Books, Books, Books | 18 May 2014 | Poppy Reid

It's always infuriating to see a mediocre book hit the bestsellers' list, and for your favourite series to be massively underrated. One of my favourite series of all time is Darren Shan's vampire novels, 'the saga of Darren Shan', starting with Cirque Du Freak and ending with Sons of Destiny.

I first came across Cirque Du Freak as a youngster, and the story of a boy obsessed with a vampire's spider always stuck with me. When I finally received my Kindle, I bought the whole series and buried my face into them, loving every word.

"I started thinking that what the world really needed was a book that was as fun and easy to read as Goosebumps, but which had some of the darkness and depth of Stephen King" - Darren Shan

He did just that. As both a child and an adult, the books are very enjoyable and easy to read, but still contain powerful imagery, tension, plots, twists and surprises. I shed a tear or two as well. The characters are likeable, the baddies deliciously evil, the adventures exciting. All that good stuff.


And these books were about real vampires. Bloodthirsty beasts of the night. So when the movie came out in 2009, I was ecstatic to watch it. But the movie had attempted to squeeze twelve books into less than two hours, disregarding any of the gore and tension and horror that made the Darren Shan saga what it was, and turning it into a kids' book that contained spoilers for the later books, which I hadn't read yet at that point.


If the movie had been done properly, perhaps Shan would be more popular. Despite the film being a total flop, though, the books continue to be brilliant. I could waffle on all day about the saga, and how much I'm in love with Larten Crepsley, but let's reach a verdict.


Character(s) 8.5/10

Plotline 8/10

Suspense/plot twists 9/10

Ending 7/10

Overall 8/10: Get your butts to the bookshop and buy Cirque Du Freak!

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