Darren Shan (yes, the author named his main character after himself) is just an ordinary boy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. One day they stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak, a new show advertising the talents of a snake-boy, a wolf-man, and a giant spider. Only two tickets are available, so they draw straws to see who will go. As if guided by fate Darren wins one and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires! Pros -- Scary. Funny. Great creepy characters. Cons -- Somewhat sloppy editing for continuity Description * Genre: Vampires and other classic monsters * Illustrated? No * Publisher: Little Brown Guide Review - Book: "A Living Nightmare" by Darren Shan The first in a series, A Living Nightmare shares the same formula as R.L. Stine’s humorous but hair-raising horror -- I call it the Kevin Williamson Syndrome (Williamson is the scream… er, screenwriter who brought us teen friendly horror hits like Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Teaching Mrs. Tingle). Not that there’s anything wrong with that; in fact, it’s a good thing. And the vampire theme is always tried and true. Despite some continuity errors in the book (I guess the editor was asleep in her coffin when A Living Nightmare came across her desk), it’s a fast-paced, fun, and spooky adventure that kids will love. There’s a whole series to devour, and each book is as good (and scary -- these book may be for kids, but they’re not for faint-hearted kids) as the last.