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Cirque du Freak
by Darren Shan (more about Darren Shan) 727/384 first published 2000
Horror & Ghosts for ages 9 to 14 published by Collins
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.19, Usually dispatched within 24 hours
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What's it about?
A teenager whose life is changed forever when he becomes involved with a freak show, an enormous spider and a vampire!
What happens?
Darren and his friend Steve find a way to visit a mysterious Freak Show, they are amazed by what they see but Steve seems to recognise one of the company and stays behind. Darren, worried about his friend hides and hears him ask the strange man an outrageous request. Darren is frightened by his friends interest in the macabre, but is fascinated by the spider, Madam Octa. He steals her and sets in motion a terrible chain of events that will lead to his friends near death and his own demise!
Is it easy to read?
Easily read and not too long, these books will be ideal for the growing reader, boys who are finding it difficult to choose a new book should give these a try as long as they don't mind horror. Girls will enjoy them too.
Anything else?
I am not a great lover of horror books but I couldn't put this one down. It is really well written and full of suspense. Shan takes his time laying down his plot, there are at least six books in the saga so he can do that. He brings new ideas to the old Vampire legends and creates a world that runs alongside our own and frequently the two cross. There are lots of chills in this book and it does get scary but there are no gory descriptions that make you want to chuck. A good read.
Other books by Darren Shan include The Trials of Death, The Vampire's Assistant, Tunnels of Blood, Vampire Mountain, Vampire Rites Trilogy.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Darren goes to a banned freak show with his best mate Steve. It's the wonderfully gothic Cirque du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear who interact terrifyingly with the audience. Darren - a spider freak - 'falls in love' with Madam Octa - an enormous tarantula owned by the circus proprietor. Darren determines to steal the spider so that he can train it to perform amazing deeds. But his daring theft goes horrible wrong. The spider bites his best mate and Darren has to sell his soul to an evil vampire to get the antidote. Something out of the ordinary is set against the background of children's normal lives to chilling effect. Atmospheric, funny, realistic, moving and... terrifying.
And what do you think?
Darren Shan (author)
We're at the start of something big ... something dangerous ... something deadly. The Saga Of Darren Shan is going to take us places we've never been before, places of darkness and terror and doom.
Nicola Perry, Amazon.co.uk
Darren Shan seems like your average boy--he likes playing football with his mates, passing notes in class and loves spiders. Then, one day, his best mate Steve gets tickets for a banned freak show and Darren starts experiencing things that no average boy More...
Aaron, Strabane
This book was fascinating, scary and tragic. It is about a boy who gets a ticket to go to an outlawed freak-show named Cirque Du Freak. And unluckily steve (Darrens best pal) recognizes a vampire performing with Madam Octa (a performing spider) and that l More...
Dannie, Niqually Middle School Olympia
I absolutly love this series. I am more of a Romance book reader and I can"t get enough of Darren Shans books. He is a great author. I cannot put his books down until i am done with the book. I love the part about Madam Octa. I cannot stand spiders and Ma More...
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