A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Twelve-year-old Darren Shan (that’s not his real name—he had to change it to protect everyone he knows in order to tell his story) and his friends find out that there is a freak show visiting their town, and they really want to go, even though it’s illegal and cruel (according to adults). Darren and his friend Steve decide to go anyway when Steve gets his hands on some tickets.
Darren enjoys the show very much (he was only a little bit scared), but is concerned when Steve tells him to go on home without him; Steve plans on staying and talking to one of the freaks: Larten Crepsley, a creepy man who performs with a huge and dangerous spider. Instead of leaving, Darren hides and watches their exchange and learns that Mr. Crepsley is really a vampire and that Steve wants to join him and become his vampire apprentice; however, Mr. Crepsley denies this request and sends Steve on his way.
Weeks later, Darren is forced to seek out Mr. Crepsley’s help when Steve’s life is in danger. In exchange for his help, Mr. Crepsley wants Darren to be his assistant. What other choice does Darren have but to accept?
This is a story full of action and suspense—with vampires! Although this first book is mostly a set-up for the real vampire lifestyle that Darren will experience in the following books in The Saga of Darren Shan, readers are sure to be glued to the pages.
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