Other than Neil Gaiman's recordings of ANY of his books, this has got to be the most fun I've had listening to book on tape. So much fun, in fact, that it had me doing somewhat embarrassing things, like spending my very short lunch break in my tiny car, listening to an audio book whilst shoveling salad from a tupperware down my face. In public. Where people could see me.
There's not much nuance in this story of magic and mystery, but there's plenty of punches thrown and and plenty of gore. The dialogue is snappy and funny, and the characters, despite being able to do magic and/or be a skeleton dressed like a 1940's pimp, feel surprisingly real. There's even an HP Lovecraft reference.
It's the perfect book for reluctant readers who need a little humor and a lot of action to pull them into a book. I recommend it to kids who like The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Like Percy Jackson, Skulduggery Pleasant exists in a world that stands next to the one we know. It's even for the same age group, 8 and up. The second book is currently out in hardback, and the third comes out this April.