Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light Trailer and Back Cover

With just two days left before the final book is released, Landy has posted on his blog the back cover and the trailer for The Dying of the Light!

The back cover, drawn by the fabulous Tom Percival, features Darquesse destroying a skyscraper and could be indicative of the amount of destruction that is about to be rained down in the final book!:

On top of creating the fabulous back cover, Tom Percival has created a teaser trailer indicating that a final showdown between Skulduggery and Darquesse is on the cards. You can watch that here:

So what do you think is going to happen in this final book? Is their anything you really want or not want to happen? Comment below!

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying of the Light is released on 28th August 2014 and don’t forget about the special Black Editions of the book which will be hidden in the children’s sections of various Waterstones branches, all across the country!

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Skulduggery Pleasant: The Dying Of The Light – Black Edition

Want a special edition of the final Skulduggery Pleasant book? Derek Landy and Waterstones have announced there will be 1,000 Black Editions of The Dying of the Light, exclusive to Waterstones with details of how you could be having lunch with Derek Landy himself!

There is one thing to consider though. These copies CANNOT be pre-ordered, will not be on any tables or at the front of the shop and only a limited number will be sent to all Waterstones outlets, except Amsterdam and Brussels. These copies will be hidden among all the books in the children’s sections on 28th August 2014 (book release date). These will be first come, first served! To give you a small head start, Waterstones have released a picture of how these copies will look:

So set your alarms! Mark the date in every calendar and diary you can get your hands on! Because the hunt begins on 28th August 2014!

Special Edition Final Skulduggery Pleasant Book

Want a special edition alternative cover SIGNED copy of the final Skulduggery pleasant book, The Dying of the Light? Then get yourself either to the Waterstones website or any of their branches and pre-order your copy half price ASAP! There  are only 5000 copies available!

Take a look at the alternative cover here:

 

The final book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series is released in the UK on 28th August 2014.

Shakespeare’s Birthday, World Book Night and St George’s Day

The 23rd April is a busy day this year, 2014, with three different events all happening on the same day!

England’s patron saint, St George, has his feast day today (sadly, it is not celebrate unlike St Patrick’s Day on March 17th). The BBC has posted an article looking at why he is seen as a Palestinian hero. You can read all about it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27048219. Want to know more about England’s patron saint? Head over to the BBC website again but this time check out their article called “St George’s Day, celebrating a mythical martyr?”:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/22166363.

It is also  Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday! Unfortunately, he also DIED on the 23rd April, 1616 so I guess today is also his death day. The folk’s over at Interesting Literature have compiled a list of five factors about the celebrated word smith. Head on over to http://interestingliterature.com/2014/04/22/five-fascinating-facts-about-shakespeare/ to read them. The BBC have been on the trail of Shakespeare’s England, finding out what stands there today. You can find out more by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-27041828.

If Doctor Who is to be believed, the great Bard also fought the Carrionites with the Doctor and Martha Jones! Watch their encounter here:

 

Need something new to read? Then don’t forget about World Book Night! You can find out more about the event and this years book selection by visiting http://www.worldbooknight.org/. One of this year’s books is Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch! Check out my post from yesterday for the Rivers of London rap music video and a lot more by going to https://sleepybookdragon.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/rivers-of-london-rap-video/.

So happy St George’s Day folks, happy birthday (and sad death  day) to Mr William Shakespeare and have fun with World Book Night! You never know, you might just find your next favourite book!

Waterstones’s reply to Amazon’s Air Prime

Yes, I know! I am late with this! I’ve been busy but since Waterstones produced such a funny reply to Amazon’s idea, I had to post it!

So Amazon is planning to use robotic drones to deliver people’s packages to them. Maybe a publicity stunt for Cyber Monday yesterday but if you want more information, have a look at the BBC News article about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25180906

Many other retailers might shrug this off and carry on with business. Not Waterstones though, no. They posted a video about their new delivery system: O.W.L.S., Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service. Have a look:

 

Are witches becoming popular again?

Cover of "The Worst Witch (Young Puffin S...

Cover via Amazon

Okay, this is probably going to be at odds with other articles you will see around the web but a couple of days ago, I came across a Guardian article talking about witchcraft and witches returning to popular culture in the wake of the Vampires and Werewolves trend. You can read it for yourself here.

The article mentions that various US television networks are starting to show different shows with witch protagonists, suggesting that this is the place that the trend is showing the strongest.

The only thing I took from it originally (it was late at night when I first read it) was the fact that Jill Murphy had published a new Worst Witch book. Not really surprising since she has released new books in the series recently however I did not recognise any of the other books or authors mentioned.

Today, I went to my local Waterstones and as I was browsing and picking up a book (or four!), I found myself unconsciously looking for books about witches. The result? I saw nothing to vindicate The Guardian’s article. I realise it is probably a trend that is just starting to find its feet but if there is a rising interest in books and other media about witches, why can’t I seem to see or find media about witches? Even in HMV, when looking, I couldn’t find anything about witches, not even on the shelves they had set aside for Halloween.

This evening, I returned to the article in question and re-read it. The result was the same. I decided to do some digging and had a look at the Waterstones and WH Smith websites in their best sellers generic listings and the best sellers for fantasy. Nothing.

The only patterns I could find was that vampire books are still popular and other authors, who had always been popular, like Terry Pratchett and Ben Aaronovitch, were still up there in the best sellers lists. A look on Orbit UK, Puffin and Gollancz future publishing schedules show none of this supposed trend. All I found was the tail end of the vampires craze and new books from established authors and series. (This is generalised I hasten to stress!)

So it has got me thinking about whether witches are becoming popular again or if, actually, witches (and wizards) had always been popular in their own way and had never really gone away?

I feel it is a valid question to ask.

A very brief survey of some of my friends from NaNoWriMo (just over 24 hours away!)  revealed that they thought that has been a small rise in popularity but it could easily be an offshoot to the vampires craze. Also, confirming what I suspected, was the fact that paranormal creatures and beings had never really gone out of style. It’s just that the focus of attention shifts.

Cover of "Harry Potter and the Philosophe...

Cover of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

The article mentions Charmed from the late 1990’s and that got me thinking about the fact that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 1997, during the same time period. The Harry Potter series has gone from strength to strength and continued being popular long after the end of witches popularity. The series has been so popular it has spawned spin-off books, a film series, a theme park and many other types of merchandise and not least of all, the recent news of JK Rowling wanting to return to the world of Potter and start writing a new spin-off series.

In the adults market, Ben Aaronovitch has gained success with his Peter Grant novels, featuring a London police officer and the country’s only remaining wizard. As well as them, there has also been Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus novels. These are just two series that I read that feature wizards and witches (though in Jacka’s books, they are known as mages).

Then there are the popular Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, the only wizard in the phone book. These books are on my to read list and Butcher has recently released a new book in the series.

So books about witches and wizards have always been popular, bubbling away beneath the hubbub of the vampire’s (and werewolves) craze. They sell and create series. Jacka has talked about this in his most recent blog post. He is talking about urban fantasy books in general but his comments are correct: “For every Sookie Stackhouse or Dresden Files, there are twenty or thirty urban fantasy series that fizzle out” (Jacka, Benedict. (2013). Alex Verus: The Future (Continued). [Online]. Available at http://benedictjacka.co.uk/2013/10/25/alex-verus-the-future-continued/).

So maybe witches are not becoming popular again as suggested in the Guardian article but instead the spotlight and attention is being shifted to a new type of character within the fantasy genre. Whilst talking with my friends about this, I had the thought that perhaps that maybe the reason I had not seen much in the way of different media having prominent witch characters is that perhaps we are just on the cusp of a new craze. I put this theory to them and they agreed that perhaps, that is the case.

I think that is my theory then. We are on the cusp of a new craze, a craze that is just starting to spread its wings. The interest in these types of books and stories have always been there but it’s now going to experience a new resurgence and people are just beginning to notice.

Or perhaps, it’s just something that is going to fizzle out to nothing.

 

Derek Landy reading Chapter 3 from Last Stand of Dead Men

So, as if I haven’t posted enough videos of Landy reading and talking about Last Stand of Dead Men, HarperCollins Children’s Books have published yet another on their YouTube channel. So, I’m posting this one too:

I have also found a video of him introducing Last Stand too, from the Waterstones YouTube channel:

I can’t remember if I have posted it before so I figured I might as well post it again.