Author: Darren Shan
Released: June 1st 2002
Pages: 183 (Paperback)
Darren Shan is an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. Then one day they stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a mysterious freak show. As if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.
I'm not going to lie, the first time I picked up a Darren Shan book (this being Lord Loss) I thought, This really isn't my kind of book, but I'll read it because my friend's want me to. But actually? I adored it. I can't give enough praise to this man. I started reading Lord Loss thinking it would be a gruesome book for teenage boys. But no. Shan's pieces of work are for anyone of any age (okay, nobody under 11+), and I read the 12-book series so fast, I couldn't believe it. So I've wanted to get my hands on this series for a while, yet I've had it for about a month, but my To-Be-Read pile is so long, I just didn't get to it. But when I finally picked it up? It took me about a day to read, if that. When I say Darren Shan books are addicting, I mean...they are addicting.
The Darren Shan Saga follows a boy named Darren Shan as he and his best friend, Steve Leopard, go to a freak circus: The Cirque Du Freak. Needless to say, that visit sets the ball rolling for a whole chain of events, mainly mixed up with a vampire named Mr Crepsley and a spider called Madam Octa.
Firstly, I loved all the main characters. I've found that Shan has a talent for making likable characters - heck, even the bad guys are awesome! I honestly believe that the characters within a book and their detail and different characteristics do affect the enjoyability of the novel; if the character's are boring, the novel is boring. With Shan books, you definitely don't have that problem, which is probably one of the key reasons as to why they appeal to so many different ages groups.
The plot is brilliant. Although I personally don't agree with "freak" shows, I loved it's place in the novel, and how interesting it all was. In a way, I suppose it was a Night Circus; good clowns at day, bad clowns at night. Anyway, throughout the book I was hooked; the tension was quite thick, and there was always a new mystery to be discovered, which I loved.
Overall, I thought this book was yet another piece of amazing work from Shan. I think it could have been improved with less exclamation marks, but that is how he rolls, and I found it amazing. If you haven't read a book by Darren Shan, get one now, because they are honestly amazing.