Just a quick fun read Nothing complicated, nothing fancy Perfect book for tweens and young teensTo read my review of the other books in this series, use the links belowBook Two After reading this, I couldn t help but laugh As a reading teacher, I m always reading books to determine whether or not my students might enjoy reading them, too However, this school year, several of my students have been recommending books TO ME to read This is another such recommendation I have heard from many students how much they enjoy the Cirque Du Freak series, so I decided to give the first book a try Now, I do I not typically enjoy reading gruesome spine tingling horror novels, but I did appreciate this one for its excellent writing to secure its position into that category I don t know who Darren Shay really is, but he knows how to gross out readers in a good way Hey, whatever it takes to get students reading books In this story, Darren and his friend Steve attend a freak show unlike anything they ve ever seen When Steve recognizes the ring leader as a famous vampire, he begins a spiraling series of events that will change both of the boys lives forever 257 pages In The Tradition Of Stephen King S Salem S Lot, Cirque Du Freak Is The Frightening Saga Of A Young Boy Whose Visit To A Mysterious Freak Show Leads Him On A Journey Into A Dark World Of Vampires Filled With Grotesque Creatures, Murderous Vampires, And A Petrifying Ending, Cirque Du Freak Will Chill, Thrill, And Leave Readers Begging For Cirque Du Freak The Saga of Darren Shan, Darren ShanThe Saga of Darren Shan known as Cirque du Freak The Saga of Darren Shan in the United States is a young adult 12 part book series written by Darren Shan pen name of Darren O Shaughnessy about the struggle of a boy who has become involved in the world of vampires As of October 2008, the book has been published in 33 countries around the world, in 30 different languages 1 1382 Easy to read and engrossing. I enjoyed this when I was younger and now as wellHowever I do think it s pretty dark for the age group intended review by Megsly Warning possible spoilers ahead A few weeks ago, this charming little movie called The Vampire s Assistant came on my television and I, being obsessed with vampires as everyone knows, just had to watch and I was extremely impressed by the originality of the movie so when I unearthed the series, The Saga of Darren Shan, I dove right in.A Living Nightmare is book one of the The Saga of Darren Shan, otherwise known as Cirque du Freak It introduces us to Darren Shan, a young boy who s an avid soccer player, has an insane obsession with spiders, and a somewhat bad boy best friend named Steve The books are clearly geared towards younger audiences, especially with the main character being so young I m under the impression that he s 12 or 13 in the series, due to the fact that he is constantly referred to as a child, by others and by himself.First off, I d like to point out that the first book in this series is not very well written There are tense errors and an extreme number of punctuation errors, but the plot itself is fascinating and quite frankly, I had no problem overlooking the errors while reading We re introduced to Darren, who seems to have a knack for doing things he probably shouldn t do, usually under the influence of his best friend Steve First thing they do Attend a freak show An extreme freak show While there, they witness a horrifying wolf man who bites off a audience member s hand literally, a wolf man he s half human, half man He is by no means a werewolf , a lady who can grow a beard to the floor in seconds, only to retract it once again, a contortionist, a man who two bellies who devours broken glass and Mr Crepsley, the spider tamer who has a rare and extremely dangerous tarantula named Madam Octa.Steve, who has an obsession with all things vampire, immediately recognizes Mr Crepsley as a vampire who s portrait he s seen in an old book When they go to leave the Cirque du Freak, Steve lags behind, sending Darren on ahead so that he can confront Mr Crepsley about what he knows Darren, being the ever inquisitive boy, lingers in the shadows to listen to the exchange, where he hears Steve lay out his life story and beg the vampire to change him into one of them The vampire refuses, for rather interesting reasons, and Steve makes a vow to destroy him one day At this point, Darren flees, but in his mind he can only imagine the extreme pleasure he would have at owning Madam Octa A few nights later, and after very little conversation between him and Steve Darren is put off by the fact that his best friend would actually desire to become a blood sucking vampire , Darren returns to the circus to steal Madam Octa away from the vampire Surprisingly enough, he succeeds and returns home with a brightly colored, massive and highly deadly tarantula.A week or two passes and Darren is slowly mastering the techniques of the flute and doing tricks with Madam Octa, when Steve discovers the spider in his room One thing leads to another and Steve gets bitten by the deadly spider, leaving him laying near death in a hospital bed In an effort to save his friend, after the doctors have proclaimed they have no way of curing Steve from the strange ailment that has overcome him, Darren heads off to find Mr Crepsley and save his friend.Surprisingly, Mr Crepsley is waiting for Darren, fully aware of what has transpired and willing to strike a deal In exchange for saving Steve s life, whom Mr Crepsley claims is evil, Darren would have to become a half vampire and pledge his life to assisting Mr Crepsley Reluctantly, and with much disdain, Darren accepts the situation and becomes a half vampire through an interesting version of vampire to human blood transfusion His death his faked, and he leaves his family and friends behind to start off a new life as the reluctant assistant to a vampire whom he hates.But shortly thereafter, Darren discovers that one person didn t fall for the faked death which was extremely elaborate, it s rather fascinating to read and is faced with one highly pissed off Steve who accuses Darren of intentionally stealing his dream and making the spider bite him, therefore becoming a vampire in Steve s stead Threats are made, and Darren s world is further shaken to the point where he has extreme doubts in his own decisions and wonders if it would have been better to just allow Steve to die, therefore leading in to the much better written, and truly awesome second book, The Vampire s Assistant.Despite the fact that this book had some serious flaws in writing, I truly enjoyed it I ve already devoured the second book, and will save that review for later but I find that this is a series that is worth reading It s geared towards younger audiences, the characters are surprisingly well developed, and importantly, are true to their ages These kids are kids, they act like kids, they talk like kids, they deal with issues as children do so I think the author did a fabulous job keeping true to the ages Also, the plot intricate but not over powering, and it s an extremely easy read I read the first two books in one rainy day I definitely find this to be a book worth picking up, and I hope some of you give the series a chance Warning I am keeping this review on the vague side because Shan s books are fun if you don t know what s going on before you read them Well, this was a very interesting book I didn t really like the idea of the freak show, but I did think that it was a novel way to introduce this story, and a different sort of motif for a children s series I ve seen this series at the bookstore for years now, and waffled about reading it The freak show concept turned me off I am just not into it, I must admit I don t even like circuses I went to a few as young child, but they are scary and sad to me For some reason, This kind of reminded me of The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon, but these stories unfold quite differently, and the latter is not a children s book by any stretch A Living Nightmare is definitely written for a target audience of older children and younger teens At some times, the writing seemed a bit juvenile I feel bad for saying that I think it s because I read Lord Loss first, which was about a teenager, but I feel was written in a way that seemed mature and advanced enough that an adult reader didn t even notice that it was for children I can t blame Mr Shan for targeting a younger audience, if I chose to read a children s book So I am not trying to sound judgmental or snooty It was merely an observation on my part The beginning is very sound, and sets you up to hold your breath to see how Darren Shan manages to get on the path that he is walking in life or afterlife I should say The descriptions of the freak show are somewhat interesting, but it s not something I find that exciting Yet there are eerie moments that caught my imagination as I waited to see what would happen next Darren Shan, which is a psuedonym, Since this is written as a boy telling his story, there is a foreword that states that all the character s names are made up to protect the real life people is a protagonist that you can feel for He is just a boy, not evil, and not super good either, and he makes some bad decisions that come back to haunt him He doesn t always own up to his faults, but in the end, he makes a choice that I admired for its maturity In fact, the repercussions of this choice actually made me cry It just struck me as pretty awful what has to happen in order for things to work out for Darren s family I was really impressed that Darren Shan the author was fearless enough to incorporate this aspect into a children s book.The look at vampire lore had a life of its own It had some familiar conventions, but the manner in which a person becomes a vampire was something I haven t read anything like before That part was pretty cool, and some of the mechanism of vampirism and how they apply to Darren s situation specifically I thought Darren had a very good relationship with his family, and I really liked how he was so close and loving with his younger sister, Annie It was sweet how they got along so well and loved and watched out for each other Darren has a complicated relationship with his best friend, Steve, who is a very troubled boy, and a catalyst for the events that occur in this book This relationship will continue in the later books with some twists that I look forward to reading I decided to give this book four stars because it s a good book and it was fun and involving There were scenes where I gasped out loud I was waiting for dinner and I actually groaned on a part that was pretty shocking and outrageous The guy standing across the way from where I was sitting looked at me and smiled I smiled back sheepishly before I was quickly immersed back into this story That said, I must admit that, had read I this before Lord Loss, I would really be cheering But Lord Loss set me up for higher standards that this one didn t quite meet However, I can see children and some adults who like eerie, yet fun little vampire suspense tales targeted towards older children, really getting a kick out this story I definitely want to continue the series to see what happens to Darren, because this story is just getting started. This is NOT a fluffy happy cloud middle school book Darren Shan and his three best friends manage to score two tickets to the Cirque du Freak a one night only freak circus that promises hair raising terror and blood curdling sights Through a bit of luckor was it fateboth Darren and Steve are chosen to attend The circus certainly lives up to its name Hans Hands, Remus Two Bellies and the Snakeboy were all absolutely magnificent And thenthere was the trained spider The most amazing spider in the world and there was just one, all consuming thought to run through Darren s head, I must have her Only the spider belongs to a vampire but surely that couldn t be a real vampire Right Besides, Darren was so careful that there is no way anyone would ever found out that he was the one who took her, right I m still reeling a bit that this was published and marketed to kids Our world feels so PG nowadays that this book stands out like a big bloody banner Darren Shan deals issues that I would never have expected death and dismemberment for example to see in a children s book Quite satisfying to read about the violence without the scene fading to black for once.Be prepared this is essentially an all male cast of characters So, there s no side love story with the main guy making puppy eyes and waxing poetic about his feelings This is all glorious action and adventure thank goodness I ve read too many books with romance shoe horned in to keep the girls interested us girls are perfectly capable of enjoying a story sans love subplot, thankyouverymuch This was an excellent start to the series A little bit of creepy, a little bit of skulking around, and a lot of fun, quirky characters are introduced in the first novel Overall I m ready and raring to go for the next one bring it on P.s If you read the books, I d recommend waiting at least 2 3 years prior to watching the movie That way you d forget enough so you won t say, but that wasn t in the books, on repeat.Audiobook CommentsRead by Ralph Lister pretty good job Blog Instagram Twitter This has got to be one of the best books I have ever read I used to hate reading I found it a chore I only read school books This book changed that normally I m not normally into horror books but Darren Shan is different he is such a cool and likeable person I reccomend this book to anyone who likes reading, this book is a great start to a series I loved I re read the series all the time If you read it, then I am 86% sure you will love it.
Darren Dash And in the past he has released books for adults under the names
- Mass Market Paperback
- 272 pages
- Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare
- Darren Shan
- 23 July 2017 Darren Shan