Review: The Vampire’s Assistant – Darren Shan #2

The Vampire's Assistant (The Saga of Darren Shan, #2)The Vampire’s Assistant by Darren Shan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Darren made the difficult decision to become a half-vampire to save his best mate Steve Leopard’s life. Now, he must leave his friends and family behind as he travels cross-country with the vampire Mr Crepsley and the Cirque du Freak. The Vampire’s Assistant is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. How long can Darren go before he must drink human blood? How safe are Darren’s new-found friends? Why don’t the mysterious, blue-hooded dwarves speak or cry out in pain? And does their master Mr Des Tiny really feed on little children? No one is safe in this gruesome, macabre tale–more a who’s-going-to-do-what than a who-dunnit.

This is the second book in The Saga of Darren Shan (A Living Nightmare is the first, otherwise known as Cirque Du Freak). I bought the first nine books in this series from a car boot sale back in March of this year (2017), partly on a whim. I had never read anything by Shan before but had heard about this series. Even with little knowledge of the series, at £6.75 for nine books I couldn’t pass them up (I have a book buying problem haha). Anyway, when I loved the first book I decided my money was well spent and made a start on the second – The Vampire’s Assistant.

I’m really glad I decided to continue with the story because Shan does not disappoint. In the previous book, Darren Shan had agreed to become a half vampire and assistant to Crepsley (a fully fledged bonafide vampire) in order to save his best friends life. Moving into the current book, and we see Darren start his journey to a vampiric life. The pair flit around quite a bit at the beginning of the book but eventually end up back where it all started – at the Cirque Du Freak. Darren begins to make friends but things, unfortunately, aren’t plain sailing from there.

As with the first book, the writing and language used is quite simple. Not simple in a bad, OMG I can’t read this kind of way but in a way that shows that the author was clearly writing for the younger audience (not that I care that I am 33 and reading books clearly not aimed at me haha). The author spends some time building a scene but doesn’t go overboard with what I sometimes think are over the top descriptions e.g. He will describe a setting, but won’t linger too much on any particular thing – how bright and green the trees are, for example. He will say they are bright, and green but won’t stoop to using too many words. I think is perfect for the younger (and older) reader.

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Review: Cirque Du Freak – Darren Shan #1

Cirque Du Freak (The Saga of Darren Shan, #1)Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book. Told from the perspective of a young boy (Shan) the story is quite simplistic in its language as you would expect from a child of the main characters age, but it breaches barriers between the child and adult worlds.
Darren and his friend go to see a freak show. Freak shows are banned but there is one still travelling around, behind the scenes, dingy and secretive events held for only certain people.
We follow Darren and Steve into this freak show and what happens next.

To a younger person, I could definitely see this book bordering on horror, as a grown up not so much. That being said, it was still a good read. And a good job too as I have the next 8 books in the series waiting on my book shelf courtesy of a car boot sale a while ago.

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What My Kids are READING

My kids read. A lot. This is one thing (amongst many many others) that I am super proud of them for. Of course, this stems from my own love of reading. If I didn’t read, I don’t think the amount they read would bother me as much so to see them curled up with a book is pretty amazing.

My son is 8. He has really come on in his reading over the past year and is starting to venture into the kind of books that I would have read when I was his age. My daughter is 4. She is currently into picture books but I imagine when she starts school in September that will change (hopefully, and if not then so be it. It won’t matter to me if she decides she isn’t much of a reader).

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I was reading Stephen King books at age 11 so it has always been a big part of my life no matter how little I read sometimes. I love nothing more than sitting down with the children and reading with or to them. I am currently working my way through the Harry Potter books by reading to them at bed time. Not only is fun for me as I get to re-read the stories, I also get to see them through their eyes. I only wish we had Harry Potter when I was their ages. Instead, I had Alice in Wonderland. It still remains one of my favourite books to this day.

Anyway, the point of this post is really just to share what the children are reading.

What are your children reading?