Mightier Than The Sword | 11 October 2009 | Paul Carroll

The End is Nigh. The Demons are here, the heroes are falling, the world is at its end. So not much has changed then!

Darren Shan, the Number One Master of Horror (as far as kids are concerned) released, just 10 short days ago, the last book in his best selling Demonata Saga. 10 books, three protagonists, millions of demons, magic, science and all sorts of spiritual mumbo jumbo later, and I still love them.

I expected Hell's Heroes to go off with a bang. WARNING: SLIGHT PLOT SPOILER It slowed down a bit at the end. No big battle, but mainly because that would have undermined everything Shan had led the story to. He couldn't use the big weapon to kill the Demonata, because that would mean that it could have been done very easily in the past instead. And there would have to be a cheesy party at the end, which would have resulted in literary suicide for Mr Shan. His characters can never be eternally happy. That wouldn't work. That wouldn't make his fans happy. So in short, the ending was neat, tidy.

The rest? Fantastic! I still like the ending, but the rest of the story was.. wow! Blood, guts, vendetta, betrayal, death, Death and more DEATH! What more could you ask for?

It's suitable for children. I should point that out. Not very young children, but anyone 11 up should be able to get through this book without being too scared. There are far worse things out there than Demons in books. Afterall, it's an episode of Doctor Who that stops kids from sleeping (Blink). Darren Shan.. well, he's never kept me awake with fear, but he has turned my stomach on enough occassions. And I love him for that.

The man is a legend. Pure and simple. And the book, the SERIES, is a reflection of that greatness. When I say he's my hero, I mean it - I want to be like Darren Shan if I ever get published. Not physically, obviously, because I'm happy with how I look. The popularity...well that's always nice for authors. But the way he deals with his fans - that's how I want to be. I want to go on big signings because fans love that sort of stuff. I want to answer emails and write letters and blog and all that stuff that lets fans keep in touch. Because he does that. He keeps in touch more than any author I've ever had the good grace to read (except perhaps Samantha Priestley, but she's my good friend via the Internet, so that doesn't count.)

Read the books. You will love them, especially the early scenes of wonderment and gore. Lord Loss - plenty of stuff to start exploring. Demon Thief - oddities you've never imagines. Slawter - the first taste of Demon power on earth and what it can really do (and lots of blood!). Bec - the history of it all, in ways you never imagined (my personal favourite!). And it keeps going on. From that point, the stories are cronological, and fantastic! I'm 18 and I still love them, so you have no excuses!

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