Tunnels of Blood (Cirque Du Freak Series #3)

Tunnels of Blood (Cirque Du Freak Series #3)

4.4 234
by Darren Shan

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Darren was just an ordinary schoolboy -- until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now Darren, the vampire's assistant, gets a taste of the city when he leaves the Cirque Du Freak with Evra and Mr. Crepsley -- but so, it seems, does something else. When corpses are discovered -- corpses drained of blood -- Darren and Evra are compelled to confront a foul creature of the


Darren was just an ordinary schoolboy -- until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now Darren, the vampire's assistant, gets a taste of the city when he leaves the Cirque Du Freak with Evra and Mr. Crepsley -- but so, it seems, does something else. When corpses are discovered -- corpses drained of blood -- Darren and Evra are compelled to confront a foul creature of the night, who may prove to be the end of them all. Beneath the streets, evil stalks Darren and his friends. Can they escape, or are they doomed to perish in the tunnels of blood? The gut-wrenching sequel to the New York Times bestseller Cirque Du Freak and The Vampire's Assistant, Tunnels of Blood continues the saga of Darren Shan. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and an unexpected ending, Tunnels of Blood will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A visit to the city leads Darren and Evra, the snake boy, to a startling discovery (blood drained corpses) and sends them on a mission to discover the foul creature responsible, in Darren Shan's Tunnels of Blood, the third installment in the Saga of Darren Shan, that began with Cirque Du Freak. ( Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"My name's Darren Shan. I'm a half-vampire." So begins the third installment in Darren Shan's imaginative "Cirque Du Freak" series. Books one and two related how young Darren becomes the half-vampire assistant to Mr. Crepsley in order to save his friend's life. They join the Cirque Du Freak, which is about the only place the pair won't be ostracized. In this latest novel, Darren learns more about Mr. Crepsley's past life as a vampire General, whose job included tracking down and killing wayward vampires and vampaneze. Darren and his friend the snake boy, Evra, accompany Mr. Crepsley to the city where Darren learns more about vampaneze, a renegade type of vampire that holds no respect for human life. A mad, murderous vampaneze named Murlough is lurking in the tunnels beneath the city. Darren also learns his first lesson in love as he meets and befriends a pretty, lively girl named Debbie. This is not an easy lesson for young Darren—half-vampires, you see, age at only one fifth the rate of humans. After a dark, suspenseful chase of Murlough, Darren shows his resourcefulness in overcoming evil. Darren Shan is building a loyal following with his highly original, highly creative, deliciously creepy tales. 2002 (orig. 2000), Little Brown,
— Christopher Moning
Half-vampire Darren Shan returns in another gruesome adventure sure to please readers of the first two books in his series, A Living Nightmare (Little Brown, 2001/VOYA April 2001) and The Vampire's Assistant (2001/VOYA October 2001). Darren and his master, the vampire Crepsley, leave Cirque du Freak under rather mysterious circumstances. This time, Evra, the snake boy, joins Darren and Crepsley as they travel to the city of Crepsley's childhood. There, Evra and Darren enjoy mixing with the local children. For Darren, this time seems almost normal. He even meets and is smitten by Debbie, a young girl who knows nothing of Darren's existence as a half vampire. When a mass murder is discovered not too far from where Crepsley and his young charges are staying, Darren worries that his master has committed the crime. By the time Darren leans the true identity of the murderer, he has placed Evra, Crepsley, and Debbie at risk. The aspects that won readers to the saga of Darren Shan are in evidence again in this third installment. The novel opens with a rip-roaring scene, as Darren is determined to kill his master, and then flashes back to tell readers how Darren has come to be in this dangerous position. There is plenty of blood and gore and a new villain—a vampanzee named Murlough. The chilling descriptions of the murderous Murlough combined with the sweet story of first romance between Darren and Debbie combine successfully to create a perfect book for reluctant middle school readers. For those fans of Buffy and Angel, here is another book to satisfy their vampiric tastes. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read ityesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Little Brown, 240p, Lesesne
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Shan will continue to draw "Goosebumps" (Scholastic) graduates with this third installment in the series. Here, he sends his eponymous teenaged protagonist, who is still not quite a full-blooded (so to speak) vampire, along with scaly snake-boy Evra and century-old Larten Crepsley on a mysterious mission. They are to kill, as it eventually turns out, a rogue "vampaneze," a member of a minority group that believes in killing its victims, draining their blood rather than just taking sips. In the process, young "Darren" meets vivacious human (probably, but stay tuned) Debbie Hemlock, and learns a little more about Mr. Crepsley's checkered background. The game's a little slow to develop, but after a gory meat-locker scene, much running about in sewer tunnels, and lines like "When I came to, I found myself face to face with a skull. Not any old skull, either-this still had flesh on it, and one of the eyeballs was floating in its socket," the vampaneze meets a suitably horrible end, described in stomach-churning detail. The story is compulsively readable, but it's not for the squeamish.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Cirque Du Freak Series , #3
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.12(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

One month earlier...

My name's darren shan. I'm a half-vampire.

I used to be human, until I stole a vampire's spider. After that, my life changed forever. Mr. Crepsley -- the vampire -- forced me to become his assistant, and I joined a circus full of weird performers called the Cirque Du Freak.

Adapting was hard. Drinking blood was harder, and for a long time I wouldn't do it. Eventually I did, to save the memories of a dying friend (vampires can store a person's memories if they drain all their blood). I didn't enjoy it -- the following few weeks were horrible, and I was plagued by nightmares -- but after that first blood-red drink there could be no going back. I accepted my role as a vampire's assistant and learned to make the best of it.

Over the course of the next year, Mr. Crepsley taught me how to hunt and drink without being caught; how to take just enough blood to survive; how to hide my vampire identity when mixing with others. And in time I put my human fears behind me and became a true creature of the night.

A couple of girls stood watching Cormac Limbs with serious expressions. He was stretching his arms and legs, rolling his neck around, loosening his muscles. Then, winking at the girls, he put the middle three fingers of his right hand between his teeth and bit them off.

The girls screamed and fled. Cormac chuckled and wriggled the new fingers that were growing out of his hand.

I laughed. You got used to stuff like that when you worked in the Cirque Du Freak. The traveling show was full of incredible people, freaks of nature with cool and sometimes frightening powers.

Apart from Cormac Limbs, the performers included Rhamus Twobellies, capable of eating a full-grown elephant or an army tank; Gertha Teeth, who could bite through steel; the wolf-man -- half man, half wolf, who'd killed my friend Sam Grest; Truska, a beautiful and mysterious woman who could grow a beard at will; and Mr. Tall, who could move as fast as lightning and seemed to be able to read people's minds. Mr. Tall owned and managed the Cirque Du Freak.

We were performing in a small town, camped behind an old mill inside which the show was staged every night. It was a run-down junkyard, but I was used to that type of venue. We could have played the grandest theaters in the world and slept in luxurious hotel rooms -- the Cirque made a ton of money -- but it was safer to keep a low profile and stick to places where the police and other officials rarely wandered.

My appearance hadn't changed much since leaving home with Mr. Crepsley almost a year and a half before. Because I was a half-vampire, I aged at only a fifth the rate of humans, which meant that though eighteen months had passed, my body was only three or four months older.

Although I wasn't very different on the outside, inside I was an entirely new person. I was stronger than any boy my age, able to run faster, leap farther, and digmy extra-strong nails into brick walls. My hearing, eyesight, and sense of smell had improved vastly.

Since I wasn't a full vampire, there was lots of stuff I couldn't do yet. For example, Mr. Crepsley could run at a superquick speed, which he called flitting. He could breathe out a gas that knocked people unconscious. And he could communicate telepathically with vampires and a few others, such as Mr. Tall.

I wouldn't be able to do those things until I became a full vampire. I didn't lose any sleep over it, because being a half-vampire had its bonuses: I didn't have to drink much human blood and -- better yet -- I could move around during the day.

It was daytime when I was exploring a garbage dump with Evra, the snake-boy, looking for food for the Little People -- weird, small creatures who wore blue hooded capes and never spoke. Nobody -- except maybe Mr. Tall -- knew who or what they were, where they came from, or why they traveled with the Cirque. Their master was a creepy man called Mr. Tiny (he liked to eat children!), but we didn't see much of him at the Cirque.

"Found a dead dog," Evra shouted, holding it above his head. "It smells a little. Do you think they'll mind?"

I sniffed the air -- Evra was a long way off, but I could smell the dog from here as well as a human could up close -- and shook my head. "It'll be fine," I said. The Little People ate just about anything we brought.

I had a fox and a few rats in my bag. I felt bad about killing the rats -- rats are friendly with vampires and usually come up to us like tame pets if we call them -- but work is work. We all have to do things we don't like in life.

There were a bunch of Little People with the Cirque -- twenty of them -- and one was hunting with Evra and me. He'd been with the Cirque since soon after me and Mr. Crepsley joined. I could tell him apart from the others because he had a limp in his left leg. Evra and me had taken to calling him Lefty.

"Hey, Lefty!" I shouted. "How's it going?" The small figure in the blue hooded cape didn't answer -- he never did -- but he patted his stomach, which was the sign we needed more food.

"Lefty says to keep going," I told Evra.

"Figures," he sighed.

As I prowled for another rat, I spotted a small silver cross in the garbage. I picked it up and brushed off the dirt. Studying the cross, I smiled. To think I used to believe vampires were terrified of crosses! Most of that stuff in old movies and books is crap. Crosses, holy water, garlic: none of those matter to vampires. We can cross running water. We don't have to be invited into a house before entering. We cast shadows and reflections (though a full vampire can't be photographed -- something to do with bouncing atoms). We can't change shape or fly.

A stake through the heart will kill a vampire. But so will a well-placed bullet, or fire, or a heavy falling object. We're harder to kill than humans, but we aren't immortal. Far from it.

I placed the cross on the ground and stood back. Focusing my will, I tried making it jump into my left hand. I stared hard for all of a minute, then clicked the fingers of my right hand.

Nothing happened.

I tried again but still couldn't do it. I'd been trying for months, with no success. Mr. Crepsley made it look simple -- one click of his fingers and an object would be in his hand, even if it was several feet away -- but I hadn't been able to copy him.

I was getting along pretty well with Mr. Crepsley. He wasn't such a bad guy. We weren't friends, but I'd accepted him as a teacher and no longer hated him like I did when he first turned me into a half-vampire.

I put the cross in my pocket and proceeded with the hunt. After a while I found a half-starved cat in the remains of an old microwave oven. It was after rats, too.

The cat hissed at me and the hair on its neck raised. I pretended to turn my back on it, then spun quickly, grabbed it by the neck, and twisted. It gave a strangled little cry and then went limp. I stuck it in the bag and went to see how Evra was doing.

I didn't enjoy killing animals, but hunting was part of my nature. Anyway, I had no sympathy for cats. The blood of cats is poisonous to vampires. Drinking from one wouldn't have killed me, but it would have made me sick. And cats are hunters, too. The way I saw it, the less cats there were, the more rats there'd be.

That night, back in camp, I tried moving the cross with my mind again. I'd finished my jobs for the day, and the show wouldn't be starting for another couple of hours, so I had lots of time to kill.

It was a cold late-November night. There hadn't been any snow yet, but it was threatening. I was dressed in my colorful pirate costume: a light green shirt, dark purple pants, a gold-and-blue jacket, a red satin cloth around my waist, a brown hat with a feather in it, and soft shoes with toes that curled in on themselves.

I wandered away from the vans and tents and found a secluded spot around the side of the old mill. I stuck the cross on a piece of wood in front of me, took a deep breath, concentrated on the cross, and willed it into the palm of my outstretched hand.

No good.

I shuffled closer, so my hand was only inches away from the cross.

"I command you to move," I said, clicking my fingers. "I order you to move." Click. "Move." Click. "Move!"

I shouted this last word louder than I meant to and stomped my foot in anger.

"What are you doing?" a familiar voice asked behind me.

Looking up, I saw Mr. Crepsley emerging out of the shadows.

"Nothing," I said, trying to hide the cross.

"What is that?" he asked. His eyes missed nothing.

"Just a cross I found while Evra and me were hunting," I said, holding it out.

"What were you doing with it?" Mr. Crepsley asked suspiciously.

"Trying to make it move," I said, deciding it was time to ask the vampire about his magic secrets. "How do you do it?"

A smile spread across his face, causing the long scar that ran down the left side to crinkle. "So that is what has been bothering you." He chuckled. He stretched out a hand and clicked his fingers, causing me to blink. Next thing I knew, the cross was in his hand.

"How's it done?" I asked. "Can only full vampires do it?"

"I will demonstrate again. Watch closely this time."

Replacing the cross on the piece of wood, he stood back and clicked his fingers. Once again it disappeared and turned up in his hand. "Did you see?"

"See what?" I was confused.

"One final time," he said. "Try not to blink."

I focused on the small silver piece. I heard his fingers clicking and -- keeping my eyes wide open -- thought I saw the slightest blur darting between me and the cross.

When I turned to look at him, he was tossing the cross from hand to hand and smiling. "Figured me out yet?" he asked.

I frowned. "I thought I saw...it looked like..."

My face lit up. "You didn't move the cross!" I yelled excitedly. "You moved!"

He beamed. "Not as dull as you appear," he complimented me is his usual sarcastic manner.

"Do it again," I said. This time I didn't look at the cross: I watched the vampire. I wasn't able to track his movements -- he was too fast -- but I caught brief glimpses of him as he darted forward, snatched up the cross, and leaped back.

"So you're not able to move things with your mind?" I asked.

"Of course not." He laughed.

"Then why the click of the fingers?"

"To distract the eye," he explained.

"Then it's a trick," I said. "It's got nothing to do with being a vampire."

He shrugged. "I could not move so fast if I were human, but yes, it is a trick. I dabbled with illusions before I became a vampire, and I still like to practice."

"Could I learn to do it?" I asked.

"Maybe," he said. "You cannot move as fast as I can, but you could get away with it if the object was close to hand. You would have to practice hard -- but if you wish, I can teach you."

"I always wanted to be a magician," I said. "But...hold on...." I remembered a couple of occasions when Mr. Crepsley had opened locks with a click of his fingers. "What about locks?" I asked.

"Those are different. You understand what static energy is?" My face was a blank. "Have you ever brushed a comb through your hair and held it up to a thin sheet of paper?"

"Yeah!" I said. "The paper sticks to it."

"That is static energy," he explained. "When a vampire flits, a very strong static charge builds up. I have learned to harness that charge. Thus I am able to force open any lock you care to mention."

I thought about that. "And the click of your fingers?" I asked.

"Old habits die hard." He smiled.

"But old vampires die easy!" a voice growled behind us, and before I knew what was happening, someone had reached around the two of us and pressed a pair of razor-sharp knives to the soft flesh of our throats!

Copyright © 2002 by Darren Shan

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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Tunnels of Blood (Cirque Du Freak Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 234 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one has been my favorite of the series so far. Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan is a book about a Half- Vampire named Darren Shan. Darren Shan was hanging out with his best friend Evra when they were abruptly and rudely interrupted by Mr.Crepsley telling them to pack their things. They headed to a city in which Mr.Crepsley was on a mission to eliminate a evil Vampire called a Vampaneze. Evra and Darren noticed Mr.Crepsley was leaving at dawn and wouldn't return until morning, so they decided to spy on him at night to see what he was up to. While in the daytime he hung out with his 'girlfriend' Debbie. Then one night while spying Darren went too far and ruined Mr.Crepsley's mission and let the evil Vampaneze escape into the city and the Vampaneze managed to kidnap Evra. Mr.Crepsley draw up a plan that is not error-free but manages to work just enough to finish the Vampaneze off!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tunnels of blood is the third exciting book in the Cirque Du freak series by Darren Shan. It is an action packed horror book, about a boy named Darren, who becomes a vampire¿s assistant in order to save a friend¿s life. Darren¿s adventure seems harder than he thought. Knowing very little about his vampire master, Darren grows suspicious. After his master Mr. Crepsley disappears oddly each night for a while, Darren starts investigating. Darren finds himself at the scene of a murder. There, Darren almost kills his master, only to learn Mr. Crepsley was protecting the victim. Darren sets off to kill the evil vampire (the true murderer) Murlough. Darrens adventures as a vampire started when his best friend Steve was poisoned 5 years ago Darren had to become a half-vampire and a vampire¿s assistant to save Steve¿s life. This situation seems everlasting as in this book Darren¿s new-found friend Evra Von is captured and Darren must give his life to go save him. Darren and Mr. Crepsley go on many adventures in this 11 book series but their relationships don¿t change as drastically in the other book as in Tunnels of Blood. Once the ¿betrayal¿ incident is over, Mr. Crepsley is forced to tell Darren his secrets. After that, Mr. Crepsley¿s trust in Darren strengthens, since Darren now knows why Mr. Crepsley was acting so strange. In this book the characters act like humans would, making the events in Tunnels of Blood seem like real life situation instead of a made-up fantasy story. Tunnels of Blood is incredibly well written, yet easy to understand YA novel. Fans of tense and action-packed literature are sure to love this book. Tunnels of Blood makes you think of Darren¿s situation as if you were in it. What would you do¿ to save a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of the Darren Shan Series will make you want to read more if you love horror, action, and gore! I've just read the book and Hint: there is a twist at the end that will suprise you! I am soon gonna read the 4th book and I can't wait for the last book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome the ending was gutwrenching :+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darren Shan is the name of my bestiezz ex. That is weird >.<
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is really amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I love how darren shaw adds a love twist to it. The whole vampire likes a human thing, is very interesting. I have read more books down the line and i know that debbie and darren meet again. Its very very intresting how that happens and i encourage you to check it out. But anyways its a great book and i hope you enjoy it. Good job to the writter. ----- A M!ssy G Revew
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does anyone else think its weird that the author uses himself as a character in the series? Or is it just me? Ive read the first two, i highly recemend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely riveting! The author couldn't have done better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You hqve my favoritest books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh i wish there was 100 stars on this thing! Awesome book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me going it had alot of mysteries in it. This book was about this half vampire who got bitten by a full vampire for stealing his spider and the half vampire was trained to help out this circus and while he was at the circus he was being trained to become a ful vampire. Mysterious things happen he goes on mission to save an old town the full vampire was born and raised in and to keep the mortal(humans) out of reach of this bad vampire ho killed refusing the vampire laws. Alot of suspense happens and alot of twists accure as you read this book. Hope you enjoy it because i know you will be talking about it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
While good, not as good or so I remembered but still a good sequel. Getting interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE WHAT COMES NEXT, AFTER THE WORDS... Power of the............ *yawn* ........... |:^)]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent nook. And i really enjoyee. I would definitly recommend this book to a person who really enjoys mystery. For a minute i thiught the book would be violent an gorey but its not at all. I also thought it would be slightly boring but after at least 10 pages it was interesting. I absolutely loved this nook. And it is now one of my favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Clever boy" even i did not see that twitst at the end of the book coming complete shocker
Anonymous More than 1 year ago