Cirque Du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan

by Darren Shan
257 pages,
ISBN: 077911390X

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Children's Books
by Jeffrey Canton

This novel is the first in a highly popular British series, endorsed by the inestimable J.K. Rowling herself, which traces teenager Darren Shan's journey to the dark side. Darren and his best friend Steve go to see an after-midnight and totally ghoulish traveling circus, the Cirque Du Freak, which includes Sive and Seersa better known as the Twisting Twins, Rhamas Twobellies who is the world's fattest man, the very sinister Larten Crepsley and his performing tarantula, Madame Octa. But Steve's desire to visit the Cirque isn't just a matter of curiosity; he has discovered that Larten Crepsley is a vampire and wants to join the ranks of the undead. Darren, on the other hand, is totally fascinated by Madame Octa and decides to steal her. That's when things go awry, and Darren Shan ends up saving the life of his best friend by giving up his own life and becoming a half-vampire. Cirque Du Freak has a number of interesting plot twists and will grab readers who want something with an element of the supernatural but aren't really ready for horror fiction.

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