Kid’s Book Review: Bad Magic

Kid’s Book Review: Bad Magic

About the Book

This is the first Skullduggery Pleasant graphic novel. Even if you aren’t a committed fan of the epic series you can still enjoy this book, and are almost certain to if you appreciate fantastic artwork and characterisation and thrilling plot-lines.

A small town in the middle of Ireland, a string of unexplained deaths and a monster on the loose. When Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain drive into Termoncara, they discover a town with a dark past and a people haunted by their own secrets. There is a creature stalking the streets – a creature who delights in cruelty, who feeds off the little hatreds, who grows stronger with every drop of blood spilled.


Derek Landy

Derek Landy’s cult series Skulduggery Pleasant has become an international sensation with six million copies sold worldwide and translated into thirty-nine language. The ‘Skulduggery’ universe has exploded since the initial acquisition, with a 15-book series, two World Book Day books, a novella, a short story collection, a prequel and The Skulduggery Pleasant Grimoire. The awards heaped upon the epic adventure series include the Irish Book of the Decade.

Paul Jason Holden is a Northern Irish comic artist based in Belfast. He has worked for 2000 AD, Warhammer Monthly, and Judge Dredd Megazine. Among other stories for these publications, he has provided the art for Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd and Johnny Woo.

Matt Soffe is a British illustrator, comics artist and colourist. In this publication Matt added the colour to Paul’s drawings.

Book Review

This book blends gothic comedy with action and mystery

Bad Magic is a graphic novel spin-off of the award winning Skulduggery Pleasant series. There are lots of books in the series but this is the first graphic novel. I had not read any Skulduggery Pleasant books before, but I would definitely like to now.

The book is about two sorcerers called Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain who are investigating the death of a child called Ethan Byrne, and they must persuade the townsfolk that he wasn’t killed by his friend Jamie. However, it is a race against time as the real killer is sowing discord amongst the townsfolk, causing them to hate Valkyrie and Skulduggery. They must find proof quickly, before it’s too late…

My favourite character was Skulduggery, who is a skeleton, because he is witty and serious at the same time. He has lots of funny lines and often made me laugh, whilst also being a chilling, mysterious character.

This book blends gothic comedy with action and mystery, creating an original genre which works very well. It was able to be funny, whilst having a creepy edge to everything. This made it more exciting and gave a bigger impact for the exciting ending.

I would recommend this for any fans of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett, and the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Cowlfer. I would say that this book is aimed at ages 13-16, but it is recommended for ages 15+.

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel and will start the other Skulduggery books soon!

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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Ivan
  • Age: 12 years
  • Likes: origami, pizza and drawing
  • Dislikes: peas and Donald Trump
  • Favourite Book: Gargantis by Thomas Taylor
  • Favourite Song: Space Oddity by David Bowie
  • Favourite Film: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince