This book was the most absurd bullshit I've ever read.
And I love it.
Landy's usual way of starting random plotlines, a convoluted mess of bullshit, was once again very entertaining to read.
And contrary to the earlier books, the ending wasn't predictable; no, contrary to that, it caught me by surprise, as I had expected Landy to kill everyone off in some stupid nuclear event.
So let's start with the various plotlines eh?
- The obsidian plotline seemed very annoying at first, because the biggest concern was obviously the Faceless Ones, and the monsters they unleashed on the Earth. The way Obsidian completely ended the universe, wasn't really surprising, as Darquesse had done it before in phase 1, and it was just like what I had expected; an ending where all characters were killed off, in some worldwide apocalypse.
- Now, the Martin Flannery plot was very entertaining to read. Landy's interpretations and opinions of the former president of the U.S. was clearly traced back in the character of President Flanary, and his best moment was gloating over beating Skulduggery Pleasant, the unbeatable skeleton detective. Also, when he was being put in his place by Perfirious (or something like that), was a very satisfying scene.
- The way he built up the Corrival Academy's authoritarian environment was boring to read, as it was predictable that the students would revolt, and the principal toppled. Nothing interesting to be honest, though it did change Omen's character, as he developed leadership skills, and he realized that he can be much more, if only he has more confidence and a higher self-esteem. Never, Axelia, and Kase following his lead, and showing their confidence in Omen, really developed his character from the shy, failing student, to the leader Auger once was.
- Speaking of Omen, another (shocking!) revelation was made, as it turned out Omen wasn't only Omen, but happened to be Sebastian Tao as well! I really liked this sudden turn of events, as it finally explains why Landy constantly moved back to the Sebastian plotline, which at first, didn't really seem to be important. The Darquesse Society mostly made the impression of being made up by sadists who like to see the world burn, puppets who want to follow a powerful being (in their case Darquesse), and lost people, who are searching for a meaning in life (looking at you Bennet). So the Darquesse society and Sebastian finally getting a purpose in the end, really satisfied me. It once again shows how Omen's character develops, as he reasserts himself, and becomes the leader of the group, helping Darquesse return from some other dimension, nursing her to health, and it also showed him developing paternal feelings, as he took the father role and cared for Darquesse. Ultimately, I think the Sebastian / Omen plotline is probably the best one in phase 2.
- Another Omen plotline was his and Crepuscular Vies. Crepuscular turns out to be a grandson of Skulduggery, who happens to have f*cked China, and why is everyone suddenly so horny?? Anyway, putting this aside, I think Omen once again asserting himself, showing he doesn't need Valkyrie, Skulduggery or Crepuscular, is a very nice way of developing his character.
- The Tyler plotline was interesting to see, as it shows the reader the world from the perspective of a mortal, non-magical teenager, and the reader may realize that the world is better off with magic and mortals separated. Tyler's father being a Flannery supporter is an entertaining portrayal of the average GOP-voter, and the stickers on his bumper really made the finishing touch.
- I had hoped there would be more scenes with Skulduggery's siblings, as they seem like very intelligent fellows, with the same sarcastic and stupid humour as Skulduggery does. Peccant being Skulduggery's brother surprised me, but I guess Landy will just make up new stuff as he goes along.
- The whole plot of the family trees was the most absurd stuff I've ever read. Gog Magog being Skulduggery's father, who happened to have 9 siblings, and Skulduggery making a child with China, resulting in the birth of Abyssinia, who then got 21 FUCKING CHILDREN with Caison, resulting in the birth of 'The Hosts' and Crepuscular Vies, was ridiculous. Who the hell births 21 kids??? The only reason I can think of, is child benefits, and I'm pretty sure that didn't exist when the children were birthed. Landy, please don't do this again.
- The whole plot of Creed being the bad guy was completely made redundant when Valkyrie took the lead. For a little bit, when he had the Nexus helmet, he was once again a relevant character, which was then completely undone by the fact that both Valkyrie and Obsidian killed the Faceless Ones in an anticlimatic ending, as the Faceless Ones just merged into this little spark. And I was waiting for the spark to do something, only for them to be trapped by Darquesse, and not doing anything. So that was definitely anti-climatic.
- The Nefarian Serpine investigation felt completely irrelevant. I'd hoped that the investigation would somehow merge into the main plotline, but it didn't. The only good thing that came out of this plotline, was the growing a whole body from a single hand, that made me laugh. But besides that, it felt completely irrelevant, and it just annoyed me.
Ultimately, I think Landy has his eyes fixed on Omen, as he plans for Omen to become a new lead character. Being in his last year (or something like that), he will probably graduate from Corrival soon, and face the wide world. As he has developed new fighting, leading, and investigation skills, he could potentially become a new detective / arbiter, like Valkyrie. The anti-climatic ending of the Faceless ones, and the whole 'I-want-to-be-better-than-skulduggery' mindset of Crepuscular Vies, made it clear that it wasn't about Crepuscular, or about The Faceless Ones. Obviously Skulduggery and Valkyrie once again had the main roles, but the other plotlines really prepared Omen for the role of a detective, as he grew to become an independent person.
I'm sure I have missed / forgotten some plotlines, but that probably means they weren't relevant enough for me to remember them.
I think this messy and convoluted book, both amazes and annoys me, as Landy manages to play 4D chess, and at the same time, he introduces plotlines and characters who don't have any relevancy to the plot at all.
Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I give it a 4/5