A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1) by Darren ShanThis is an older series and many of you may have read it years ago or already decided it wasnt for you, but maybe my review will sway you into giving it a chance (or just make you remember how much you loved it.)
Heres my take on things:
Be prepared for a male author with all male main characters. Theres a younger sister character with a small part and I enjoyed the siblings relationship, but aside from her and a few mothers, this is mostly a series about boys. Did that bother me? Not at all. Just pointing it out.
Lots of gore, which I enjoyed immensely. Also, some deadpan humor thrown in so it wasnt completely gross and disgusting all the time. It was a nice way to break things up so it didnt feel dark and bleak every step of the way.
The story is short and intense and doesnt contain a lot of filler. I can see how this might get compared to the Goosebumps series because those were quick reads too, though Id say this series is for a slightly older audience, but if these had been around when I was 10 or so, I wouldve gobbled them up.
Not a whole lot of surprises, you can kind of see where things are heading early on, but the few surprises that are included are pretty big ones. Theres also a scene in the beginning that doesnt get explained and Im curious to see where things go with that. I love that Shan obviously planned this as a series but still wrote a full book. Things are left open-ended, but theres not really a cliffhanger and I appreciated that.
This is a short gory book with a slightly new twist on the vampire mythos geared heavily towards male readers (though I think girls wont feel alienated at all) and the inclusion of a freak show is something fascinating and I welcomed reading about a topic done to death (heh) that ended up still feeling unique. I really liked it and already have the next book loaded up on my Kindle (though Im trying really hard not to start it tonight ... must ... wake up ... early ...)
I can see how this series is so popular now and hope the quality continues with each subsequent book. Also, if you liked this book and this series, definitely check out his other unrelated series, The Demonata; I really loved the first book and I can tell you that reading A Living Nightmare after Lord Loss that his writing only gets better.
Its really neat to watch an author progress and continue to improve and also clearly enjoy his work. There are not a lot of authors writing stories like Shans and I think it fills a nice pocket that fans of the Goosebumps series can stick their hand into once they start getting older. I definitely wouldve been one of them and I cant wait to dive deeper into the rest of his series.
Cirque du Freak.pdf
The story begins with Darren Shan and his best friend Steve "Leopard" Leonard visiting an illegal freak show where an encounter with a vampire and a deadly, unique spider forces them to make life-changing choices that neither of them could have ever thought possible. Darren Shan starts narrating the story by saying he was always fascinated by spiders. When he was young, he used to bring spiders from the garden and let them loose in his house despite what his mum said about never bringing them in, and at the age of 9, he received the greatest gift of his life: a small tarantula. However, the joy of that gift was crushed when he, after watching a cartoon, killed the spider with a vacuum cleaner. He explains, "life, unlike a cartoon, is naturally evil, doesn't care about happy endings, and is always out to kill you. You just have to be careful. His best friend, Steve "Leopard" Leonard, has grown up reading horror comics and stories of the Wolfman and Vampires.
Just a quick fun read. Nothing complicated, nothing fancy. Perfect book for tweens and young teens. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions.