Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer

by Darren Shan 
New York: Little Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316078634
272 pages
4 out of 5

Before Cirque Du Freak...
Before the war with the vampaneze...
Before he was a vampire...

Larten Crepsley was a boy.

As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his cousin as an example to the other children.

In that moment, young Larten flew into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive.  Forced to live on the run, Larten now sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by.  And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire's assistant, he agrees.

This is his story.

After the incident in the factory, Larten Crepsley is a lost, scared kid when Seba finds him.  He is given the choice of joining the vampire in his travels, and possibly in his lifestyle, and Larten accepts. He cannot return to his home and family and finds a purpose as a vampire's assistant.  What follows is the story of how Larten Crepsley the boy becomes Larten Crepsley the vampire in Cirque Du Freak.

I devoured this book.  It's well-written, fast-paced, and engaging.  In this first installment, Larten doesn't seem nearly as nasty as he does in the first Cirque du Freak novel, but he has quite a story to tell.  Fans of the series will enjoy learning of Larten's beginnings.  I think the series will also find new fans through this book.  As someone who has only read the first of the original series, you can start in either place.  In fact, reading Cirque Du Freak after Saga of Larten Crepsley will give you something to do while you wait for book two.

This title is available October 5, 2010.

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