Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Book Review: A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak #1)

‘The chilling Saga of Darren Shan, the ordinary school boy plunged into the vampire world. Darren goes to a banned freak show with his best mate, Steve. It’s the wonderfully gothic Cirque Du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear to interact terrifyingly with the audience. Darren – a spider freak – “falls in love” with Madam Octa – an enormous tarantula owned by Mr Crepsley. Darren determines to steal the spiders so that he can train it to preform amazing deeds. But his daring theft goes incredibly wrong and Darren finds himself having to make a bargain with a creature of the night.’

I ended up getting this book on Kobo before I went to Italy in case I couldn’t sleep in the night and wanted to read, turns out I got through about five chapters while I was out there and then didn’t even remember that I had a tablet in the first place. 

I picked up the book again the other day and wondered why I had managed forget about it in the first place. It has been quite a while since I have read a book where the protagonist is a male and it was a really nice change. 

Shan uses a simplistic type of story writing which works extremely well in this book. The book leaves you questioning more and more as each chapter goes on and as you get to the end of the book, some of your questions are answers, whilst others are left hanging in the air and wanting you to get the other books. It was a fast paced book which meant that it was quite easy to get through but it still had detail where it was needed. 

I found that most of the characters were realistic, each one of them had their own little problems and difficulties which made you fall in love with even the background characters. My favourite character would have to be Mr Crepsley as I love the way he is portrayed throughout the book. His light-hearted approach to quite serious subject and his rather scary approach to things when he doesn’t get what he wants was enough for me to want to get to know more about his history.

However, I really didn’t like the way that Steve was portrayed. Personally, I didn’t really find his character to be realistic and it just becomes more and more unrealistic as the book went on. Parts of the story when you knew he was supposed to come across more serious seemed to be more childish. 

There were parts of the book where I did think it was slightly rushed and could have used a little bit more detail but other than that I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for something a little out of the ordinary. 

Rating: ★★★ 1/2


  1. Ooh, completely agree with this review- though I did love it a little more, I think! :) I'm a huge Shan-fan, though I'm really more into his ZOM-B books at the moment. Great review- thanks for my blog comment by the way! :)
    -Gee x

  2. Aww thanks! I can't wait to read the rest in the series now! x