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on April 3, 2002
The third installation of Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series takes us to an unnamed city plagued by an elusive killer. Darren and his mentor, Larten Crepsley, are paid a visit from an old friend of Mr. Crepsley's named Gavner Purl, a Vampire General. After a clandestine conversation with Gavner, Mr. Crepsley announces that he must leave the Cirque for a while and go live in the city, and Darren as his assistant has to go with him. Dismayed at the idea of having to be alone all the time in a strange place, Darren convinces his best friend Evra Von to join him.
While Mr. Crepsley is away or sleeping, Darren and Evra spend time enjoying themselves in the city, going to zoos and other interesting places. Darren even meets a girl, Debbie Hemlock, who adores the fact that he's just a little strange and that his best friend is a snake-boy. Coming home from Debbie's one night just before Christmas, Darren finds Evra transfixed by a TV news show that is reporting the finding of six dead humans, all drained of their blood. Evra and Darren argue as to who the culprit is, and Darren immediately suspects Mr. Crepsley, who is never home at night. He tracks Mr. Crepsley to a slaughterhouse, prepared to kill his master, but finds out that he's fighting an enemy he never could have dreamed about. It will take every wit Darren and Mr. Crepsley have to conquer the mad murderer, as well as a lot of luck.
Darren Shan has created yet another spellbinding volume in the story of a young boy's training as a vampire's assistant. This book gets four stars instead of five because the trademark suspense and thrills usually present throughout the books is left until the end. It seems that this books serves as more of a vehicle to show Darren's growth and knowledge of humanity, rather than scare the readers. Don't worry, though, there's plenty of gross stuff for everyone, and Shan sets up what promises to be a fascinating fourth novel, as Darren faces a new enemy and learns more about the vampire world.
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on June 9, 2014
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

Warning: This is the third book in the CIRQUE DU FREAK series, so this review will contain spoilers for the previous books. You don’t have to read the previous books because author Darren Shan gives a short but sufficient recap, but starting at the beginning would be ideal.

Mr. Crepsley is the only full vampire that Darren had ever met until Gavner Purl, Vampire General, shows up at the Cirque du Freak. After Purl meets with Mr. Crepsley, Darren is told that he and his mentor will be taking a little break from the freak show and going to live in a city while Crepsley takes care of some business there. Darren is allowed to bring his friend Evra the snake-boy.

At first the city is fun and Darren even meets a girl who becomes his first girlfriend. But then things start going badly, as they always do. Darren and Evra see a news report which says that corpses have been showing up around town — corpses with the blood totally drained out! Naturally, Darren and Evra suspect Mr. Crepsley and they’re eager to stop his murderous activities. When they start following him on his nightly forays, they discover a new deadly evil.

Readers who enjoyed the first two CIRQUE DU FREAK books are certain to enjoy Tunnels of Blood. It’s another short, fast-moving installment that’s gruesome and terrifying. The scariness is nicely offset by some sweet moments of friendship and joy.

In each of the CIRQUE DU FREAK books so far I’ve had trouble believing in the events at the plot’s climax and resolution. This book’s plot is the most unlikely so far. Darren sets out a plan that is much more likely to be disastrous than to work, and it’s hard to believe he thought it was a good idea. Another problem is Mr. Crepsley’s unnecessary secretiveness which greatly increases the tension but doesn’t really make sense. Still, the author’s fans are likely to be forgiving of these little issues and, if they are, they’ll find Tunnels of Blood to be another exciting high-stress story.

Ralph Lister’s narration is sometimes brilliant and sometimes awful in Tunnels of Blood. I can’t stand his voice for Evra the snake-boy, and his voice for the villain is completely over the top, but Lister’s performance makes the whole thing even scarier. Again, I’d suggest listening to a sample before purchasing.
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on August 30, 2015
Discovered Darren Shan from the Demonata Series, and he never disappoints. Won't list points from the book, as not to spoil it for future readers, but I guarantee you'll fall in love with his work. 5*stars
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on April 6, 2002
Darren Shan is at it again with his recent installment of the DARREN SHAN SAGA. With "Tunnels of Blood," we find Darren adjusting to his peculiar vampire life. Drinking blood, performing spiders...it's all new to the rookie half-vampire. When the ever-mysterious Mr. Crepsley brings Darren and his friend, Evra, to a city, things start getting odd. Bloody murders, the nighttime disappearance of Mr. Crepsley; things begin to get messy. With the addition of a girl, Debbie, into the meddle, Darren's safety and even life may be in peril.
Darren Shan applies a suspenseful plot to his excellent writing: the combination of quality story-telling and edge-of-your-seat action at hand, the reader of this great tale won't want it to end.
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on February 17, 2004
Good or Evil? Darren Shan, the author of the Saga of Darren Shan, has never drawn the boundary line clearly. He believes it depends on which position you are and which aspect you are looking from. For example, in a war, or in the society, our enemies are always the one who has different beliefs from ours. In other words, people fight for their faith. This kind of things happens all the time in the Saga of Darren Shan. For instance, Tunnels of Blood ¡Vthe third book of the Saga, an introduction to the history and the world of vampires and their brothers who have different faith from them, the vampanezes.

Basically, Tunnel of Blood is talking about a half-vampire¡¦s, Darren Shan (the author gave the main character his own name), his best friend¡¦s, Evera the snake-boy, and his mentor¡¦s, Mr. Crepsley the vampire, visit to a small town. Because it was under threat by a vampaneze ¡Va kind of vampire, but they kill human beings for blood¡Xand the town was Mr. Crepsley¡¦s home, he brought his assistant, Darren Shan, to help him, yet without telling him what he thought. He went out furtively everyday and cases of murder were on the television everyday. Most importantly, all the victims had their blood all sucked out. No one knew who did it, but Darren Shan thought he knows. He believed it was Mr. Crepsley, so he decided to stop him from killing the next person and kill the evil vampire. Nevertheless, things went totally wrong! Someone unknown to Darren Shan, a vampaneze the real killer, suddenly popped out and kidnapped Evera. Darren Shan almost killed his mentor, just because Mr. Crepsley never told him what he thinks. The relationship between them two is very weird because they did not trust each other, even though they are mentors and assistant. Finally, in this book Mr. Crespley realized that he has to trust his assistant before he wants his assistant to trust himself. They finally work together as a real mentor and assistant.
Incredible twists and plans were taking place in this book. Unlike previous vampire stories, Dracula for instance, Darren Shan¡¦s vampires are not evils, they don¡¦t kill human and they don¡¦t view human beings as animals. However, sometimes they love human.
Anyway, I enjoy it a lot. Honestly, I could not put the book down as I start reading it. I believe anyone who enjoys or can read Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings will definitely love this book!
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on July 4, 2012
My son loved books, always wanted books, always reading. His only problem was that he never read much of any book, only a few chapters then he became bored. I bought him the first Cirque Du Freak because of the monsters, especially the boy with snake like skin, but was very pleased to find he LOVED it. He was about 14 then and at 19, with a kindle, has reread them over and over, sharing them with all his friends, letting people borrow them. Now the paper is worn out and I am buying them for his kindle as a treat. The writing is well done, written by a kid, who uses his own name as the main character. There are vampires, werewolves, and other "monsters" who don't really turn out to be too bad. Of course there is a villian, and just like any good villian, there is no question that he is bad. But the good guys are not always good, they have a bit of a past and can be mischievous. Any moral lessons are subtle enough that the teens aren't bored by them, and none of the vampires twinkle. Don't let the movie fool you, these will grab you and make you want to read the whole series!
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on October 11, 2011
About the Book:
About a year and a half has passed since Darren's last adventure. This time a Vampire General has made contact with Mr. Crepsley. After the meeting, Crepsley, Darren, and Evra leave the Cirque. In the city they inhabit, Crepsley ends up going off by himself at night without explanation. Evra and Darren think nothing of this until they see the news: six bodies have been found drained of their blood. So the two boys start to follow Crepsley to whether he is the villain.

Review:
I honestly wasn't all to thrilled with this installment. Granted, I didn't dislike it either. The plot itself wasn't terrible, and the villain was nice and grotesque, which ought to appeal to young boys. The main issue I had with this particular book was when they were following Crepsley. It just seemed way to drawn out when it was obvious that
SPOILERS!
Crepsley was not the one killing the humans. I had no problem with this obvious deterrent being placed in the story. My issue was that it dragged on for chapters. Maybe it would be less obvious to a twelve year old (or they would have at least found it more interesting), but for me it was a draaaaaaaaaaaaag.
END SPOILERS

Beside that major issue, I felt about the same with this book as with the others in the series thus far. It is an original idea and a fast paced read, which I think the youth will enjoy. So far however, I would not suggest this as an all ages type book. Still, it is an interesting and fairly entertaining series, and I still plan on reading the rest.
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on September 18, 2006
My book was Tunnels of blood by Darren Shan. It was about a boy who becomes half-vampire to save his friends life by becoming an assistant to a vampire to get an antidote for a spider bite. Darren(the half-vampire) and Mr.Crepsley(vampire) jojn the cirque du freak again. Then darren meats Evra, a snake boy, and they become very good friends. One day Mr. Crepsley has to take care of some business in New York so Darren and and evra come to Then Darren meats a girl and they start dating. Then one day while watching the news a report comes on saying that 6 dead bodies were found and all were drained of their blood...want to know more read the book. I would recomend to teenagers and up.
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on October 12, 2005
Tunnels of blood is an absolutly fabulous book. Darren Shan's series are the most imaginative, captivating books I have ever read. In this book, the main character, Darren, discovers a horrible situation in which humans are being killed and drained of blood in his master's hometown!He gets his first girlfriend and has to deal with keeping secrets from her. His friends become in grave danger at the end, which leads to a page turning turn of events that will knock your socks off. This is a must read, but you absolutely have to READ THE BOOKS IN ORDER.
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on September 20, 2013
Riding the extreme high from the second book, I sought this one out for purchase and finished in one sitting like the others. Being that it is a little over two hundred pages, packs plenty of action within it's paper walls, and delivers outstanding suspenseful scenes filled with genuine drama, emotion, and powerful contradictions, it's a breeze to absorb, leaving you wanting even more at the end.

While I did not like this one quite as much as the powerful, unforgettable second, this was still a more than worthy followup. Darrens life is changing all the time, and for this novel the author has taken us a bit out of the circus world for awhile. The change of pace may have seemed a turnoff since I love the circus angle so much, but the new world introduced develops even heavier level into both Darren and Mr. Crepsleys characterizations, internal struggles, and realizations. There is now an added mystery element and new villain to boot.

The "villain" was sarcastically dark, truly demented and cruel, and added a more grown-up element to the tale. Really, after the tragic endings of the first and second books, I can highly recommend this to adults who are not even really into Young adult styles. Yes, the first started off awkward but it continues to where it shines for all readers in whatever age group they fall in.

To kids this is an exciting world to fall into, filled with childlike wonders and amazing monsters, a great protagonist to latch onto. For teenagers they recognize many of the issues Darren is going through and would be absorbed with the incredible details of the story which is unique and rich with suspense, thrills, and fun. For adults this brings with it a fascinating child that speaks to the adult in all of us, with adult characters we wish to know more of and about, bringing that beloved fairy-tale aspect to our lives.

A bit weaker than the others, it focuses more on developing friendships and the evolution of Darren's character in a different setting. Sadly I do not yet have the fourth to continue exploring this interesting world, but I shall soon. I shall promise myself that, life is better lived when indulging in pleasures and mental treats such as these.
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