Unknown (Australia) | 27 April 2010 | Bevis Masson-Leach
[i'm not sure what magazine/newspaper this review comes from. if anyone can help me out, i'd appreciate it!]SAGA CONCLUDES WITH A BITE AT THE ENDTeenage tales of circus freaks, vampires and supernatural thrills leave BEVIS MASSON-LEACH hungry for more.Sons of Destiny is the 12th and final book in the Darren Shan saga, an unconventional series for teenagers about vampires. The saga is an international bestseller and has even attracted the praise of J.K. Rowling, who said that the series "leaves the reader hungry for more". For me, this was true because at the end of every chapter I just couldn't stop, and when I finished one of the books I pre-ordered the next and waited impatiently for it to arrive.The name of the main character is also the pen name of the author, whose real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy who lives in Ireland. At first, I thought using his pennname for the main character was a strange idea, but I got used to it and in the end he uses it for a very clever conclusion.Originally the author was going to write one book only, but the idea just grew and grew. In his saga, he has not shown the vampires in the conventional way as in Dracula or Blade, but has created his own vampire world set in modern times. In the first book, Cirque du Freak, the teenage Darren Shan and his friend Steve Leonard go to a mysterious "freak show" where they meet a vampire. Something momentous happens, setting off a series of events and amazing adventures that lead to the revelation in this final book, Sons of Destiny. The series combines elements of many genres, mainly horror and action, but also mystery and comedy. This saga is definitely one of the most exciting and compelling series I’ve ever read.Sons of Destiny leads directly on from a scene in the previous book, Lord of the Shadows. In Sons of Destiny, Darren confronts his archenemy. The need for vengeance is building in Darren throughout the saga, but in the last book it appears it is his destiny to be destroyed by it. When I was reading it, I was genuinely worried that things would turn out for the worst. I think readers will be very satisfied by the ending and how the author brings all the strands of the story together.As with all the other books, the writing is fast-paced and descriptive. The author creates a very good sense of the world and the characters within it. The characters are mostly supernatural, but they are all believ­able. As to the character of Shan, over the course of the series I felt as if I knew him and was worried about what was going to happen to him. Yet I was very satisfied by the conclusion, I am disappointed that it is the end of the Shan vampire saga.This book is structured a little differently to the other books: it has two parts and in between there is an interlude which is written in a different way from the rest of the book and is very effective for the scene it's trying to set. Some interesting ideas about destiny and fate are presented in this book: for example, if Hitler had died as a child, would there have been someone else born to do the things he went on to do?I felt that this book concluded an exceedingly good series exceedingly well. I was only sorry to get to the end. Fortu­nately, Shan is writing a new series, set in a world with demons, but he is not a character in it. I’m really glad to know that there are more exciting books to come. As well, Universal Studios has bought the movie rights to the Darren Shan vampire saga. I only hope the movies live up to the books.
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