In this review piece, Robin Dunbar heralds the new book by Derek Landy.
The review also mentions Name Upon Name by Sheena Wilkinson and, excitingly for ACHUKA (always a big fan of this author) The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky.
One of the most eagerly awaited of Irish children’s books of recent months is now with us in the form of Derek Landy’s Demon Road (HarperCollins, £12.99). With the hugely popular series of nine Skulduggery Pleasant titles behind him, what direction might his writing now take? His numerous fans will be glad to know that this new work, while featuring a totally different cast, retains a great many of the thematic and stylistic features that have endeared him to his followers.
But, equally, they should enjoy his exploration of new territories, complete with a diverting assortment of new characters drawn from both real and imagined worlds.
Always attracted to what HP Lovecraft diagnosed as the “current of weirdness” in Irish literature, Landy shows no diminution of his fascination with what he himself, in a dedicatory note to Demon Road, describes as “the myriad delights of horror”. The “delights” to be savoured here are in plentiful supply, and horror enthusiasts will respond to their inventiveness and variety.
Intended as the opening volume of a projected trilogy, with the two remaining titles due to appear at six-monthly intervals, Demon Road evinces Landy’s skill in drawing on the conventions of literary and film horror to entice his readers into his own “current of weirdness”. The strap line on the book’s cover proclaims, of its principal character, “She’s having a hell of a time”. So, one imagines, will its many readers.