Okay, where to start. I could start off writing something about my obsession of vampires, but I won’t because then I would be repeating myself.
“Birth of a killer” is the first book in a new series by Darren Shan called “The saga of Larten Crepsley.” The series is a prequel to his hugely popular vampire series called “The saga of Darren Shan,” also called Cirque du Freak. The last book in the Darren-series was published back in 2005 (1st Norwegian edition), and as it was stated on his homepage that there wouldn’t be more books, we (the fans) didn’t really expect any more books in the series, there was a possibility but nothing sure.
Larten Crepsley has an essential part in “The Saga of Darren Shan”, and he is one of my favorite characters through the series. I was quite amused when I was told that Darren would write a series about Mr. Crepsley.
“The Birth of a killer” starts out with Larten as a human. His humanity meets a quick end after a fatal day at the factory where Larten has worked since he was eight. We follow him through his early years as a vampire assistant and his early experiences after being blooded (made into a half-vampire, then into a full-vampire). Both familiar characters and characters which are instruments for his development crosses his path during the book.
One character in particular that I absolutely did not need to meet again, but still met, is Murlough. He caused me many nightmare when I read “Tunnels of blood” (the third book in “The saga of Darren Shan”). But then I loved to meet Seba Nile and Paris Skyle. Vancha March is briefly in the book too, another of my favorites from The Darren-saga.
Larten had a clear development through the story, I could see that the Larten in the end was a different person than the Larten in the first part of the book. He did grow up, even though he is a bit lost in the end just as he is in the beginning (but due to different reasons).
It was fun to learn more about the Vampire Mountain. In this book you get to be less offensive when the vampires arrive at the Mountain for the first council. When we got there in The Darren-Saga we was offensive because the mountain was to a lot of trouble for the novel’s protagonist (“The trials of death“, in particular). More of the history of the vampires came through. We was told about Perta Vin-Grahl which has a hall named after him in the mountain, you’ll find out which and why if you read the book.
Another thing I loved about this book: I know Larten won’t die because he is in the other series. It’s always high risk to read Darren Shan’s books, people will die. As I stated in my last review, he writes about real issues, and in real matters people do die. Death is a part of live, embrace it, live with it.
I’m a huge fan of Darren Shan’s writing, he can write anything and I’ll read it. As simple as that. When I read his books I feel they are honest and real, they don’t feel staged.