Genres: Horror, Vampires, Paranormal
Release Date: 2000
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Darren Shan is just an
ordinary schoolboy - until he gets an invitation to visit the Cirque du
Freak... until he meets Madam Octa... until he comes face to face with a
creature of the night.
Soon, Darren and his friend Steve are
caught in a deadly trap. Darren must make a bargain with the one person
who can save Steve. But that person is not human and only deals in
The Darren Shan series is yet another series I read most of as a kid but never finished... and I don't know why! I loved this series and read about 7 of them but never got round to finishing it despite owning the whole set. I haven't seen the movie either and I'm not sure if I want to - seeing Peeta as Steve would be a very uncomfortable experience!
In this story we meet Darren, Steve and Mr. Crepsley. Darren takes center stage, while Mr Crepsley is more of a shadowy figure, hiding in the darkness. Steve is the one that really starts the ball rolling by buying the tickets for Cirque Du Freak. By luck or fate, Darren gets the second and they both visit the circus. It's pretty clear the circus is like no other, with performing spiders, bearded ladies and... a real Vampire?
It's a great story but does have it's cliched moments - Steve confronting the Vampire and after being denied his request, loudly proclaiming that one day, one day he'll become a Vampire Hunter and blah blah blah. However the second is much stronger than the first when Steve nearly dies and Darren has to save him.
The Vampire of this book is the classic Vampire - albeit living in a circus. No teenagers here, Mr Crepsley is very much a gentleman Vampire and I couldn't help but picture him as Charles Dance for the entire. The spider was definitely harder to picture though.
This book is one of the
weaker of the series, and being the first book, that's definitely not a
good thing! It's told in a childish style, which to me means lot of
exclamation marks! I don't know what it s about exclamation marks but I
do hate to see them used liberally in a story, it makes it see much more
immature.It is a quick read though and I recommend reading it just to get to the strong books in the series.