Skulduggery 6 represents a return to form for Landy, mainly because he shakes things up quite a bit; Tanith and Sanguine are no-shows, other characters are bogged down in bureaucracy and there are quite a number of surprising revelations.
At the end of the previous volume I thought I had worked out quite a bit of what was going to happen next; none of it played out the way I expected, though some of it still might...because the Reflection subplot still
hasn't paid off...which is getting a little irritating...I also thought vol. 6 was going to wrap things up; no more Skeleton Detective stories. How wrong can I be? There's already a World Book Day novelette following on from this book...
With Kenspeckle also out of the picture, Landy needed to find another approach to the, "Skulduggery is a bad influence on Valkyrie," voice. This he manages by working it into the story via the protagonists' actions and hidden aspects. This works much better than another lecture by the good doctor would have. In fact Cain behaves pretty unpleasantly in various respects during the course of the book and only retains sympathy because of the previous five books. It's brave on the part of Landy and I applaud it. It's a shame, however, that one of the ways Cain behaves badly is during the Anti-Twilight plot-line. I could have lived without it; it's not even remotely subtle and I certainly don't need a warning about the unwisdom of a teen having a "romance" with a stalker-over-protector-controlling older man... Maybe the target audience (i.e. actual teenagers) do
need such a warning but I'd like to think they don't, even if they are rabid Twilight fans. I could tell life and novels apart when I was a teen.
But is this series ever
going to end? At least could Landy write something else between Skeleton Detective tomes? I want to believe he has more than one idea.