Reviews for Faceless Ones
Booklist Reviews 2009 September #1
Skeleton-detective Skulduggery Pleasant and his 14-year-old sidekick, Valkyrie Cain, return for a third adventure following Scepter of the Ancients (2007) and Playing with Fire (2008). The struggle between good and evil intensifies; this time the nefarious Faceless Ones seek a willing Teleporter to open the gates that connect the real world and underworld so that they can destroy everything. This alternate reality is fully developed, but a cast of thousands and frequent references to past adventures may confuse newcomers to this series. Still, brisk action, macabre characters, and a generally dark tone will appeal to mystery and horror fans. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
In Valkyrie Cain's third adventure, she and skeletal mentor Skulduggery continue to negotiate the complicated politics of their magical underground society while maintaining Valkyrie's double life and, of course, saving the planet. The plot twists are thrilling and nonstop, and the world-building continues to deepen. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 July #2
It's another near squeak for humanity as the laconic, more-or-less dead detective with the natty fashion sense and his young adrenaline-junkie sidekick Valkyrie Cain (née Stephanie) face off against the Diablerie--an all-too-capable gang of supervillains who always seem to stay one step ahead in their scheme to bring the vengeful Elder Gods back to this plane. As in the two previous episodes (which should be read first by anyone who wants to keep story line and cast members straight), Landy has entirely too much fun strewing his caper with bloody mayhem, often-hilarious dialogue and an array of distinctive mages and magical creatures as he propels events to a harrowing, ultra-violent climactic battle that litters the landscape with the corpses of allies and enemies both. A gifted storyteller, the author will hook readers on the first page and leave them on the last as wrung out as he leaves his teenage protagonist--who pays a high price indeed for killing a god or two. Rattling good fun. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 October
Gr 5-8--This story picks up where Playing with Fire (HarperCollins, 2008) leaves off. The skeleton detective and his 14-year-old sidekick, Valkyrie, have uncovered an evil plot to allow the Faceless Ones through a portal into our world, which will surely bring about the destruction of life as we know it. Banished from the department and branded a dangerous character, Skulduggery is not allowed to work the case, but he is able to uncover enough information to put the pieces together. The plot contains many twists and double crosses as dubious characters factor into the mystery. In the end, sacrifices are made and Valkyrie is faced with a difficult decision. This third installment has enough action to keep casual or new readers interested in what happens next. Kids who have outgrown Lemony Snicket will enjoy the series.--Karen Hoth, Manatee Elementary School, Fort Myers, FL [Page 129]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 December
Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkryie Cain (aka Stephanie Edgley) are back to save the world again in this third adventure by Irish author Landy. Someone is murdering teleporters, but Skulduggery and Valkryie's investigation is hampered by the fact that the two are now fugitives from the Sanctuary. The murders continue until only one teleporter remains, a brash, untrained seventeen-year-old named Fletcher Renn, needed by the evil Diablerie to open a portal so the Faceless Ones can return to this world As with the series' previous installments, this book is entertaining and fast paced. Although the plot is not particularly memorable and it can be difficult to keep some of the more minor characters straight, Skulduggery and Valkryie remain one of the more entertaining duos in recent young adult fiction, tempering their affection for and loyalty to one another with constant, witty jibes. Characters from the earlier books, including Tanith Low and Kenspeckle Grouse, make welcome appearances in this volume, and Kenspeckle's oft-repeated concern--that Valkryie is giving up and risking too much in this ongoing fight against evil--is surprisingly touching. Readers will continue to appreciate that the violence is real rather than cartoonish, causing authentic damage, including to Valkryie. Although this particular adventure is concluded, Skulduggery's uncertain fate would indicate that at least one more book is forthcoming. Both public and school libraries should continue to stock this well-written, entertaining series.--Amy SissonLarbalestier, Justine. Liar. Bloomsbury, 2009. 374p. $16.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-305-7. 4Q 4P Micah is different. She is a loner, an enigma, and a compulsive liar. Micah lies so much that no one believes a word she says. First she is a boy, and then a hermaphrodite. Her father is an arms dealer. She has a brother. Then she never had a brother. Micah's boyfriend Zach disappears and turns up dead. Micah was the last person to see him alive. Or was she? Zach had a girlfriend, and it was not Micah--or so everyone claims. When Micah becomes a suspect in Zach's death, she decides to tell the total truth about her life, but even Micah's truth has lies. As Micah's story unfolds, the "truth" still contains small lies and omissions of what really happened. Micah claims the real truth is that she is a werewolf that transformations once a month and that she indirectly killed Zach. The police claim Zach was attacked by wild dogs. The thin line between truth and lies blurs continuously through Larbalestier's novel. Readers are enthralled, and then confused, but Micah's character is too engrossing to stop reading. Larbalestier spins a novel of twists and turns so dense that the reader never knows if Micah is lying about being a werewolf or not. The decision is left up to the reader as to what truly happened. The story flashes among the present, the past, and Micah's family history. As Micah's character admits to lies once more, readers are again exasperated but curious to find out how her story ends. It is an original read for teens who enjoy psychological thrillers.--Laura Panter 4Q 5P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.