| 01 September 2002 | Matt Warner
Darren Shan's spine-tingling Cirque du Freak saga continues with the fourth book, in which the young Darren journeys with Mr. Crepsley and two Little People to the hair-raising vampire lair at Vampire Mountain.With little explanation, Mr. Crepsley has asked his assistant to travel through horrible conditions to the place where Vampire Princes and Vampire Generals meet "to discuss whatever it was that bloodsucking creatures of the night discussed" -- Vampire Mountain. Mr. Tiny has ordered that two of his mysterious Little People follow behind (with a message to deliver about the vampireze, we learn later), so the foursome makes its way up the mountain, battling harsh winter weather and even a fierce bear attack. After they arrive and Darren tours Vampire Mountain -- and tries fighting the warrior vampiress Arra Sails -- Mr. Crepsley takes the boy before the vampire council, providing a reason for Darren's blooding that causes the half-human/half-vampire to fear for his life.With twists and turns that make us gasp with suspense, Vampire Mountain is an important installment, answering plenty of questions and setting us up for what's to come. We see Darren growing stronger and learn about crucial elements in vampire culture, and the cliff-hanger ending will make readers shudder over the future of the vampires and of Darren himself. This fourth book has the vivid details and explanations that are characteristic of Cirque du Freak, and fans of the series will be scrambling for more of these unnerving adventures.
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