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NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS - reviewed by Margaret Marr

Grubbs Grady is like any other high school teen. He likes to hang out with friends and party when the grownups are away for the weekend. But every year he gets closer to the family curse. If he turns into a werewolf, the Lambs will be called in to put him down, but only if his relatives can’t—which, in his case, would mean his uncle, Dervish.

Dervish fights demons—also known as the Demonata—but Grubbs wants nothing to do with that kind of life. He had enough of that when his parents were attacked and killed by demons and his sister had to be put down because she turned into a werewolf. He wants a normal life—but that might not be possible with a family history like his.

As the full moon grows closer, Grubbs begins to have nightmares, feel sick, and wake up in places he shouldn’t be, having done phenomenal things beyond his power as a human. When the beast inside starts fighting to get out, he knows he’s in trouble.

The day after a party, Grubbs, his best friend, Loch, and his half-brother, Bill-E, start digging for the legendary gold and jewels that were supposedly buried somewhere near the Grady mansion by Lord Sheftree. It seems like a nice, safe, normal thing for teenage boys to do. But they dig into something much worse—something that should have stayed buried.

Blood Beast, the fifth book in the Demonata series, has made me hungry for the first four. I simply could not put it down for more than a minute or two, and I ended up reading it all in one sitting.

You can read the fifth book as a standalone without too much confusion, but if you’re like me, you’ll be curious about Grubbs Grady—and you’ll want to know how he ended up where he is now. And if the rest of the books are anything like this one, I know they’ll be fantastic reading.

Fast-paced and gruesome, frightening and extraordinary, and just plain engaging, Blood Beast should be at the top of your list for must-read supernatural thrillers. Filled with heart-stopping suspense and scary entities, it will have you checking over your shoulder at every suspect noise. I guarantee that, after reading this novel, the full moon will leave you with a vague sense of unease.

I still don’t know how I feel about a book ending on a full-blown cliffhanger, but I do know that Blood Beast’s ending will leave readers screaming for more—probably literally! But, alas, we won’t find out what happens next until April of 2008. If Blood Beast is any indication, though, it’ll be well worth the wait.




© Darren Shan 2005. All rights reserved.