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Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 2)
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New or Used: 39 copies from $10.04
Just when you think you've saved the world... "You will kill her?" the Torment asked. Skulduggery sagged. "Yes." He hesitated, then took his gun from his jacket. "I'm sorry, Valkyrie," he said softly. "Don't talk to me," Valkyrie said. "Just do what you have to do." Valkyrie parted her tunic, and Skulduggery pointed the gun at the vest beneath. "Please forgive me," Skulduggery said, then aimed the gun at the girl and pulled the trigger. With Serpine dead, the world is safe once more. At least, that's what Valkyrie and Skulduggery think, until the notorious Baron Vengeous makes a bloody escape from prison, and dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. With Baron Vengeous after the deadly armour of Lord Vile, and pretty much everyone out to kill Valkyrie, the daring detective duo face their biggest challenge yet. But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home...?
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Just when you think you've saved the world! "You will kill her?" the Torment asked. Skulduggery sagged. "Yes." He hesitated, then took his gun from his jacket. "I'm sorry, Valkyrie," he said softly. "Don't talk to me," Valkyrie said. "Just do what you have to do." Valkyrie parted her tunic, and Skulduggery pointed the gun at the vest beneath. "Please forgive me," Skulduggery said, then aimed the gun at the girl and pulled the trigger. With Serpine dead, the world is safe once more. At least, that's what Valkyrie and Skulduggery think, until the notorious Baron Vengeous makes a bloody escape from prison, and dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. With Baron Vengeous after the deadly armour of Lord Vile, and pretty much everyone out to kill Valkyrie, the daring detective duo face their biggest challenge yet. But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home!? Key title The follow-up to the hugely successful Skulduggery Pleasant / Massive consumer marketing campaign on launch reaching the core audience with outdoor promotions and advertising, on-line activity, sampling and competitions / Maximum awareness driven through schools via book club promotions and direct marketing to teachers and librarians / High impact promotions tailored to all key high street and mass market customers with POS available / Exclusive promotion for independents -- contact your HarperCollins sales manager for details / Blanket features, editorial coverage and reviews across national and children's press / Competition: Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy; Darren Shan; Anthony Horowitz

About the Author

Derek Landy lives near Dublin. Before writing his children's story about a sharply-dressed skeleton detective, he wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous horror film. "I think my career-guidance teacher is spinning in her grave," he says, "or she would be if she were dead."

Reviews

Gr 5-9-In this sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant (HarperCollins, 2007), 13-year-old Valkyrie Cain and her mentor, the living skeleton detective, are faced with the return of the evil Baron Vengeous, who has been freed from prison. Vengeous is trying to reanimate the Grotesquery, a monster made up of pieces of a variety of evil creatures. If his scheme is successful, the Faceless Ones, "the terrible dark gods, exiled from this world," will return. Faced with treachery within the ranks of good magicians, Valkyrie and Skulduggery must rely on their own Elemental magical powers and a few trusted allies to confront Vengeous's magic and helpers, such as the vampire Dusk and Billy-Ray Sanguine, who has the ability to tunnel underground. One magical action sequence follows another as Valkyrie must find the courage to face what seem to be insurmountable foes. Humorous conversations between Valkyrie and Skulduggery add flavor to this generally dark and often-violent novel, as does the girl's appreciation of the dichotomy between her evil-fighting life and that of a quiet student lived by her reflection while she's off saving the world. Fans of the first book will particularly enjoy the new schemes and evil creatures found here. While the back-and-forth between Skulduggery and Vengeous's forces repeats a few too many times, readers looking for a mix of magic and action will find it here.-Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Praise for Skulduggery Pleasant Hugely enjoyable -- a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud 'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope Landy revisits these characters.' Philip Ardagh, Guardian 'A gripping debut.' Phil Hogan, Observer 'Skulduggery Pleasant serves up a thoroughly satisfying blend of humour, magic and adventure. Once you've met Stephanie and Skullduggery, you'll be clamouring for a sequel.' Rick Riordan "A remarkably accomplished debut with wonderful dialogue." Robert Dunbar, Irish Times "[Landy's] fight scenes are perfectly pitched. His characters are exceptionally well drawn and delightfully colourful! Reading [this book] is like riding a rollercoaster." Irish Independent "Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages! With writing of this standard, a rattling plot and definite potential for cross-over appeal, it's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired." Irish Mail on Sunday "Humour and magic combine in this thrilling adventure." Waterstone's Books Quarterly "!people in the book world are raving about this book." Glasgow Herald "It's pacy, it's funny, it's irreverent. The relationship between Skulduggery and Stephanie is tremendously strong. Stephanie is a splendid character -- blunt, logical and outspoken! We enjoyed Skkulduggery Pleasant. Muchly. Roll on volume two!" The Book Bag "A rip-roaring adventure." Irish Sunday Independent "Full of black humour, super powers, mysteries, murder and mayhem." Carousel "A debut that brings a much-needed twist to the mystery/fantasy genre with its wisecracking detective hero." New York Times "Readers will be skipping meals and sleep to get to the end." Kirkus Reviews "An utterly charming debut, perfect for the Potter crowd." Publishers Weekly

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