VOYA (USA) | 01 April 2002 | ???
Half-vampire Darren Shan returns in another gruesome adventure sure to please readers of the first two books in his series, A Living Nightmare (Little Brown, 2001/VOYA April 2001) and The Vampire's Assistant (2001/VOYA October 2001). Darren and his master, the vampire Crepsley, leave Cirque du Freak under rather mysterious circumstances. This time, Evra, the snake boy, joins Darren and Crepsley as they travel to the city of Crepsley's childhood. There, Evra and Darren enjoy mixing with the local children. For Darren, this time seems almost normal. He even meets and is smitten by Debbie, a young girl who knows nothing of Darren's existence as a half vampire. When a mass murder is discovered not too far from where Crepsley and his young charges are staying, Darren worries that his master has committed the crime. By the time Darren leans the true identity of the murderer, he has placed Evra, Crepsley, and Debbie at risk. The aspects that won readers to the saga of Darren Shan are in evidence again in this third installment. The novel opens with a rip-roaring scene, as Darren is determined to kill his master, and then flashes back to tell readers how Darren has come to be in this dangerous position. There is plenty of blood and gore and a new villain—a vampanzee named Murlough. The chilling descriptions of the murderous Murlough combined with the sweet story of first romance between Darren and Debbie combine successfully to create a perfect book for reluctant middle school readers. For those fans of Buffy and Angel, here is another book to satisfy their vampiric tastes.
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