According to ten-year-old Michael, the protagonist of Skellig:
I found him in the garage . . . He was lying there in the darkness behind the tea chests, in the dust and dirt. It was as if he'd been there forever. He was filthy and pale and dried out and I thought he was dead. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Michael's family has moved to a new house on Falconer Road, and he sees things in the dust and darkness of the rickety garage on the property—including a body propped up against a wall in the shadows. When Michael starts to touch it, the body of a cadaverous-looking man speaks: "27 and 53." Skellig's joints are almost completely locked by arthritis and he has strange, winglike lumps on his shoulders. As Michael buries his feeling about his sister in caring for Skellig, he gradually opens up to a new world around him and to new friends like Mina.
Skellig, with its air of mystery and the supernatural, is hailed as a modern Gothic for children by numerous admirers. Bolstering this conviction is the redemptive power of love exemplified by Michael and Mina's care of Skellig, which in turn leads to the salvation of Michael's newborn sister, Joy.