Friday, February 12, 2010

Book 3: Cirque Du Freak: Living Nightmare

Darren Shan has written a series of Vampire novels for younger readers-- tweens? They are not quite for the young adult shelf. In this first one, the main character (also named Darren Shan) attends a Freak Show where he sees some amazing performances but also gets sucked into a chain of events that are beyond his control.

Darren and his buddy, Steve(?) attend, and after the show his buddy stays behind. He has seen and recognized that one of the freaks is an old Vampire (Mister Crepsley)he read about in a book. Darren stays behind because he is drawn to a magnificent performing spider, but seeing his friend confront Crepsley gives him ideas. Darren decides to come back later and steal the spider, leaving a note that says he will expose Crepsley if he comes after the spider. It's really true to the logic of a kid that age, to think they have the upper hand but have really not thought all the way through things. It is not as fun as you might think-- delivering that sort of smackdown to the short-thinking kid. Darren doesn't plan for the spider being poisonous. Nor does he plan for Mr. Crepsley being the only way to get anti-venom. Or for the payment he will have to make. Even after Darren makes good on his deal to Mister Crepsley, he tries to avoid the ultimate consequences of it.

The creepy factor of the book was greater than I had imagined a kids book would have. It's been a while since I read kids' books and the scary ones were not half as scary as the original forms of most fairy tales. The whole kids section at Books A Million (who has the biggest by far in the Omaha area) seems to be busting at the seams with fantasy, horror, and sci-fi books lately. I am eager to read more of it by other authors. I think the Sisters Grimm series is promising.

No comments:

Post a Comment