Vampire Mountain (Cirque Du Freak Series #4)

Vampire Mountain (Cirque Du Freak Series #4)

4.4 236
by Darren Shan
     
 

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Darren Shan and Mr. Crepsley embark on a dangerous trek to the very heart of the vampire world. But they face more than the cold on Vampire Mountain-the vampaneze have been there before them.

Will a meeting with the Vampire Princes restore Darren's human side, or turn him further toward the darkness? Only one thing is certain-Darren's initiation into the vampire

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Overview

Darren Shan and Mr. Crepsley embark on a dangerous trek to the very heart of the vampire world. But they face more than the cold on Vampire Mountain-the vampaneze have been there before them.

Will a meeting with the Vampire Princes restore Darren's human side, or turn him further toward the darkness? Only one thing is certain-Darren's initiation into the vampire clan is more deadly than he can ever have imagined.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The sixth installment of the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan, The Vampire Prince, finds Darren accused of being a traitor, after Kurda betrays him, and being pursued by the vampire clan. To save his skin, he must outfox a vampire prince, as his initiation on Vampire Mountain comes to a surprising close (though a teaser indicates yet another book). Vampire Mountain, book four, is also being released in September as a paperback. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Darren Shan is on another adventure with Mr. Crepsley, but this one will take two books to fulfill. They must journey to Vampire Mountain to present Darren to the Vampire Council; they are both nervous because a vampire as young as Darren hasn't happened in a long time. The journey must be undertaken with no shoes-good thing vampires can stand the cold-and must be completed in a traditional manner. (Vampires are very big on tradition.) Along the way they find traces of vampaneze-killer vampires, their enemies. After making it to the mountain and being presented to the council, Darren decides to take the Challenge to prove his worth. The book ends there and in order to find out what happens you must get the fifth book. This vampire story is not gory and has some interesting mythology. I do wonder about the main character's name matching the author's. I would recommend having the whole series-my students will not be happy without having the rest of the story to finish. (Cirque du Freak). KLIATT Codes: J-Recommended for junior high school students. 2002, Little, Brown, 199p., Ages 12 to 15.
— Stacey Conrad
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Darren Shan, the loquacious vampire's assistant, narrates another blood-and-guts tale. Having tracked a horror-movie-stereotype vampire in their previous adventure, Darren and his master, Larten Crepsley, take another hiatus from the bizarre circus of the series title to make a pilgrimage to the Halls of Vampire Mountain to meet with the generals and princes in charge. The peregrinators are accompanied by a pair of ugly, speechless Little People who carry an ominous message for the council from their "old as time itself" master, Mr. Tiny. The road is perilous, of course, and getting to their destination is only half of the problem. Darren's biggest challenge, following a run-in with a crazed grizzly bear and a foolhardy confrontation with a rare, Xena-like vampiress, comes in defending his maker, the one who inexplicably violated the proscription against blooding a child. While the previous trio of "Cirque du Freak" books could each relatively stand alone, this fourth entry marks a definite transition, a critical segue into adventures to come that will revolve around Mr. Tiny's foreboding and Darren's impending Trials of Initiation (book nine is already in the works in the U.K.). The book ends with a "to be continued-" teaser along with an excerpt from the next book.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Angels and ministers of grace defend us! Shan (Tunnels of Blood, not reviewed, etc.) has extruded a fourth volume in his series about an adolescent vampire (also named Darren Shan) traveling with a supernatural freak show. Six years after his last adventure, Darren's vampire mentor, Mr. Crepsley, decrees that he must be presented to the Council of Vampire Generals at Vampire Mountain, even though Darren is only a "half-vampire" (a concept never really explained). After a tedious and slightly uncomfortable journey, during which Darren and his companions run across a dead vampire, make friends with a pack of wolves, and survive a completely risible bear attack, they arrive at the vampire headquarters. There Darren takes a tour, overhears some alarming rumors, plays vampire games, and subjects the reader to endless narrative dumps of vampire politics and lore. At last he makes a fateful decision that could put his very life in danger-one page before the end. All the hallmarks of Shan's earlier works-slipshod writing, banal characterization, pedestrian pacing, overly telegraphed foreshadowing of the Had-I-But-Known school-are present; but here he commits the cardinal sin of the gross-out horror genre by being boring. Nothing happens in this, except set up for the next. The premise has long lost whatever freshness it once had, and cocky, self-centered Darren is neither interesting nor likable enough to make anyone really care. Utter dreck; even the most devoted fans of the series will feel cheated. (Fiction. 11+)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316605427
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/06/2003
Series:
Cirque Du Freak Series, #4
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
113,766
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.62(d)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Vampire Mountain

Book 4 in The Saga of Darren Shan
By Darren Shan

Little Brown For Young Readers

Copyright © 2002 Darren Shan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-60806-8


Chapter One

I WAS EXCITED BUT ANXIOUS about the journey - I was venturing into the unknown, and I had a feeling it wouldn't turn out to be a smooth trip - so I spent the day busily packing knapsacks for myself and Mr. Crepsley, to make the time pass faster. (Full vampires will die if exposed to the sun for more than a few hours, but half-vampires aren't affected by it.) Since I didn't know where we were going, I didn't know what to take or leave. If Vampire Mountain was icy and wintry, I'd need thick clothes and boots; if it was somewhere hot and tropical, T-shirts and shorts would make more sense.

I asked some of the Cirque people about it but they didn't know anything, except Mr. Tall, who said I should pack for snow. Mr. Tall was one of those people who seemed to know something about everything.

Evra agreed about the snow. "I doubt if sun-shy vampires would make their base in the Caribbean!" He laughed sarcastically.

Evra Von was a snake-boy, with scales instead of skin. Or wait, he used to be a snake-boy - now he was a snake-man. Evra had grown these last six years, gotten taller and broader and older-looking. I hadn't. As a half-vampire, I aged at one-fifth the normal rate. So, although eightyears had gone by since Mr. Crep-sley blooded me, I only looked about a year older.

I hated not being able to grow normally. Evra and me used to be best buddies, but not anymore. We were still good friends and shared a tent, but he was a young man now, more interested in people - especially women! - his own age. In reality I was only a couple of years younger than Evra, but I looked like a kid, and it was hard for him to treat me like an equal.

There were benefits to being a half-vampire - I was stronger and faster than any human, and would live longer - but I would have given them all up if it meant looking my real age and being able to lead an ordinary life.

Even though Evra and me weren't as close as we'd once been, he was still my friend, and was worried about me heading off for Vampire Mountain. "From what I know, that journey's no joke," he warned in the vampire mountain deep voice that had hit him a few years ago. "Maybe I should come with you."

I would have loved to jump at his offer, but Evra had his own life to lead. It wouldn't be fair to drag him away from the Cirque Du Freak. "No," I told him. "Stay and keep my hammock warm. I'll be okay. Be-sides, snakes don't like the cold, do they?"

"That's true." He laughed. "I'd probably fall asleep and hibernate till spring!"

Even though Evra wouldn't be coming, he helped me pack. I didn't have much to take: spare clothes, a thick pair of boots, special cooking utensils that folded up neatly so they were easier to carry, my diary - that went everywhere with me - and other stuff. Evra told me to take a rope - he said it might come in handy, especially when it came to climbing.

"But vampires are great climbers," I reminded him.

"I know," he said, "but do you really want to hang off the side of a mountain with only your fingertips for support?"

"Of course he does!" someone boomed behind us before I could answer. "Vampires thrive on danger."

Turning to see who it was, I found myself face-to-face with the sinister being known as Mr. Tiny, and my insides instantly froze with fright.

Mr. Tiny was a small, plump man, with white hair, thick glasses, and a pair of green boots. He fiddled around a lot with a heart-shaped watch. He looked like a nice old uncle but was really a cruel, dark-hearted man who'd cut your tongue out as soon as say hello to you. Nobody knew much about him, but everyone was afraid of him. His first name was Desmond, and if you shortened it to "Des" and put it together with his last name you got Mr. Destiny.

I hadn't seen Mr. Tiny since a little after joining the Cirque Du Freak, but I heard a lot of stories about him - how he ate children for breakfast and burned down towns to warm his feet. My heart palpitated when I saw him standing a few feet away, eyes twinkling, hands wrapped behind his back, eavesdropping on Evra and me.

"Vampires are peculiar creatures," he said, step-ping forward, as though he'd been part of the conversation all along. "They love a challenge. I knew one once who walked himself to death in sunlight, merely because someone had sneered at him for only being able to come out at night."

He stuck out a hand and, scared as I was, I auto-matically shook it. Evra didn't - when Mr. Tiny ex-tended his hand to the snake-man, he stood, quivering, shaking his head furiously. Mr. Tiny just smiled and took back his hand.

"So, you're off to Vampire Mountain," he said, picking up my knapsack and peering inside without asking. "Take matches, Master Shan. The way is long and the days are cold. The winds that gust around Vampire Mountain would cut even a tough-skinned young man like you to the bone."

"Thanks for the advice," I said.

That was the confusing thing about Mr. Tiny. He was always polite and friendly, so even if you knew he was the type of guy who wouldn't blink in the face of great evil, you couldn't help liking him at least some of the time.

"Are my Little People near?" he asked. The Little People were short creatures who dressed in blue robes with hoods, never spoke, and ate anything that moved (including humans!). A couple of the mysterious beings almost always traveled with the Cirque Du Freak, and there were eight of them with us at that time.

"They're probably in their tent," I said. "I brought them some food about an hour ago, and I think they're still eating." One of my jobs was to hunt for the Little People's food. Evra used to do it with me, until he grew up and demanded less messy chores. Nowadays I was helped by a couple of young humans, children of the Cirque helpers.

"Excellent." Mr. Tiny beamed, and began to walk away. "Oh." He paused. "One last thing. Tell Larten not to leave until I've had a word with him."

"I think we're in a hurry," I said. "We might not have time to -"

"Just tell him I want a word," Mr. Tiny interrupted. "I'm sure he'll make time for me." With that, he tipped his glasses at us, waved good-bye, and moved on. I shared a worried look with Evra, found some matches and stuck them in my bag, then hurried off to wake Mr. Crepsley.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan Copyright ©2002 by Darren Shan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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