First, I would like to say I loved the first few Cirque du' Freak books, and I'm mulling over buying the first Demonata book. Darren Shan has brought many good 'boy friendly' stories to the table and I think that is something that YA is in great need of, but it isn't something i've seen happen in the last year.
Guys, (and girls) if you feel like you have been missing out on all the gut wrenching, axe throwing, blood gushing action that comes with a novel geared to those with more testosterone, then you have found it. For those that enjoy bunnies, flowers, and unicorns please keep your seat because you may find something to peak your interest.
The story starts with a thin, runt of a boy named Jebel, and Jebel has much to live up to. His father is the legendary Rashed Rum, executioner of their city, an honor second only to governing such a place. When Rashed announces his retirement, Jebel steps forward to prove himself. He knows that he is no match for his older brothers J'an and J'al so he fabricates a plan. To go on a quest to find Sabbah Eid, a fierce and ancient fire god that grands invincibility to those that find him. But the way to mountain in which Sabbah Eid dwells is littered with perils, and the worst aren't your dime store monsters.
At first I didn't know if I was going to like Jebel, but he grew on me as the story went along. Shan did a good job of showing how teens can be conditioned by society and their parents. It was interesting to see how Jebel reacted to the many different countries in Shan's world. I could tell he put some serious world building into this story. There are a few places that seem sort of drab but over all I recommend The Thin Executioner to anyone who is looking for a story with very creepy antagonists.