72. Cirque Du Freak

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak, The Saga of Darren Shan, Book 1

Pages: 266
Finished: Apr. 18, 2008
First Published: 2001
Genre: YA, horror
Rating: 4/5

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

First Sentence:

I've always been fascinated by spiders.

Reason for Reading: YA challenge, 1st in a series challenge. I really enjoyed Shan's latest book for adults so I decided to try his YA series.

Comments: Darren Shan and his friend get tickets to go to a secretive Freak Show which has mysteriously arrived in their town. While they are there the boys learn that one of the performers is a vampire in disguise. This vampire does an act for the show with a huge deadly spider and Darren is fascinated with spiders. He sneaks back to the theatre during the day when the vampire will be asleep and steals the spider. Thus begins a downward spiral of events which lead to serious injury and life and death decisions.

I have to say I really enjoyed this! It was a very quick read and so much fun. We are introduced to a whole cast of strange characters but only briefly and the urge to read the next in the series is strong. The book is well written, with a very intriguing plot. While not exactly scary (at least, to this adult) it certainly is creepy and filled with atmosphere. The blurb on the back of my book compares it to Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot and I completely agree. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to young horror fans twelve and up.

I'm off to the library to get book 2!


  1. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series. I have 4 editions which each contain 3 books from this series and I enjoyed them all. It is interesting in later books how little bits from the early ones come back to the forefront of the ongoing plot line.

  2. Oh, that sounds so enticing! I can't wait to read the next one. It is sitting here waiting it's turn.

  3. Huh. This series scares me a little bit. There's one with a cover of a sewn up skull with a weird glassy eye or something similarly grotesque. But maybe it's not as horrible as it looks. Thanks for the review, I'll give it a try.


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