My Notebook: Cirque Du Freak

I am not exactly sure how I should write this review -- by book or the whole trilogy. Simply because I bought the first trilogy in three separate books instead of one three-parter book which was titled Vampire Blood Trilogy. In the end, I chose to write it individually.

As I mentioned earlier, I stumbled upon this book by accident at Borders. I was looking for vampire stories; saw this book on the 'Buy 3 for the price of 2' counter. I read the introduction chapter and was intrigued.

How could you not, when it was said that this book is a true story? Hehe. That's why when I saw this book again in MPH, I quickly bought it without further ado.

However before that, I've never heard of Darren Shan. Not even in the kindred spirits forum I frequent. I also wanted to be sure I'd like the series enough to continue reading them until the end, so I did some research on the interweb.

On top of that, I must admit I was a little bit confused about the author / the character name. They're both the same. I found out that the author used it as his pen name and also wrote a character using the same name, too.

The story is about Darren Shan's extraordinary journey from being just an ordinary school boy to becoming a creature of the night. Darren was just minding his own; going to school, playing football with his friends until one day his BFF Steve Leopard gets an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak.

Darren, being a boy (;p), has always been fascinated by spiders. He used to collect them when he was younger and spend hours hunting it to keep as pets. It comes as a no surprise when he was drawn to one of the circus' star attraction, an enormous poisonous fanged spider called Madame Octa.

Not only that, Madame Octa belongs to Mr Crepsley, of soon we'll find out from Steve Leopard who's a vampire fanatics (he'd love to become one), that he's a vampire! That didn't dither Darren to steal Madame Octa from Mr Crepsley, however, while he was asleep in his coffin.

Darren's life took a turn when Steve got to know about Mdm Octa and while they were making her do tricks, she bit Steve. Mdm Octa's poison is fatal and only one person has its antidote.

That's right. Mr Crepsley!

Darren had to face the vampire to ask for a cure without which, Steve will die. In return he has to agree to become Mr Crepsley's half-vampire assistant. And thus, this is the start of an adventurous journey for Darren and Mr Crepsley.

The book, eventhough it was written with children as young as 10 years old in mind, was well written. It's a bit gory in some parts, but I don't think it's very disturbing. There are a lot plot twists and cliffhangers, too.

I enjoyed this first book immensely and quickly bought the next 5 books at a go. If you like Harry Potter, I'm sure you'll enjoy this just as much or even more. And what a coincidence to find they are already filming the first book for a movie with Salma Hayek acting the role of Madame Truska, one of the freaks in the circus :p

Next, I'll review book 2: The Vampire's Assistant.