• Long and winding roads

    20 May 2019

    An Italian fan called Frankie is working their way through my Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series, and writing a review of each one in turn. Frankie recently reviewed the 7th, Hunters Of The Dusk, and you can find the review here -- as usual, if you're not an Italian speaker, you can copy and paste the text into Google Translate or a simialr service for a very good translation:

     

    https://aratakblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/recensione-hunters-of-dusk-darren-shan.html

     

    At one point in the review, Frankie noted:

     

    "Arriving at the seventh book, one might think that there is nothing left to add to the story. Too bad it's not like that: for poor Darren the adventures (and troubles) never end."

     

    I think this was a well-made and important point. I've never been interested in repeating a story pattern over the course of a long series. I don't find a winning formula and stick to it. I'm always keen to explore with my stories, to take them in unexpected directions, to surprise and disorient readers as I lead them down channels and side-roads that they weren't expecting. Thus a series like Cirque Du Freak can start out with three low-key, small-scale books, before expanding out to take in Vampire Mountain, the Lake of Souls, a full-on war, and everything else that I packed in. The twists and turns don't work for every reader -- I'm sure there are plenty of fans who wish I just stuck to whatever style of mine it is that they like best, whether that's the outright fantasy of The Thin Executioner or the full-blown horror of Lord Loss or the politically-driven Zom-B books -- but I think they've played a big part in making my books work for the majority of my readers who like story-telling on a vast and unpredecitable scale. You never know exactly what you're getting with a Darren Shan series -- even seven books in.

     

    Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? Only the readers can decide. But I'll tell you one thing for sure -- it's a Shan thing!!!! :-)
     

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