Birth of a Killer (Saga of Larten Crepsley Series #1)

( 147 )

Overview

Before Cirque Du Freak...Before the war with the vampaneze... Before he was a vampire... Larten Crepsley was a boy.

As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his cousin as an example to the other children.

In that moment, young Larten flew into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive. Forced to live on the run, Larten now sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to ...

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Birth of a Killer (Saga of Larten Crepsley Series #1)

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Overview

Before Cirque Du Freak...Before the war with the vampaneze... Before he was a vampire... Larten Crepsley was a boy.

As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his cousin as an example to the other children.

In that moment, young Larten flew into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive. Forced to live on the run, Larten now sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by. And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire's assistant, Larten agrees.

This is his story.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ria Newhouse
When Larten Crepsley's cousin, Vur Horston, is killed by an overzealous, brash, and downright evil foreman at the silk factory where they both work, Larten makes an instant decision to kill the awful man. Before he even knows what he has done, Larten is on the run. As he flees into the stormy night, he seeks shelter in a crypt, where he meets Seba, an aging vampire. Larten knows that he cannot return to his old life, for he will face certain death. Seba becomes Larten's master and vows to teach him the ways of the vampire. When Seba must attend the Vampire Mountain summit, he leaves Larten in the care of Mr. Tall, leader of Cirque Du Freak. In this highly anticipated prequel to the Cirque Du Freak series, Larten is introduced as a caring young man caught in a very unfortunate circumstance. Readers will enjoy learning how and why Larten became a vampire and how he became a part of the thrilling Cirque Du Freak show. Larten's journey involves mountainside summits, vampire training lessons, amazing tricks and antics in the Cirque Du Freak circus, and so much more. Fans of Darren Shan will eat this book up and likely go on to reread the series, now that they know the backstory on how a killer was born. Reviewer: Ria Newhouse
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—This adventure story traces the early life of master vampire Larten Crepsley. Sent to work in a Dickensian factory, young Larten kills the abusive foreman and flees. He takes shelter in a cemetery crypt where he meets the 500-year-old vampire General Seba Nile, who explains to the terrified youngster that vampires aren't evil. Although they drink human blood, just as the legends say, they do not harm those on whom they feed. When he invites Larten to travel with him as his assistant, the boy agrees. As the first entry in a projected series, this story includes quite a bit of exposition. The plot action covers more than 20 years, taking Larten through his first "blooding" and into full vampire status, and features his first meetings with mysterious Cirque owner Hibernius Tall; Seba's vampire ally Paris Skyle; and the vampaneze Murlough. At times, the pacing feels rather rushed with the effort to introduce many important characters, settings, and themes from Shan's "Cirque du Freak" saga (Little, Brown). Transitions are often abrupt, jumping several years between chapters. A cliff-hanger ending promises further revelations. "Cirque du Freak" aficionados will be intrigued by this glimpse into Crepsley's formative years, but the uninitiated will want to read the original books first.—Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Kirkus Reviews

Larten Crepsley watches as the brutal foreman at a silk factory drowns his cousin, Vur Horston. Moments later, Larten is a fugitive, having stabbed the foreman through the throat. As he cowers in a graveyard eating cobwebs, Larten gets a tempting offer from Seba Niles: work as Seba's assistant and, someday, become a vampire. Fans of Shan's Cirque Du Freak series will enjoy the origin story of their favorite orange-haired vampire, though the gore quotient has been greatly reduced from previous volumes. Cameos abound, from Desmond Tiny to Murlough to the Cirque Du Freak itself. Tidbits of explanation dangle promisingly, but never completely answer questions about character behaviors and motivations. The tapestry of relationships in the earlier works are deconstructed here to threads; it's a nice touch, but the technique makes this narrative less accessible to newcomers to the oeuvre, as it presumes familiarity with the characters and plots. Jumping back in time but keeping the same literary style, the author delivers a solid story. (Horror. YA)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316078627
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/5/2011
  • Series: Saga of Larten Crepsley Series , #1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 99,890
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Darren Shan
Darren Shan is the New York Times bestselling author of Cirque Du Freak and The Demonata, whose novels have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Darren lives in Ireland, where he writes and collects art, comics, and film.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 147 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(112)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2010

    Great addition to the series

    Loved the original series. As you got further through the twelve, you could tell as a writer Shan was getting very good. Since then I have read Procession of the Dead, and purchased Thin Executioner, but only read the former so far. It was good, but I'll hold judgement until that series continues further. In terms of this book, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Learning the back story of Larten, in this book from early childhood, was fantastic. Shan's writing as improved even farther. This book takes you from Larten as a child to a 'young' vampire, following his master around as we were used to Darren following Larten. Lots of familiar names will appear, and lots of familiar places. If you haven't read the originals, you will probably miss a lot of references, and he does skim over some topics at a high level, assuming you know more details than are contained in the text. Overall though this was a pleasure to read, and I cannot wait for the continuation of this tale. Although labeled as children/teen reading (which I am not a member of either age group), this is a story for all ages (from the original twelve books through this title). Could not recommend more.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Larten fans click here

    In my opinnion larten crepsley is the best vampire of them all
    (Until he dies in the pit of stakes no thanks to steve)

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2011

    It is good!

    I like it more than the demonata series and let me tell u thats alot!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    BEST DARRAN SHAN BOOK YEt!

    One of the best of all of darren shan's book. A prequal of my favorite character. I loved learning how Mr. Crepsley was as a kid and how he became a vampire, it had funny moments, and a few sad moments, but overall it was GREAT!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read-The Man Behind Larten Crepsley

    The first ebook I have ever bought for my Nook! An excellent book that made me want to read the next when I finished it. Sadly, we have to wait until April. I'm happy that Darren Shan wrote about everyones favorite character from The Cirque Du Freak. If you have not read The Saga of Darren Shan, I don't think you could appreciate the book as much, because it gives more insight into a character from The Darren Shan Saga and also more insight into the vampire world and its other characters. If you haven't read the other saga this is still a good book to read and very easy to understand. Darren Shan has improved as a writer since The Saga of Darren Shan. In this book, we really get to see who Larten is and the purpose for his actions. This is a must read for Cirque Du Freak fans.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Spioler alert

    Absolutly love shans work at the beging of the cirq series i was skeptical but at the end i was in love with the series i literly cried when crepsly died so geting to read his back story will be amazing

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    DAREN SHAN RULES

    This is good, good, good. Just as good as every other book Darren Shan has written. I've read every book by Darren Shan and each is just as fantastic as this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2012

    Lovely

    Im 12.This for all those colledge/adult peeps out there. If you are looking at this review your crazy. HAVN'T U RED DA DARREN SHAWN SERIESE! If u have u know that this series is AMAZING just cuz it was writen by da same author! Loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Good author.

    I love shan's work. I read the sample and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Great read

    thi was a great book to start of the series. if you liked this i would strongly recomend the vampires assistant series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Vancha vs. Larten

    Okay done get me wrong I love larten but Vancha just rocked the house for me is the Cirque Du Freak series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Eternal love for Larten Crepsely!!

    I already read the Saga of Darren Shan before the Larten Crepsley saga and he is my favorite character!!And it is very interesting to learn about his childhood and his becoming of a vampire.(by the way, the darren shan saga is really amazing too.I reccomend these books!!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2011

    Highly recomended

    This book is a must read. If you read the Circè de Freak books you will love this. If not you will enjoy the ride it takes you on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    very good

    i luveed this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    highly recommended

    one of the best books i've ever read and darren shan is my favorite author

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    AWESOME

    great book. cant wait for the next 1

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    awesome

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2014

    Five stars just like all the rest of Darren Shans works. Once ag

    Five stars just like all the rest of Darren Shans works. Once again I was pulled right into the heart of the story and read this in one night. I can't get enough of these stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Darren Shan makes the best hardcover books Ive ever read. Especi

    Darren Shan makes the best hardcover books Ive ever read. Especially Cirque Du Freak. His books are works of art. READ IT!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Plz lend

    Is anyone here willing to lend me oceans of blood if u have it? If u can just write back on here and ill see it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews

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