Approaching the end of this tome, the reader will notice a weakness in the bond between Valkyrie Cain and the Skull Man. And that weakness is Valkyrie herself. With the brilliant cliffhanger ending to book four, the world learnt that she is destined to destroy the world, as she is Darquesse Herself. That is enough to lower *anyone’s* spirits, and it worked on our girl Stephanie, too. But took this news on her chin, she did, and the first half of book five (MORTAL COIL) features a strong focus on her attempts to thwart her own destiny and resolve the issue before it takes effect. And she does.
Mr Landy has previously announced to his fans (and thereby, the world) how much of an impact JK Rowling, Stephen King and a plethora of other famous and legendary writers had on his imagination when he was a youngster. And these (SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT) books *are* about a teenage girl growing up and dealing with problems every one her age and gender face, plus (of course) the supernatural and magical ones. And so what if there is a teenage love triangle featuring vampires? Who cares if this has been done before?
I like vampires.
Vampires are cool.
The action starts to get heavy and serious in the final third of the book, with a plague of Remnants using a packed nightclub as an invasion point to (apparently) take over the world. Our heroine escapes, along with her magical boyfriend (who for some reason, makes me think of Justin Bieber with his every appearance in the book) and in a brilliant plot twist, previously rarely used characters (SPOILERS) witness Valkyrie in action, and before long, said rarely used characters are given the low down on what’s up, so that they can join forces with the good guys, too. Presumably.
One fault I could lay claim to is that the book doesn’t really have an obvious end point. It is great fun to read, with plenty of LOL moments, and the apparent relative maturity of the tale is certainly welcome from my point of view (I like vampires, don’t forget) but surely there is more to the book’s plot than simply surviving through treachery, physical attacks on one’s body, mind and soul? Fair enough, one major player actually *dies* and returns to fight another day in the tale’s first half, but apart from that, I don’t see where the book is heading. But maybe that is just me leading a busy life, or trying to read too many books at once. Or maybe i am being a lazy reader and I am not thinking hard enough. There are plots within plots (within plots) in these books, and they only become apparent to the alert reader. So maybe I need to practise what i preach, and as I said in an earlier review, give these books the respect they deserve, and just read one book at a time. Then, perhaps, I will be able to see the wood for the trees and focus my attention on playing my part in the defeat of the Army Of The Remnants.
Four stars for another solid entry in this series.