It’s the first week of Cirque Du Freak Month, so let’s take a look at the books that started it all.
Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare is a story about Darren Shan, a young boy who is into creepy things like spiders and vampires. He’s given the opportunity to visit a freak show with his best friend, Steve, and the two of them head out to take a look at what the show has to offer. But these aren’t just people with strange oddities. These are real and dangerous creatures.
After the show, Darren notices that Steve has vanished. He searches for him and finds that Steve is talking to one of the performers named Larten Crepsley. Steve insists that Crepsley is a vampire and he wants Crepsley to turn him into one as well. Creplsey decides to taste Steve’s blood, but finds it to be evil and therefore making Steve unfit to be a vampire.
Darren, on the other hand, has taken an interest in Crepsley’s spider. He takes it and keeps it at his house. He decides to show it to Steve, but things go horribly awry when the spider bites Steve. In a desperate attempt to save him, Darren goes to visit Crepsley and ask for the antidote. Crepsley agrees to give it to him if Darren will agree to become his assistant.
And thus begins Darren’s journey to become a vampire.
The great thing about this series are the characters that Darren meets along his journey. Each one that he meets offers something special for Darren to learn and grow as a vampire. Between mortals who remind Darren of what he’s left behind and other vampires who encourage Darren to strive for what’s before him, there’s no shortage of unique personalities to keep the reader engaged.
But how do the vampires hold up as a culture?
There are several traits about these vampires that are traditional, but then there are unique things that Shan brings to the table as an author.One interesting thing is the way vampires are turned, or blooded as they say in the story. A vampire will inject their blood into the human they are turning through their fingers. Additionally, they will heal those cuts with their saliva, which has some minor healing properties. To give them a more relatable feel, vampires are not entirely immortal. They age at 1/10 of the rate that humans do, so they still live for a long time but they will eventually die.
This just scratches the surface of what Cirque Du Freak has to offer.
Anyone looking for an interesting, macabre vampire story should look into this one. With a cast of interesting characters and a fantastic vampire culture, Cirque Du Freak is a fun series that is unlike any other vampire story. It’s about an outsider finding his place as either a human or a vampire, but not in a way that is too heavy one way or the other. Both sides have their pros and cons and it’s up to Darren to decide if he will embrace his new destiny.