Book – Cirque du Freak

Author – Darren Shan
Year – 2000
Genre – Children’s Fantasy
Pages – 192

Another book that came about due to it being covered at school (prepare yourself for plenty of these over the next, I don’t know, forty years).  This is the first in a series about the young Darren who visits a freak show with his friend Steve.  Darren is a huge fan of spiders and is drawn to the strange spider act in the show.  I don’t want to spoil the plot for anyone – I try pretty hard not to in these blogs – and it is pretty tough, as this entire book is pretty much a set up for the series of nine books, but a cursory look at the titles of them should tell you that this is a vampire series.

Vampires are not really my thing.  I am not a fan of gothic fiction particularly, and even when looking at modern books about vampires, there is a tendency to stray towards that kind of a feel.  It is difficult to explain why I have difficulty summoning up much enthusiasm about such a specific branch – I have no problem with most other fantastical creature types – but it simply remains a fact that they are not my cup of tea.  I tend to be able to appreciate them however, and books like Fevre Dream I have found very good (not Twilight though.  Never Twilight.)

So I feel happy enough to say that this is a good book.  It is accessible to younger readers, but the subject is mature enough for teens as well.  I have a feeling that the story will build very nicely, and the characters are set well in this first book.  However, I didn’t particularly enjoy it myself.  As it is well written, I didn’t hate it, but I just cannot summon up that love for this kind of thing to enjoy myself enough.