As we go further into this series, we start to learn more about the secretive vampire Mr. Crepsley. An old friend of Crepsley’s stops by the Cirque to deliver a message…there’s a bad vampire killing people in his hometown. He packs things up and brings Darren and Evra (the snake boy) with him. For Darren and Evra, this is a mini vacation away from the Cirque while Crepsley sneaks around town. He doesn’t tell the boys why they are there, while the bodies keep piling up. Darren assumes that the murderer is Crepsley and seeks to stop him by ending his life. Evra and Darren start following Crepsley, only to find that they’ve put their own lives in grave danger.[This post contains affiliate links.]
In Book 2 of the Cirque du Freak series, Darren Shan is trying to adjust to being a half-vampire (and hating every moment of it). The thought of drinking blood sickens him. The thought of drinking human blood repulses him. But if he is to survive, he must eventually drink human blood or he will die. Mr. Crepsley brings Darren to the Cirque so he can have friends, something he was missing from being alive. At the Cirque, Darren bunks with the snake boy and they become fast friends. They help out at the Cirque by doing chores and even feeding the Wolf Man.
One day, a young boy that lives near the camp shows up, wanting to run away with the circus. As much as they try to scare him off, nothing works. They also meet and befriend an activist, but things go awry when he sees the Wolf Man. Thinking that he was a caged animal, he attempts to set him free, not knowing just how deadly that can be.[This post contains affiliate links.]
It started off as a random, yet strange collection. I went from library book sales to second hand booksellers in search of a rather strange YA series called Cirque du Freak. The protagonist of the story purports to be the author, Darren Shan, a young boy turned vampire. But upon further discovery, Darren Shan is really Darren O’Shaughnessy, an Irishman living in Limerick. He created this 12 book series as his first children’s book series, following it up with the Demonata series. What I thought would be a series about a Circus turned into a tale not just about a circus, but about a boy who stole a spider and had to become a vampire to save his friend’s life. He became a half vampire, an assistant to a full-fledged vampire. They travel with the Cirque du Freak, where they are surrounded by a protective community of people that are not like anyone else. While the movie “The Vampire’s Assistant” was a good movie, the books, as always, are way better.
In this first book, we are introduced to Darren Shan. A normal teenage boy whose best friend is not such a good kid. They sneak out to the Cirque du Freak one night. Steve recognizes that one of the performers is a vampire. After the show, he approaches Mr. Crepsley and asks to become a vampire. Crepsley refuses because he sees the evil in Steve. Steve, feeling dejected, vows to become a vampire hunter.
Darren, meanwhile, is looking for his friend, but stumbles upon Mr. Crepsley’s magnificent spider and decides to steal her. This winds up being the biggest mistake he’s ever made, because it is this spider that changes his fate.[This post includes affiliate links.]