epinions.com | 09 July 2005 | ???
What Evil Lurks In The “Tunnels of Blood”? The Saga of Darren Shan Continues ... Jul 09 '05 (Updated Aug 08 '05)Author's Product Rating Product Rating: 5.0Pros Very suspenseful, nice continuation of the series, love interest for Darren.Cons Might be a bit too bloody and violent for some teens.The Bottom Line When a mysterious killer is on the loose it’s up to Crepsley, Shan and Evra to find out what’s going on in the ‘tunnels of blood’. Full ReviewThe Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan is one that captivated me after I started reading the second installment; a friend picked it up for me thinking that it was the first in the series which is easy to do if you are going on the names of the titles and not paying attention to the numbers. To be completely honest, after the first three books the Cirque Du Freak isn’t really a huge factor in the grand scheme of things but if it weren’t for the Cirque, Darren would have never crossed paths with Mr. Crepsley, ended up sacrificing his life to save his best friend and willingly becoming a half vampire. This is an excellent series for those who are into darker themes, vampires or horror stories. While some parents might object to some of the violence that occurs it’s a lot less than what kids are exposed to in a teen rated video game or in an “R” rated movie. The series is well written and evolves nicely, it’s rich with colorful words and keeps you captivated until you hit the last word of the book. If you have a teen that’s into fiction and likes vampires, this is definately a series to check out for them.Tunnels of BloodThe third book in the series find Darren and Crepsley still with the Cirque Du Freak, performing for crowds late at night and spending the days foraging for food for the mysterious “little people” in blue robes. An unexpected visitor to the Cirque brings with him dark news from the city. There are murders happening that can’t be explained. Gavner Purl, an old friend of Crepsley, brought the news and details, most of which were not disclosed to Darren until after a series of unfortunate events occurred. It’s in the early part of the book that you hear mention of the Vampire Generals but you have to read further to find out more information about them and how they maintain law and order amongst the vampire breed. Thanks to the arrival of Gavner you also learn a little about Crepsley’s past and how he was a breath away from being made a Vampire Prince but stepped away from the honor.When Crepsley made mention of leaving the Cirque to take care of some business Darren didn’t like the idea but he had no real choice. Oddly enough it was Crepsley that suggested that Evra Von, Darren’s new best friend, come with them to the city. Partly to keep him company and partly to keep him out of trouble during the day when Crepsley was sleeping. They arrived at the city and settled into a routine but Crepsley would disappear each and every night, not telling either of them where he was going or what he was up to. Even so, Darren manages to have fun and meet up with a very enchanting girl named Debbie Hemlock. The two become fast friends but I’m sure that if Darren would have known that her life and the life of her family would be in danger he would have walked right past her the first time she said hello to him. There seems to be a lot of dead space between the time that Darren and Debbie meet and the first mention of the murders on the evening news but that serves to build up the relationship between the two and once again stress the importance of friendship and the lengths that one goes to when someone is threatened. However, once Evra and Darren hear of the murders they are convinced that Crepsley is behind them, especially when the reporter says that the bodies have “have been drained of all their blood”Evra and Darren are convinced that Crepsley is behind the mysterious murders and if they aren’t directly behind them then he is at least involved in things. They start to follow him each evening when he leaves the hotel they are staying at but he’s too fast for them, each night they do make a little progress though - keeping pace with him until they follow him to a slaughter house. The smell of blood from the carcasses overwhelms Darren and makes it hard for him to accurately follow Crepsley. Even though they spend a good bit of time shadowing Crepsley, Darren does manage to squeeze in some quality time with Debbie and eventually is introduced to her family. With Christmas only a few short days away they invited him, his father [Crepsley] and brother [Evra] to the festivities. Darren felt it easier to just say that they were all related, it raised less suspicions and made things easier to remember when having to tell stories over and over.The meat of the story happens when Evra and Darren make their way to the slaughter house and think that they are going to catch Crepsley red handed - literally. What they don’t know is that there is more to the story than meets the eye. You find out that the person they think is the killer really isn’t, there is a mysterious new but deadly character [Murlough, a vampaneze] added to the story and Evra’s life hangs in the balance when Darren’s plan spins out of control. If that weren’t enough Debbie and her family are also placed in danger. Crepsley and Darren have more than a few lives at stake when they hatch a new plan to put an end to the madness and restore peace to the city. The last few chapters of the book are where most of the action and suspense take place but resist the urge to skip the middle sections, these lay the groundwork for the last part of the book and set the story line for the next book in the series.
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