The Tainted Poet's YA Book Review:

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

Rating: 4.8/5.0

Re-Readable? This has to be my favorite book series ever and I have re-read it on numerous occasions.

Recommend? I definitely recommend this series especially since the Movie adaption comes out January 2010! Does contain some gruesome scenes and involves vampires... :)

Publisher: Little, Brown

The Saga of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak books 1-12


Cirque Du Freak is the frightening saga of a young boy whose visit to a mysterious freak show leads him on a journey into a dark world of vampires. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and a petrifying ending, Cirque Du Freak will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more. (Amazon product description).

My thoughts:

Even though this book series has been completed well over a year ago, the reason I decided to do a review on Cirque Du Freak was to get it well known before the movie adaption comes out and arranges peoples opinions. I'd rather have people read the series beforehand, rather then making their first impressions based on the movie. The movie will be covering books 1-3 (Cirque Du Freak: A living nightmare, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and Cirque Du Freak:Tunnels of Blood).

Cirque Du Freak is the story of a boy named Darren Shan (yes, he is named after the author!) who with his best friend, Steve Leonard, attends a freak show called the Cirque Du Freak. Things are never the same again. Darren, who has always fancied spiders, fell in love with Mr. Crepsley's (a Cirque du Freak performer) performing spider Madam Octa. Darren plans to steal the spider from Mr. Crepsley and then blackmail him so he would not come looking for it. But lets just say Mr. Crepsley is not someone you want to mess with! And performing spider or not... Madam Octa is one of the most poisonous and rare spiders in the world... This is just spelling trouble!

This book series is one of my all time favorites. Darren Shan developed the characters so well, you feel as if you actually know them! The plot remains increasingly interesting as the books go by (there are 12 of them!) and Darren grows with each book. So even though I estimate he was around 11 or 12 in the first book, by the end of the last book I imagine he's in his mid to late 20s (with the body of a 15 year old!). The books are sort of set up in phases. Books 1-3 go together. Book 4 starts up 6 years after book 3. Books 4-6 are the Vampire Mountain books. Then another period of a couple years then books 7-9 take off. Then the final arc of books 10-12. It's always great to get them in threes (since they are all now released). They are also all relatively short books (no more then 300 pages each) so they are quick reads.

It's Not Over??

Like I mentioned above, the manga is to be released mid-June (this month!). I happen to own the japanese versions of this manga and can say that it follows the book very well! I am very excited to get my hands on the English version. Also, the Movie adaption of Cirque Du Freak comes out January 15th, 2010. I haven't heard much about it yet besides the cast list which you can find at IMDB but it's being produced by Universal, so it should be a decent movie! Major actors that you will find in it are: John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley, Willem Defoe as Gavner, Salma Hayek as Madam Truska, Ken Watanabe as Mr. Tall, and Josh Hutcherson as Steve.


  1. I read the first book in the series and I liked it! My friend actually gave it to me because she didn't find it interesting. I had no clue it was going to be a movie! That's awesome! Does Mr. Crepsley show up in all of the novels? I liked him in the first book. :)

  2. I think I've read... four of these. Random recommend from a friend of my cousins', and a long story involving odd libraries and small towns. I did like them quite a bit, actually.

  3. Oh my god, I loved this series. I started reading them about 4 years ago? I don't know, something like that. Ever since them, I have been in love.

    I didn't know there was going to be a movie adaptation! this is so freaking great! :D


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