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.
"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,
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
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.