Thursday, September 17, 2009

I can get hooked on these

Ever since I saw the trailer of Cirque du Freak, I knew that it was inevitable that I'll be reading these chapter books. We've all been fascinated by the esoteric and the unusual, and we just can't get our eyes off people who are, well, different in a weird, otherworldly way.

The chapter books by Darren Shan entitled Cirque du Freak can be very addicting. I've read the first book, A Living Nightmare, and I'm starting the second one. The books are a quick read. You can probably go through 3 of them in a day. Since there are 12 books in the series, I think you can read everything in a week.

While A Living Nightmare lacks a clear climax and a satisfying denouement, it does effectively lay the foundation for the the coming books. We get to see how two friends -- Darren and Steve -- attend a travelling circus of freaks. This is the pivotal scene of the novel, for without it, Darren wouldn't see, covet, and steal the vampire's pet spider, who would eventually bite Steve, causing Darren to come to an agreement with the vampire in exchange for a cure. Alas, the contract is a permanent one -- for Darren to obtain the cure, he must agree to become the vampire's assistant. The twist is that you can't become a vampire's assistant without being someone that is half-human and half-vampire.

I'd probably use the Cirque du Freak books as a respite from all the classic novels I've planned to read next year. After all, one can only have too much of Austen, Hardy, and James.

13 comments:

Kaye said...

I'm planning on devouring this series too, I've read good reviews about it.

Charlie said...

A vampire spider. I had absolutely no idea that such a creature exists. Huh. I learn something new every day.

Peter S. said...

Hello, Kaye! I think it's a good series. And a friend told me it gets better.

@Charlie: Yes, I can't wait to see that in the movie.

josbookshelf said...

I can get hooked on these, too! More to add...

Peter S. said...

Hi, Jo! But expensive! Hehehe.

Ryan G said...

I had looked at these books before but wasn't sure what to think. I may have to give them a second look.

I have an award for you:

http://wordsmithonia.blogspot.com/2009/09/your-blog-rocks-award.html

Peter S. said...

Hello, Ryan! Thanks for the award!

I'm sure you'll love the Cirque du Freak series!

sumthinblue said...

I have some problems with the movie, judging from the trailer. Sigh.

I like the new illustrated covers. I have the older edition (4 more to upgrade for a complete hardcover set) and the new ones are a great improvement.

It took me five years to complete the set, I never bought any of the volumes in this set at full price. Btw at NBS Glorietta you can get Book 11 hardcover for P150.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Blooey! Thanks for the heads up!

Krista said...

I have these on my Shelf waiting to be read! They do look good and everyone I know that has read them has really enjoyed them! Great review!

Peter S. said...

Hi, Krista! Thanks for dropping by!

Patrick said...

The only reason why I never considered getting a copy of this is because they're too expensive for me. Like you said, the books are really quick reads. I just can't bring myself to spend that much for a series with that many short books even if I know they're good. Partly the same reason why I never bought any Lemony Snicket book.

But yeah, I'm excited for the movie. I'm all for having a better vampire movie up against you-know-which.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Patrick! If you want I can let you borrow them. I'm not too keen on keeping my copies anyway.

By the way, one of the reasons I bought them was that I fell in love with the covers of the new editions.