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

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

4.6 151
by Darren Shan
     
 

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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

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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.

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:
09/05/2011
Series:
Saga of Larten Crepsley Series, #1
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
191,660
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

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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