Sunday, 9 October 2011

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

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

About the Book:
After witnessing a freak show, Darren Shan meets Mr. Crepsley, a vampire, and Madam Octa, Crepsley's performing spider. Shan ends up stealing Madam Octa, but when something goes wrong, he has to return to Crepsley for help. However, there is a condition and now Darren is Mr. Crepsley's half-vampire assistant. Of course, becoming a half-vampire has its disadvantages. Darren has to leave behind his family and friends, it's impossible for him to make new ones, and there is also the fact that he will die if he refuses to drink human blood. Now, there is nothing that can be done with the first problem, but Crepsley decides to help with the second by taking him back to the Cirque so that he can make some new friends that will prove tougher than humans. Unfortunately, other problems are still bound to arise...

Rating: 8/10
This book was much more enjoyable to me than its prior counterpart. Although I am still unable to decipher Darren's age (I'm guessing twelve) and the dialogue is still flimsy, I found myself easily overlooking these faults and enjoying the story and adventure. It was really nice to see Darren interacting with more people his age, and his new friend, Evra Von, the snake boy, seems like he could be a pretty interesting guy. We are also introduced to Mr. Tiny in this book, who manages to be almost too weird to be frightening yet at the same time manages it quite well and has you wondering what sort of part he will play in the series. Granted, some of the characters are stereotypical, something that I have always disliked in a good portion of youth books. For example, Darren and his friends meet R.V., who is a vegetarian fighting against roads being built to help save the environment. Of course, he is an extremest, does drugs, smells bad, and says "man" a lot. I find it really disheartening when cliches like this are written, especially in books geared toward a younger audience. After all, shouldn't we be showing them that people aren't always the cliche? That aside though, I found this book an enjoyable read and have already opened up the next one. It's fast paced with a good macabre twists and originality.

What I'm Reading Next:   

No comments:

Post a Comment