The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque Du Freak Series #2)

The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque Du Freak Series #2)

by Darren Shan

Paperback(1ST U.S. P)

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In the tradition of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Stephen King's Salem's Lot, the nightmare continues for the new vampire's assistant in the popular Saga of Darren Shan.

Darren Shan was just an ordinary schoolboy until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now, as he struggles with his new life as a Vampire's Assistant, he tries desperately to resist the one temptation that sickens him, the one thing that can keep him alive. But destiny is calling. The Wolf Man is waiting.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316606844
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 10/01/2002
Series: Cirque Du Freak Series , #2
Edition description: 1ST U.S. P
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 47,791
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 14 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Cirque Du Freak

The Vampire's Assistat
By Darren Shan

Thorndike Press

Copyright © 2001 Darren Shan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0786237341

Chapter One

It was a dry, warm night, and Stanley Collins had decided to walk home after the Boy Scouts meeting. It wasn't a very long walk -- less than a mile -- and though the night was dark, he knew every step of the way as surely as he knew how to tie a reef knot.

Stanley was a scoutmaster. He loved the Scouts. He'd been one when he was a boy and kept in contact when he grew up. He'd turned his own three sons into first-rate Scouts, and now that they'd grown up and left home, he was helping the local kids.

Stanley walked quickly to keep warm. He was only wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and even though it was a nice night, his arms and legs were soon covered in goosebumps. He didn't mind. His wife would have a delicious cup of hot chocolate and cookies waiting for him when he got home. He'd enjoy them all the more after a good, brisk walk.

Trees grew along both sides of the road home, making it very dark and dangerous for anyone who wasn't used to it. But Stanley had no fears. On the contrary, he loved the night. He enjoyed listening to the sound of his feet crunching through the grass and briars.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

He smiled. When his sons were young, he'd often pretended there were monsters lying in wait up in the trees as they walked home. He'd make scary noises and shake the leaves of low-hanging branches when the boys weren't looking. Sometimes they'd burst into screams and run for home at top speed, and Stanley would follow after them, laughing.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Sometimes, if he was having trouble getting to sleep at night, he would imagine the sounds of his feet as they made their way home, and that always helped him drift off into a happy dream.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

It was the nicest sound in the world, as far as Stanley was concerned. It was a great feeling, to know you were all alone and safe as can be.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.


Stanley stopped and frowned. That had sounded like a stick breaking -- but how could it have been? He would have felt it if he'd stepped on a twig. And there were no cows or sheep in the nearby fields.

He stood still for about half a minute, listening curiously. When there were no more sounds, he shook his head and smiled. It had been his imagination playing tricks on him, that was all. He'd tell the wife about it when he got home and they'd have a good old laugh.

He started walking again.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

There. Back to the familiar sounds. There was nobody else around. He would have heard more than a single branch snapping if there was. Nobody could creep up on Stanley J. Collins. He was a trained scoutmaster. His ears were as sharp as a fox's.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Cru --


Stanley stopped again and, for the first time, the fingers of fear began to squeeze around his beating heart.

That hadn't been his imagination. He'd heard it, clear as a bell. A twig snapping, somewhere overhead. And before it snapped -- had there been the slightest rustling sound, like something moving?

Stanley gazed up at the trees but it was too dark to see. There could have been a monster the size of a car up there and he wouldn't have been able to spot it. Ten monsters! A hundred! A thou--

Oh, that was silly. There were no monsters in the trees. Monsters didn't exist. Everyone knew that. Monsters weren't real. It was a squirrel or an owl up there, something ordinary like that.

Stanley raised a foot and began to bring it down.


His foot hung in the air, midstep, and his heart pounded quickly. That was no squirrel! The sound was too sharp. Something big was up there. Something that shouldn't be up there. Something that had never been up there before. Something that --


The sound was closer this time, lower down, and suddenly Stanley could stand it no longer.

He began to run.

Stanley was a large man, but pretty fit for his age. Still, it had been a long time since he'd run this fast, and after a hundred yards he was out of breath and had a cramp in his side.

He slowed to a halt and bent over, gasping for air.


His head shot up.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

There were footsteps coming toward him! Slow, heavy footsteps. Stanley listened, terrified, as they came closer and closer. Had the monster leaped ahead of him through the trees? Had it climbed down? Was it coming to finish him off? Was it...?

Crunch. Crunch.

The footsteps stopped and Stanley was able to make out a figure in the darkness. It was smaller than he'd expected, no bigger than a boy. He took a deep breath, straightened up, got his courage up, and stepped forward for a better look.

It was only a boy! A small, frightened-looking boy, dressed in a dirty suit.

Stanley smiled and shook his head. What a fool he'd been! The wife would have a field day when he told her about this.

"Are you okay, son?" Stanley asked him.

The boy didn't answer.

Stanley didn't recognize the youngster, but there were a lot of new families around these days. He no longer knew every child in the neighborhood.

"Can I help you?" he asked. "Are you lost?"

The boy shook his head slowly. There was something strange about him. Something that suddenly made Stanley feel uneasy. It might have been the effect of the darkness and the shadows...but the boy looked very pale, very thin, very...hungry.

"Are you all right?" Stanley asked again, stepping closer. "Can I--"


The sound came from directly overhead, loud and menacing. The boy leaped back quickly, out of the way.

Stanley just had time to glance up and see a huge red shape, which might have been some sort of bat, falling through the branches of the trees, almost faster than his eyes could follow.

And then the red thing was on him. Stanley opened his mouth to scream, but before he could, the monster's hands -- claws? -- clamped over his mouth. There was a brief struggle, then Stanley was sliding onto the ground, unconscious, unseeing, unknowing.

Above him, the two creatures of the night moved in for the feed.


Excerpted from Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan Copyright © 2001 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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Vampire's Assistant (Cirque Du Freak Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 322 reviews.
ForLoveForMusicForNarnia More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book in the entire CDF series! I find every word to be a perfect picture. Darren Shan's author skills deserve a outstanding review!!!
DHS_JonathanP More than 1 year ago
If you like fiction, Vampiers and all type of creature you should really read this then. This is about 2 Best friends were they have found 2 ticket to the Cirque Du Freak. So They Found out that all the creaters they see in the place are real. So theres a vampire and one of the friends wants to be like him but he says that his blood is to evil when his other friends blood is pure. So they deside to take the vampires pet spider and one of the friends get bite so the other on had become a vampire assistant to save his Life. The Book was okay at first its boring but then the more deepper you get into it the more it gets better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son started reading these books through the school library. I ended up buying him the entire series as a christmas gift. He told me to read the first two or three books because he knew I would like them. He was right! Great series!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book, I read the first last year, and loved THAT! But when I read this, it was the same situation, I COULDNT put it down loved it 10/10 would recommend! YAY! :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you havent seen the mo ie for this the guy that plays as darren is sexyyyyy his name is Chris Massoglia... and the guy that plays as steve is Josh Hutcherson.. who is also hot. You will enjoy this too.. and WHEN DA HELLLL IS THE SECOND MOVIE COMIN OUT IM GETTIN PISSED CHRIS IS GONNA GET TOO OLD TO PLAY AS DARREN AND THEN HE CANT PLAY AS HIM ANYMORE AND THEN I WILL PISS ON SOMEONES FACE AND SCREAM! im obsessed with chris sorry. But yea so good you will cry. I cried a few times while reading this serise. But i had three books left an then my mom said i cant read it anymore. I was like ARE OU FIN KIDDIN ME YOU JERK I LOVE THIS SERIES MORE THEN LIFE ITSELF. Well enjoy his book. AND WATCH THE MOVIE BEFORE I HUNT YOU DOWN AND MAKE YOU WATCH IT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but 8 dollars for 30 mins of reading really wish theyed have more info when buying books like pages and word counts so i know what im buying
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the whole book series i couldn't stop reading Darren Shan is a wonderful author and actually starting reading on week-ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well if your looking for a good book to read read the cirque du freak sires its the best book i have ever red so read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan is an excellent book. i enjoyed this second one too. very glamourous and excellent. now im into more books about spiders, vampires, blood, and freak shows. but come on you guys, do you believe that the first one is real? do you? thats crazy. hmm well maybe its real, but i dont believe it is. and guess what people, the third one is coming out and its gonna be called, 'Tunnels Of Blood'. i dont know the fourth one yet, but i will get the title pretty soon.
heathersblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Making new friends is tough when you are a half-vampire finding your way in the world. Struggling against the need for human blood and the stupidity of a certain human, Darren Shan takes us on a great ride through the amazing Circue Du Freak.
Jecia.Woodard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Volume 2 of Cirque Du Freak is about Darren Shan and how he meets a boy named Sam who wants to go on the journey with Darren and Evra. What happens in this volume is very tragic and very mysterious. Darren and Evra have become best friends and When Sam comes along, they kinda become like the three musketeers. But when the wolf man is let out by a mysterious man, horror comes to Darren, Evra and Sam.I rate this book 5 stars because it was really good in the beginning but so sad at the end. I also likee it because there's more action in this volume than the last one.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Darren and Mr. Crepsley return to the Cirque de Freak and Darren has a hard time coming to terms with his new half-vampire status. He makes friends with the Snake Boy but finds himself becoming weaker and weaker as he resists the urge to drink human blood. This second in the series was even better than the first one! Most of the book is spent fleshing out Darren's character as he struggles with his preconceived ideas about evil and good. And exiting and unexpected ending with plenty of gory bits made this a quick, page-turner. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
bookappeal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good choice for boy readers especially - action, gross stuff, not too much emotion. I like that the author didn't try to fill in all the story from the first book throughout the second and, instead, covers it all in an introductory chapter to get the reader up to speed and into the new adventure. Writing style is very simple - not much for an adult to enjoy. Girls will also be attracted to the adventure and the friendships though there aren't any girl characters in this particular episode.
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I take it something bad is going to happen in every volume.
sfrieze on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
** spoiler alert ** Since I loved the first book of this series, it was a no-brainer that I would be getting the second book, and I'm glad I did. This book picks up right where the first one left off and even has a quick re-cap of the main points of the first book in case you forgot or you are a person that wants to skip the first book. In this book you follow Darren & Mr Creepsley back to the Cirque Du Freak show, and learn more about each of the performers. Darren forms a great relationship with the snake-boy, ...more Since I loved the first book of this series, it was a no-brainer that I would be getting the second book, and I'm glad I did. This book picks up right where the first one left off and even has a quick re-cap of the main points of the first book in case you forgot or you are a person that wants to skip the first book. In this book you follow Darren & Mr Creepsley back to the Cirque Du Freak show, and learn more about each of the performers. Darren forms a great relationship with the snake-boy, and meets a few locals that add a lot of action and excitement to his advevntures. My favorite part was when R.V. (you will find out who he is when you read the book) is running around screaming "my hands! my hands!" lol, but there are many other fun parts of the book too. I definitely reccomend this book, and I can't wait to start on bokk three of the series.
gsmattingly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Young adult. No literary classic but fun and quick reading. Enjoyable enough to go on to the next one and look for the movie.
Ynaffit27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very gory book towards the end. I like how this book gives me chills and is extremely readable. I feel like this book didn't really reflect off of the first book. The first book had so much great description and I feel like this one lacked description of action and emotion of characters. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book.
katielder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Vampire's Assistant is the second installation of a lengthy series written by the main character, Darren Shan. In the first book, Darren is turned into a half-vampire, after being bitten by the Vampire's tarantula. When he learns that his unique nature makes him unsuitable for middle school, he joins the circus--Cirque du Freak! He works there as the Vampire's assistant, but because he is only half-vampire, he is also half boy, and he misses his home, his family, and having friends.One of the dominant motifs in this second book is Darren's longing for normalcy, which in his mind includes friends. Fortunately, belonging to the Cirque gives him a true friend in Evra Von, the snake boy, who raises a large snake but is also part snake himself. Evra and Darren meet another boy, Sam, and the three of them find in each other the friendships they had been missing.A second motif is the issue of environmentalism. Darren meets R.V., a "tree hugger" who takes too much of an interest in the circus when he finds that some of the acts are kept in cages. Darren is interested in R.V.'s ideas, but also knows that some things are done because there is no alternative.The central conflict throughout the story is whether or not Darren will ever be able to bring himself to drink human blood, which is required for him to stay alive. He has been able to make do so far with animal blood, but his health is failing and he will have to make a decision soon.Although this book was a quick read for me, it was also a little gross. Of course, this makes it a perfect read for middle school boys!Suggested audience: 10-13 years, reluctant readers, boys
nm.fall07.t.m on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
in this one hes just learning who every body is and he makes friend and he has a a good time and he gets his first kiss and well its good till later on in the story but i dont want to ruin it so you read it nowwwwww !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sdtaylor555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great vampire series. Not just for teens. Adults will love them too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this down and the Cliff hanger at the end my goodness can't wait until tomorrow night. Darren No!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It nit ere. Tell me hiw ti get it at the name "manga"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
there was a boy that became a vampire assistant and he had to fake his death so he wouldn't eat his family member so they could live but they had to bury him alive then the vampire had to dig him up and to be his assistant and become a vampire like him and show other people like vampire to show how to eat and kill people i have not read all of it.