Cirque du Freak

by Darren Shan

Part of the “Vampire Blood Trilogy”, which comprises the first three of the 12 book saga.  This is a very quick read but I found it very creepy and violent yet juvenile.

On the good side, the description of the freak show was intense and well constructed.  Good writing through most of the book even though it’s in a jejune light.  I would not recommend it.

{From Wikipedia.com: “Darren Shan was fascinated by spiders from an early age. His best friend, Steve “Leopard” Leonard grew up reading horror comics and stories of the Wolfman and vampires.

One day, their friend comes across a flyer advertising the “Cirque Du Freak.”  Darren and Steve are mesmerized by the fantastic and disturbing show, especially by the act of the mysterious Mr. Crepsley and his giant spider Madam Octa. After the show, Steve declares that he knows that Crepsley is a vampire, and Darren sets his sight on Madam Octa, planning to steal her and use his knowledge of Crepsley’s true nature to his advantage as a sort of blackmail.

After a few weeks of training Madam Octa, he is fully comfortable with the spider. During this time, he grows detached from Steve due to overhearing Mr. Crepsley calling him evil and deeming him unsuitable to become a vampire’s assistant. Steve figures out that Darren lied to him and was eavesdropping after the show, but still chooses to be friends with him.

One day while Steve is at Darren’s house playing with Madam Octa, Darren’s younger sister Annie barges in, causing him to drop the flute and lose control over the spider, which bites and fatally wounds Steve.

Steve’s only hope for survival is if Darren makes a deal with Crepsley to become his assistant and pay off the cost of the spider antidote. Steve lives, but Darren is turned into a half-vampire and is thrust into the dark world of the vampires.  Mr. Crepsley helps his to-be apprentice fake his own death by numbing Darren’s entire body, breaking his neck, and throwing him out of his bedroom window, perfectly simulating a fatal fall.  Unbeknownst to Crepsley, however, Steve tries to kill Darren, but fails, instead swearing revenge on Darren for stealing his rightful place of being Mr. Crepsley’s vampire assistant.}

Made into a movie to be released October 23, 2009.

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One response to “Cirque du Freak

  1. the book is really good i hav only read like half of it and it is sooooooooooooo gud i lik it so much dat i cant explain it

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