School Library Journal (USA) | 24 April 2010 | John Peters
Shan will continue to draw "Goosebumps" (Scholastic) graduates with this third installment in the series. Here, he sends his eponymous teenaged protagonist, who is still not quite a full-blooded (so to speak) vampire, along with scaly snake-boy Evra and century-old Larten Crepsley on a mysterious mission. They are to kill, as it eventually turns out, a rogue "vampaneze," a member of a minority group that believes in killing its victims, draining their blood rather than just taking sips. In the process, young "Darren" meets vivacious human (probably, but stay tuned) Debbie Hemlock, and learns a little more about Mr. Crepsley's checkered background. The game's a little slow to develop, but after a gory meat-locker scene, much running about in sewer tunnels, and lines like "When I came to, I found myself face to face with a skull. Not any old skull, either-this still had flesh on it, and one of the eyeballs was floating in its socket," the vampaneze meets a suitably horrible end, described in stomach-churning detail. The story is compulsively readable, but it's not for the squeamish.
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