Suz's Space | 26 November 2014 | Suz

Finished this yesterday morning and a good thing too as it was due back to the library this week. It’s three books in one and only took me less than a week as it’s fairly compelling reading.


A synopsis of this book could be: teenager sneaks in where he’s not allowed, pinches spider, makes deal with vampire and has to die, then the story begins…


Darren Shan is the pseudonym of Darren O’Shaughnessy and in this book he talks about taking on this name to protect the innocent. An interesting and intriguing start to the book.


Shan is a competent author, these books are well put together and I found myself falling into believing the whole idea very quickly. In the book Shan is a 12 year old who loves spiders and horror. He manages to get a ticket to a freak show, Cirque du Freak, where he sees the best spider he’s seen or heard of and decides he must have her. He sneaks back some time later and pinches her, figures out how to feed herand train her to do tricks. Then his best friend finds out and he has to teach his friend how to do the tricks, something goes wrong and the spider bites. In order to save the friend he goes back to the owner of the spider, a vampire and bargains…a life for a life.


During the three books we discuss a large amount of vampire myth and are told what is true about the vampires in this world. We see them in action and we find out why they are so reviled.


We also see Cirque du Freak some more as Shan and the vampire spend time travelling with it. Shan makes friends with Evra who is a snake boy having some characteristics similar to that of a snake.


And with a bit of help from Mr Google I find there’s a movie. And it has Josh Hutcherson in the role of Steve, Shan’s best friend who’s a little unstable. As I’ve only ever seen him in positive roles it’d be interesting to see him as something less positive. He’s Peeta in The Hunger Games and Jess in Bridge to Terabithia. I’m sure he’s the upcoming young star of his generation but I’ll have to see this movie to be sure. A good actor should be able to turn their skills to any role, take Cate Blanchett for instance, she’s been fabulous in a wide variety of roles.


Despite the blood, gore and scariness I do recommend this book. I put it down wanting more, thank goodness this is the beginning of a whole series. There’s another nine books in the series and four books about the vampire, Larten Crepsley. If you (or your young person) read all of these you should get a good background into the whole world and how it runs with vampires and the other ‘freaks’ he’s written into it.


You can buy this whole trilogy at Booktopia. It would make a great Christmas present for a teen horror fan.

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