A College Update, Derek Landy’s New Series, “Mr. Holmes,” & The Academic Bowl

Hi, everyone! Today there are four things I’d like to talk to you about… read on to find out what they are.


So, I think a quick school update is in order. There’s not much to say about my dual-credit (AKA college-level) Spanish 202 class because… because, I don’t know, now we’re basically just working on boring technical stuff. Subjunctive and indicative tenses and stuff like that.

My communications class (also dual-credit), though, is more interesting, so I’ll tell you about that. My first major assignment was a commemorative speech, which I gave several weeks ago. I talked about my grandpa and it was a success, as I’m sure many of you saw from my post on Facebook.

My next assignment is an informative speech. My teacher said we could use papers written for other classes and just adapt them to the occasion, so that’s what I’ll be doing! A few years ago I took English 101 over the summer and wrote a paper about modern-day swords… which I then turned into a blog post that you can read here.

So in my speech, I’ll be discussing first the production of modern-day swords and then what they’re used for: Fencing, historical reenactments, and fantasy films. Pretty fun stuff, no? I love swords. And I love that I WON’T HAVE TO DO ANY RESEARCH FOR THIS SPEECH AT ALL because I did it all for the paper a few years ago. I have more sources than I need, in fact, so really the only thing I’ll need are visual aids. I’m thinking probably some photos of fencing épées and maybe a short video of a swordfighting scene in Game of Thrones?

P.S. And then the speech after that is a persuasive speech, so I’m going to talk about… why you should read graphic novels and comic books! THIS IS SUCH A FUN CLASS AND I LOVE IT. I love being able to talk about pretty much whatever it is that interests me.


Have you ever heard of Derek Landy? ‘Cause if not, you should. THAT MAN IS AMAZING AND I FREAKING LOVE HIS BOOKS. I’ve been recommending his Skulduggery Pleasant series to everyone I know because they’re. Just. That. Good.

And now he’s publishing a new book! The final Skulduggery Pleasant novel was released only last fall, but he’s already writing a new story. I don’t know why that news surprised me so much, because Landy writes like the wind: The first Skulduggery Pleasant book was published in 2007, so this new story will be his twelfth in just eight short years. Wow. (And he doesn’t write short books, either!)

Anyway, yesterday he posted a video where he announced the title of his new book/series. Or skip to the section below, where I’ve included the blurb and plenty of fangirling!

(And if, for some reason, the video doesn’t work, you should be able to play it directly on his blog.)

Derek Landy’s new series is a trilogy titled Demon Road, and the first book will share that name. It will be released on August 27th, 2015, and its sequels will be published in six-month intervals after that. (Oh my GOD. Yay yay yay!)

Here’s what Goodreads has to say about the first book:

Full of Landy’s trademark wit, action and razor sharp dialogue, Demon Road kicks off with a shocking opener and never lets up the pace in an epic road-trip across the supernatural landscape of America. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers: they’re all here. And the demons? Well, that’s where Amber comes in… Sixteen years old, smart and spirited, she’s just a normal American teenager until the lies are torn away and the demons reveal themselves.

Forced to go on the run, she hurtles from one threat to another, revealing a tapestry of terror woven into the very fabric of her life. Her only chance rests with her fellow travelers, who are not at all what they appear to be…

I AM SO EXCITED YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WOW. THANKS, DEREK LANDY. And honestly… I’m not surprised that this new series is set in America. I’m currently reading the last Skulduggery Pleasant book (yes, still) and by now most of the action is happening in America. So it doesn’t surprise me that Landy’s continuing to explore magical/supernatural stories in America.



I’m also excited because yesterday the teaser trailer for Mr. Holmes was released! The movie is based on a… well, I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it’s based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin – so it’s a Sherlock Holmes story NOT written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s a spin-off story, basically, about Holmes as an old man.

I love the original stories, and I love some of their adaptations, too – Elementary is by FAR my favorite version. So I’m really excited for THIS new take of Sherlock Holmes! Check out the trailer below:

Oh, and did I mention that Ian McKellen is in it? IAN MCKELLEN IS IN IT. Oh my god, yes. He’s one of my favorite actors – you may recognize him from Lord of the RingsThe HobbitX-Men, et cetera.

Ian McKellen plus Sherlock Holmes? Two of my favorite things combined in one package in theaters this summer? I AM EXCITED.


Usually I’m not on campus this late, but tonight is the academic superbowl and it’s held at the college where I attend dual-credit classes. So I’m hiding in a computer lab adjacent to the cafeteria right now. Hiding from what, you ask?

MY TEAMMATES. Ugh. This is my fourth and final year participating in the superbowl, and it’s… definitely not my favorite year. I don’t know. I’m on the English, Social Studies, and Interdisciplinary teams, and enjoy the latter two. English, though? Nah, not really. My teammates there are all, like, freshmen. And it’s not that I have a problem with freshmen, because I talk to plenty of them (as well as kids younger than that) here online.

My problem is that these kids are just so obnoxious. You guys are funny and smart and I can hold interesting conversations with you. I’d rather be on a team with you. Oh, well. Basically, I’m not going to write a special separate post about the academic superbowl sometime later – although I have in years past – because I’m just not that enthused. Let’s just start the English round, already, and get this over with.

I do like this year’s superbowl theme, though. We studied ancient Rome! So that’s fun, at least. Lots of weird names to memorize, and cool architecture to look at, and whatnot.

And the English round starts in less than twenty minutes, so I should probably go sit with my teammates now and stop being antisocial.


So, tell me: What’s going on in your life? What’s happening with your studies? What are you currently fangirling over? I’d love to know!

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to A College Update, Derek Landy’s New Series, “Mr. Holmes,” & The Academic Bowl

  1. Mo says:

    Oh man, swords are the greatest. I love swords. I only have a wooden katana, though some friends have this phenomenal collection of swords (real and fake) that I’ve played with. And Ren Faires. Ren Faires are amazing and there are beautiful swords there and demonstrations and I really like swords

    I too am excited for Derek Landy’s new stuff, though at the moment I’m still in the middle of Kingdom of the Wicked. I’d never heard of Mr. Holmes before, and I’m still waiting for Elementary to come in for me at the library. As for me, I’m still fangirling hard over Agent Carter, and that’s pretty consuming.

    Best of luck for your quizbowl thing!

    • nevillegirl says:


      Ohhhhh what do you think of it so far? The Lord Vile THING already happened, right? (Also oh gosh I wish you the best of lucky with Last Stand of Dead Men… it made me cry a lot. *frowns* Not OK.)
      Ooh, I hope you like Elementary!
      I have no idea what I even did with my life before I watched Agent Carter. It’s just so… *more flailing* AAAAH MARRY ME PEGGY CARTER PLS

      Thank you! 🙂

      • MOHE says:


        The THING in the manner of Darquesse? (…okay if we’re going to talk about this we should do this somewhere we can’t spoil other people.)
        Yeah, I really want to watch it but it’s taken forever to come in.
        You watched Doctor Who? 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      YES YES yES *worships Tanith Low from afar* gIRLS wITH sWORDS

      Yes, that THING. And sure, let’s take this conversation to a NaNo PM!
      …OK haha that’s VERY true – before Agent Carter, I watched Doctor Who and went MARTHA JONES MARRY ME PLS.

      • Mo says:

        I ❤ pretty much all swordswomen. Ever.

        I shall send you one. *nods*
        Dude, your type is basically ladies in general. (But there's a large number of smart British kickbutt ones.)

    • nevillegirl says:


      …oh hush, you. (No but seriously your comment couldn’t come at a better time because Pilku and I literally just finished having a conversation about “why am I so attracted to gorgeous women who could totally kick my butt” …Tanith, River, Maleficent, Peggy, Tauriel, I could literally go on and on all day…)

  2. matttblack42 says:

    *takes off mask* I AM one your teammates.

  3. Ahhh I need to read Skullduggery Pleasant sooo bad! It seems so intriguing. Though his new book seems like something wonderful… vampires? Demons? Vampires again? Count me in!

  4. Cait says:

    OMG THIS POST IS FULL OF AMAZING NEWS OF EXCITEMENT. MR. HOLMES! I’M EXCITED! GANDALF IS HOLMES! THIS IS GREAT GREAT NEWS. *flails* And that Derek Landy clip cracked me up. XD he’s hilarious. Which isn’t a surprise considering his books. Is he living in America now? Is that why he’s setting books in America? Gah. I wish someone would set an interesting series in Australia. -_- *grumbles*
    I AM SO EXCITED FOR DEMON ROAD THO. I will keep up with this one! I WILL. While still reading Skulduggery. *glares at tbr*
    AND I LOVE IRISH ACCENTS. Just sayin’.

    • nevillegirl says:

      No, I don’t think he’s living in America now… and don’t worry, one of the main characters in SP moves to Australia. 🙂 Hey, it does get to be one of the Cradles of Magic along with Ireland and Africa…

  5. Great to hear these updates 🙂 It would be so cool if we could do university-credit courses in high school here. BUT OMG I STILL HAVEN’T READ A DEREK LANDY BOOK AND EVERYONE SAYS THEY’RE AMAZING SO I REALLY SHOULD.

  6. thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl says:

    I HAD NO IDEA DEREK LANDY’S NEW BOOK WOULD BE OUT SO SOON AFTER THE LAST SKULDUGGERY ONE!!!!!! This had made my morning :’) I’m SO excited – he might even be at the Edinburgh Book Festival again and I’ll get to meet him again and chat and it will be AWESOME.

    But I can’t decide if “killer cars” means cars that are just, well, killer – you know, like “wow, that car is killer man!” (not a sentence I’d ever like to repeat, thanks very much!) – or if they’re real KILLER CARS THAT KILL PEOPLE. Knowing Derek Landy… it’s a combination of both 😀

    • nevillegirl says:

      Aaaah, I’m jealous! Although he did say he’s planning on touring for Demon Road, so hopefully he’ll visit the US? Since, you know, his series is SET there? 😛

      …that is very very true. It probably IS both. I certainly hope so. xD

      • thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl says:

        That would make sense, yes xD I’m going to miss it not being set in Ireland now though! I saw his plan to tour with Demon Road on his blog, and I really hope he’s coming back to Scotland – I will send telepathic brainwaves urging him to do so 😀

        I would love for it to be both xD Can you just imagine that?!

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, that would be so cool, wouldn’t it?!

      I can’t wait to read the first book and find out! 😛

  7. That sucks about your teammates. 😦 I hope I’m not annoying! 😛

    • nevillegirl says:

      *shrug* Oh well, I’ll probably never have to see them after yesterday since I’m a senior now and won’t be in any more of those competitions…

      Oh god, no, of course not. You’re awesome. 😀 I’m always surprised/amazed by how great the younger people I know online are. You’re always the coolest. I, on the other hand, was annoying when I was your age. 😛

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