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BOOKMUNCH -- reviewed by Hannah E

Allies of the Night is the eagerly awaited episode 8 of Darren Shan’s massive saga of compelling vampire tales.

After a selection of murders Darren, Mr Crepsley and Harkat are compelled to return to find themselves perfectly set up in a plot by (they assume) the Vampaneze that forces Darren to go back to school. At the same time Darren and his friends must try to uncover the same plot and eradicate the evil Vampaneze. Not surprisingly Darren encounters problems, as he is really much older than the 15 year old he has to pretend to be and some entertaining escapades follow. Particularly as he re-encounters some old friends who have aged considerably more than he has and he ends up with a lot of explaining to do.

There are sufficient plot twists to make even the most levelheaded of people feel queasy. Disappointingly simplistically, in the end Darren finds out who he really can trust and that deceptions aren’t always easily unmasked. But the dialogue is so slick that Mr Shan can be forgiven for lack of sophisticated content. Shan’s saga is so deliciously free of any literary pretensions; it really is just a good, well thought out story!

Like all its predecessors from Cirque du Freak to Hunters of the Dusk I predict that this will be huge. Even if you haven’t read episodes 1-7, Book 8: Allies of the Night works almost equally well as a stand-alone. So if you’re even vaguely fascinated by Vampires and/or other creatures of the Night give Shan a chance to captivate you!

Any Cop?: Darren Shan’s adventures are hugely readable, massively entertaining and light-heartedly terrifying in varying degrees, depending on age and bravery. Allies of the Night is no exception. This will be a huge success whether you’re an existing Darren Shan fan or not. Bearing in mind that the real life author Darren Shan loves Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Allies of the Night he really does the vampire tradition justice.

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