Monday, October 26, 2009

Darren Shan : Cirque Du Freak Book 1

I received this one in the mail last week and only now had a chance to sit down and read it.

I have to get my hands on the rest of them, cause I think I found my new addiction.

Darren Shan is your average school kid. He likes playing soccer, hanging with his friends and spiders. When Steve his best friend manages to get them tickets to the traveling Freak Show, Darren can't wait.
The two boys witness what at first seems like simple stage magic while at the show but soon find out the best act is a real vampire.
Steve decides that he's tired of his life and begs the vampire to make him one. Only something goes wrong and he's left even more angry then before.
Meanwhile, Darren has a plot of his own, to steal the vampire's pet spider. Soon the two boys find themselves way in over their heads and facing their own deaths. Will they turn on each other or find another way to get away from Cirque Du Freak?

I have to admit, for a Young Adult novel this one had me glued. There is one scene between the character of Darren and his sister Annie that made me have to do a double take. It clinched the entire book for me, and I suddenly started thinking in metaphors and not taking the story as face value anymore.
Always a good thing in my view.

The characters are complex, rich and not at all what you would expect. The author managed to capture the emotional ups and down of young pre-teens with a vividness I haven't seen in this genre in years.
I love the little nod to Anne Rice by having the character writing under the pen name of Darren Shan as well as a very refreshing fact it's not set in the same old gloomy areas most vampire novels have been set. It's very much a British story so if you are unfamiliar with the British language it might throw you off at first.

This gets a 4 and a half out of 5 fangs from me.

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