Landy, Derek -- Skulduggery Pleasant

A teenage girl discovers that there are wizards running around behind the scenes, and the Dark Lord is returning. Okay, it's clearly post-Rowling, but it's still enjoyable. Stephanie winds up as sidekick to the titular Skulduggery Pleasant, a back-alley wizard detective type who happens to be a walking skeleton (ask him about his curse) but makes up for it with a truly stylish trenchcoat and a great car. The author manages to keep the pair balanced -- half the time it feels like Skulduggery is Stephanie's sidekick, despite his necessary role as mentor and explainer-of-plot -- and the story remains fun on top of some genuinely creepy dark magic and monster scenes.

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