Saturday, 22 October 2011

Cirque du Freak: Hunters of the Dusk

Level: Teen
Genre: Fantasy/Horror > Vampires
Obtained: Purchased at Borders
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
It has been another six years since we last saw Darren, and the war between the vampires and vampaneze is still going strong. The Vampaneze Lord has not only risen, but is now a half vampire. However, a visit from Mr. Tiny reveals several factors. One: the vampires can still win the war if the Vampaneze Lord is stopped before he is fully blooded. Two: there will only be four chances to do this. Three: this will only occur if three vampires (and only three) try to stop it, and those three are the other vampire prince, Vancha Marsh, Mr. Crepsley, and Darren himself.

Rating: 7/10
 Shan starts off another trilogy in the series, and much like the rest, it is slower paced. However, if you keep in mind that is basically the beginning of a novel, it makes it seem less terrible. Although it will not be my favourite of the series, it was still fairly enjoyable. I especially liked when Mr. Crepsley and Darren returned to the Cirque du Freak. The books always seemed more enjoyable when they take place at the Cirque. Plus, it is nice to see old faces and see how they have progressed through the years. Evanna was also interesting. Although the witch type lady living in the middle of the woods/swamp is overdone, I found myself easily overlooking this dislike because of Evanna's origins. Shrouded in mystery and myth, it is believed Evanna is part wolf and part vampire, something that could have been laughable or worthy of a disheartening sigh. Shan managed to write her story off quite well though.

On the other hand, the one character I really could not stand was Vancha Marsh. Like many other vampires we met, he stupidly runs into danger to defeat his enemies. He even goes so far as to fight the sun. Perhaps Shan was trying to portray him as strong willed, but I simply found him to be a crass and stubborn fool. Besides Vancha, the only other thing I strongly disliked in this book was the purge. This is where the vampire blood tries to take over the human blood in a half vampire. Now, the basic concept I have no qualms with. It was the change that transitioned. In this story, Darren partly goes through the purge, which causes his hair to grow back and an extreme growth spurt to occur so that he looks like an older teen when it's complete. . I really felt like this was just an excuse to age Darren. Although he is still a lot older than he looks after the purge, according to the years based and the rules placed in Shan's world, Darren should only look two years older than when he was initially changed, but thanks to the purge, he know looks another five years older. I'm sorry, but that feels like cheating to me.

Overall though, I still found the book enjoyable, holding familiar faces and new characters, both interesting and irksome, but I felt like it was a book worth reading.

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