After the success of the original ‘Saga of Darren Shan’ and the subsequent ‘Demonata’ series, Darren Shan goes back to where it all began in book one of ‘The Saga of Larten Crepsley’. I’ve had this review copy for a while now, and it took me a long time to work through my pile of ‘to-read’ books but I’m glad I finally got to it. Honestly, I’ve always written off Darren Shan books as for boys only so I started this book with some apprehension, especially as I hadn’t read his previous books.
There really was no need to worry. In fact, this book is probably a good place to start for those who want to know a little bit about infamous vampire Larten Crepsley. Consider it a prequel of sorts…I started the book with great anticipcation and preconceptions about this vampire figure. I mean, with a name like that he just sounds like some distinguished character challenging Dracula for the title of most notorious vampire. But the book is more than that and you really learn a lot about Larten and where he came from, giving the premise of the book some context. So often is the case with many vampire fiction books, that we are just thrown into the deep end and just expected to accept everything about vampires, that it all gets too much. But this is a thrilling read as Larten escapes a horrible workhouse where he lives. From there he meets another vampire, with an equally suspicious name; Seba Nile and eventually joins a vampire clan with whom he embarks on a journey, becoming more of a vampire every day, but once you’re in, there’s no backing out.
What a great book! You get to travel with Larten and the other vampires, and learn everything about him even before he’s learnt it himself. Boys, of course will love this book, especially those who are already fans of Darren Shan. But I think a lot of new people will discover this book and find it the perfect opportunity to get stuck into them. If this review isn’t enough to persuade you, just look at the cover. I love it, full of mystery, intrigue and adventure and it just draws you in. This book is published in hardback, 30th September 2010 9780007315857 RRP is £12.99 although I suspect many retailers will sell it for half price. A perfect book as the nights draw in and we near Halloween.