, she'd realised. On my knees
Skulduggery and Valkyrie are going to team up with beloved characters from the first 9 books as well as an all-new cast, including new teen co-star Omen Darkly, for an adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

* * * * 
4 / 5 

I didn't expect for there to be a tenth book to the series, but I am very glad that there is. I think it has quite a different vibe to the previous few books and it's lacking a few old favourites (like Tanith or Scapegrace), but I did enjoy Resurrection. Whilst the plot isn't that great, maybe on par with Dark Days or one of the earliest books, it's made up for by a much more mature consideration of Skulduggery and Valkyrie.

"Skulduggery, you're my best friend and I love you"

Valkyrie Cain is an older, broken woman. After the events of Dying of the Light with Gant, she moves back to Ireland to live in Gordan's house with her dog, Xena. She's wracked with guilt for what has happened to her younger sister, Alice, and barely leaves the house. She avoids Roarhaven because of her association with Darquesse, murderer of mages. Valkyrie Cain lived for years with prophecies and worlds on her young shoulders and now she just wants to be left alone. I can't much blame her. Meanwhile, Skulduggery is futilely trying to pretend that nothing is wrong, that a good case will take them back five years to when they were the dream duo, saving the world left and right. 

Valkyrie broke my heart. When I was younger, I wanted to be her, and so I fell into the same trap that Valkyrie Cain did: wanting to be someone, a hero, but saving the world is not fun, it breaks you. We are the same age in Resurrection which makes it even easier to understand her. There's this lovely quote right at the start of her POV:

The years, they had thundered by, heavy and unstoppable, a boulder rolling downhill. Bruises and broken bones and bloody knuckles and screams and laughs and tears. A lot of tears. Too many tears 

Sounds a bit depressing, doesn't it? Never fear, Resurrection manages to balance this rather depressing, but realistic, outlook on Valkyrie and Skulduggery with good, Landy humour. The plot is entirely new, with new characters, rather than trying to rehash old characters and storylines. Roarhaven has grown, under the guiding hand of China Sorrows, into a full mage city complete with school for children. Attending this school is Omen Darkly, younger brother to Auger Darkly who is prophesied to have a courageous heart and to fight the King of the Darklands in a battle to decide the fate of humanity. He's recruited by Skulduggery to have a nosey into some strange goings on at the Academy; Omen is interesting, he's nice and pleasant in his own right but also serves as a reflection of Valkyrie when Skulduggery recruited her. 

"You should have seen her, back in the good old days. She sparked. She was fearless."
"No," she said, 'I wasn't" 
"You were fearless in every way that mattered," he responded. "You were magnificent. You were funny, and tough, and confident, and amazing. You did things no one else could do. You survived what no one else could survive. Just being around you made me a better person. And now look at what you've become"

The writing is, I think, the highlight of this book. It's so beautiful and thoughtful. There's so many amazing quotes that I want to share: funny ones, philosophical ones, sad ones. The best ones are, I think, about Skulduggery and Valkyrie's relationship. They aren't in love, obviously, but they love each other in a way that develops from shared burdens and suffering:

"Fight them. I'm begging you."
"I thought you didn't beg."
"You're my exception," she said. "You always were."

Essentially, Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection is a great addition to the series. It isn't as intense and wide-spanning as The Dying of the Light, not having as many links and connections to the other books, but it is fun, clever, and very enjoyable with some new additions to the cast and a great look at how some of the characters have aged. 

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