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Darren Shan, author and narrator, sets the book up as a true story, warning readers: "Real life's nasty. It's cruel.... Evil often wins." Indeed, evil begins to win when Darren and his buddies find a flier for "Cirque Du Freak," a traveling freak show promising performances by the snake-boy, the wolf-man, and Larten Crepsley and his giant spider, Madame Octa. Darren and his friend Steve wouldn't miss it for the world.
So, Saturday night they sneak out to the old theater, tall and dark, with broken windows. "Every act you see tonight is real," croaks Mr. Tall. "Each performer is unique. And none are harmless." That's for sure. (A werewolf bites off the hand of someone in the audience, for instance.) Things grow very serious for the two boys when Steve not only recognizes Mr. Crepsley as a famous vampire, but professes his true desire to join him! To make matters worse, the spider-obsessed Darren goes back to the old theater to steal Madame Octa so he can teach her tricks in his room. (He does, with mixed results.) The plot further coagulates as Darren is faced with some terrible decisions about what to do to save his bloodthirsty friend Steve.
Readers may be too enthralled to notice some clumsy editing (the aforementioned bitten-off hand is later referred to as an arm, Darren stops dead in his tracks when he's already stopped, etc.). They may also not notice that the boys constantly use adult-sounding expressions like "his breath stank to the high heavens," though the book is clearly set in the 21st century. If this book gets under your kids' skin (and it probably will), they're in luck--we haven't heard the last of the Saga of Darren Shan. (Ages 10 and older, not for the faint of heart) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
this book was one of my absolute favorite books while in middle school! funnest book ever! i remember finishing it in just a handful of days. Read morePublished 11 days ago by alexandra martinez
A fast easy read better than the movie which was so corny I almost couldn't stand it. The book is good enough I want to read the next one.Published 28 days ago by April
One of the best books I've ever read it was full of suspense and drama. I really enjoyed it a lotPublished 2 months ago by Allison Allen
This is a great book. Not only is the overall story good, but the fact that the author writes it as if it truly was this kids' diary makes it that much better. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Hammon
An easy read, but a great story with equal parts fun and horror, with quite a sad ending. I recommend it for kids and adults wanting to get back in touch with their inner kid.Published 2 months ago by Martha Keaveny
I watched the movie for this series a few months ago, so I decided it's time I give this series a read. The movie is based off of the first three books, which is pretty cool. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Krystianna Straley