epinions.com | 08 August 2005 | ???
The Face of The True Vampaneze Lord Is Finally Revealed In “Killers of The Dawn” Aug 08 '05 (Updated Sep 17 '05)Author's Product Rating Product Rating: 5.0Pros Great continuation to the series, mega intense super awesome ending.Cons After this, there’s only three more books in the series.The Bottom Line WOW! What a killer ending [no pun intended]! Full Review Even though the Cirque Du Freak series is written for teens it’s something that I have become addicted to. Starting with the second book in the series I was hooked and picked up the first then continued on with the later installments. I guess I should have started with the first one but I received the second as a gift and wasn’t aware that it was in fact the second in the series. Even so, it was easy to piece things together thanks to Shan’s recap at the beginning of the book. That’s another perk to the series; the first few pages give you a summation of things and the last few pages provide you with a teaser to the next book. Lots of things are explained in this book and the ending is something that will simply blow you away. Shan had me convinced that I was wrong about Steve’s true identity. The way he played Steve and the Vampaneze Lord characters was brilliant but .. as I said in an earlier review, things are never as they seem and muahahahaha .. I was right about Steve! I was flipping the pages so fast that when I hit the end of the book I couldn’t believe that I’d finished it in an hour and a half. Normally one of Shan’s books takes me about two hours to complete - that should tell you how intense this one is. If you started reading the series and felt that there were some slow spots I can almost guarantee that once you start reading this one you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the last page.Cirque Du Freak: Killers of The DawnThe ongoing quest to find the Vampaneze Lord is consuming the hunters. All other thoughts are placed on hold and nothing is as important to them than finding and destroying this bringer of death. A startling revelation is unearthed by Shan, Vancha and Harkat; only the Lord can kill them if the vampaneze are to be victorious in the War of The Scars. This gives the hunters some leverage knowing that while the vampaneze and vampets can hurt them, they can not take their lives. In the last book Debbie, the former love interest of Darren Shan, was kidnapped and taken into the tunnels. Knowing that this would be a sore spot for Shan and that he might think with his heart instead of his head, the vampaneze set a very clever trap. What they didn’t count on was losing the battle even though they greatly outnumbered the vampires. With hostages in tow, they made their way out of the tunnels but a greater scene was being staged above ground.As if knowing that they would ‘lose’ the battle, the vampaneze allowed the hunters a fifteen minute head start to make their way out of the tunnel. This gave them enough time to set the stage for their next game with the vampires. When the hunters made their way out they had two hostages with them, Steve Leopard and an unnamed vampet. Retreating to an abandoned building the vampet was tortured for information by Vancha March, another vampire prince. Steve Leopard’s life was spared in the hopes that the vampaneze would do the same for Debbie Hemlock who was being held in the tunnels by the deranged and revenge driven R.V. [he carries the nickname Hooky thanks to the hooks he has as hands], a human who was recently turned into a vampaneze. Little do they know that the police are closing in around them, something that Steve and Gannen [Vancha’s brother, a protector of the Vampaneze Lord] cooked up to make things a bit more interesting. With the outlook bleak, Vancha flits to safety leaving Crepsley, Shan, Harkat and Steve behind. With the three in custody and Steve in the hospital wing, things do not look good at all for the hunters of the night.Even though things are stacked against them, they manage to escape from the police station after Steve goes insane and tries to flee after killing several nurses. The police that thought Shan was crazy now looked at in a different light but this was the distraction that he needed to escape. Another interesting twist is Morgan James. The way Shan sets this up is brilliant. After they are arrested Morgan is one of the men assigned to interrogate Shan, he is calm, cool and collected and waits until Steve tries to escape to aid Darren in breaking out of the jail. It isn’t until Darren sees the tattooed “V” on the side of his head [a sign of the vampet] that he starts to see the big picture; no longer are the vampets just minions, they have infiltrated common society. Rescuing Harkat first then Crepsley, they make a speedy retreat from the police station and seek refuge while they await the return of Vancha.The showdown between vampire and vampaneze happens underground, as expected. The vampaneze and vampets built tunnels that extended from the main sections just for the purpose of toying with the hunters. It is finally decided, after bargaining, that Darren will face off against the Lord and Steve - not exactly a fair fight but one that he must accept if he hopes to save his clan from the clutches of the vampaneze. The police chief that was kidnapped is now starting to see that the vampires are not the ones that deserve to be killed but rather the vampaneze, too bad it was too late to do any good although she did put up a brave fight when all hell broke loose. Larten and the Lord end up battling on the platform over a pit filled with stakes and fire. I won’t give away the ending but two fall into the pit and die, Shan throws a colossal twist into things and something that I predicated a few reviews ago comes to pass. HA! I was right!The Cirque Du Freak SeriesAt present there are a total of twelve books in the series from author Darren Shan. Just when I think that things are starting to die down for the hunters of the night, Shan throws an incredible plot twist into things. Fans of vampire related movies and books should definately check out this series and even though they are in the teen fiction section, they are something that adults will find interesting if the theme is attractive to them. Some of the books have violent tones to them but this is all part of the War of The Scars. Shan writes about vampires and undead creatures of the night but keeps it reality based 95% of the time. There are no outlandish plots or things that are just too “out there” to be unbelievable.The Bottom LineAfter reading “Allies of The Night” and “Killers of The Dawn” I am kicking myself for not getting the last three in the series. As soon as I am done writing this review I am headed to the bookstore to get them. I have to admit it, I didn’t think that I would get this hooked on a series and even though it’s classified as ‘teen fiction’, it’s not hokey or watered down. Shan hasn’t let me down yet with the series and I am hoping that the last three are just as intense. In a way I am dreading reading the last three because I know that once I get through them, there’s no more to read but hopefully he will continue with the saga of Darren Shan. He does have a few other books out so chances are I’ll get those as well to see if they are as interesting and gripping as Cirque Du Freak. I’d recommend this to anyone that is into vampires, darker reads or likes an ongoing story line.
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