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The Vampire’s Assistant is the sequel to Cirque Du Freak. This was the first book in The Saga of Darren Shan. The first three books in the series are named ‘The Vampire Blood Trilogy’.
The books are about Darren Shan, written by…Darren Shan. They are mainly about vampires and other weird creatures. The book was written in 2000.
The Events of Cirque Du Freak:
Darren Shan is just a normal boy. He is friends with Steve, who finds the oppurtunity to go to a freak show. Darren reluctantly agrees to go. They see ‘The Wolf Man’, Larten Crepsley the vampire and Evra Von, the snake boy. After the show, Darren hides sneaks into Crepsley’s dressing room, where he finds a spider and steals it. He manages to hide as Crepsley comes in and, surprisingly, Steve enters. He begs Crepsley to become a vampire, but he refuses. In school, the spider is let loose and bites Steve, but it is not just an ordinary spider. It is Madame Octa, the lethal spider which has life threatening bites.
Darren goes to Crepsley and asks him to save Steve. He says yes but on one condition: Darren becomes a vampire. He agrees and goes through the process. Darren has to have a ‘funeral’ to go on travels with Crepsley, so he goes home and gives his love to his parents and sister, not telling them what is happening. After it, Darren goes off with Crepsley. Steve is saved.
Meanwhile, Steve finds out what happened to Darren, jealous. After all, he loved vampires. He joins with different vampires, opponents of Crepsley. He takes Darren’s family and ties them up in rope at the nearby theatre.
Darren goes to find his family, but manages to find them at the theatre. He fights Steve and the other vampires and eventually beat them in a nasty battle.
The Vampire's Assistant is set after the events of Cirque Du Freak.
It begins with Larten Crepsley and his ‘assistant’, Darren Shan, stopping for a drink of blood from an ex-scout. Darren refuses, but Crepsley tells him that it will lead to consequences.
Darren is bored of his life, and Crepsley has the idea of moving to the Cirque Du Freak. They do so and Darren meets Evra Von, a ‘snake boy’. The two meet some new friends. Sam Grest is a small boy who likes pickled onions, and R.V is an ‘eco hippie’. Things soon get out of hand with their new friends, though…
Darren Shan, the half-vampire, returns. He refuses to drink blood and blames Crepsley for his new life. He hates the fact that it is hard to make new friends, and that he cannot see his parents again.
Larten Crepsley is a vampire, and turned Darren Shan into one, making him a half-vampire. He trains Darren in the ways of a vampire, and persuades him to drink blood to live. Darren hates him, however, he has to stay with him to stay alive.
Evra Von is a ‘snake boy’. He is a member of the Cirque, and becomes friends with Darren after he moves there. They have a tough friendship as time goes on, because he ages normally, but Darren ages a fifth of the normal rate.
Sam Grest becomes friends with Darren and Evra after meeting them outside the Cirque. He is desparate to join it, and is fed up of people telling him that he is too young to do things. He loves going to the shows at the Cirque and seeing the acts.
R.V is an ‘eco warrior’. He is very fond of animals and believes that meat should not be eaten. He is also against the fact that they keep the act ‘Wolf Man’ in a cage.
I read the newer version of the book. The cover displays the Wolf Man on the front, his claws stretched out. He is standing in the woods. Around the outside, there is a fancy symmetrical pattern and a skull at the top. There is large text at the top that reads ‘The Saga of Darren Shan’. Then, at the bottom, it says ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’ and beneath ‘The Nightmare Continues’. There is a large ‘I’ on the spine of the book. If you put all of the books together in order, you will see that it spells out ‘CIRQUE DU FREAK’.
The Vampire’s Assistant is a very good book. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 12. It is well written and funny at times. I didn’t take it too seriously, despite the horror theme; it is gruesome at times. There are memorable characters and it is written well. Reading it will leave you hungry for more, and it’s lucky that there are 11 other books in the series!
The Vampire's Assistant is the second instalment in the saga of Darren Shan, which began ... more
with Cirque du Freak. Then, Darren made the difficult decision to become a half-vampire to save his best mate Steve Leopard's life. Now, he must leave his friends and family behind as he travels cross-country with the vampire Mr Crepsley and the Cirque du Freak. Early on, Darren dispels the vampire myth in his typically facetious fashion:Crosses and holy water didn't hurt us. All garlic did was give us bad breath ... A stake through the heart would kill us, of course, but so would a bullet or a knife or electricity ... We were tougher to kill than normal people, but we weren't indestructible. However, despite Darren's seeming flippancy, The Vampire's Assistant is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. How long can Darren go before he must drink human blood? How safe are Darren's new-found friends? Why don't the mysterious, blue-hooded dwarves speak or cry out in pain? And does their master Mr Des Tiny really feed on little children? No one is safe in this gruesome, macabre tale--more a who's-going-to-do-what than a who-dunnit: And then the red monster 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 to the floor, unconscious, unseeing, unknowing. Familiar characters include Mr Tall, the wolf-man and Evra, the snake boy, who are more fleshed out in this follow-up. New characters include Darren's new mate Sam and R G (Reggie Veggie), an ecowarrior. If book one whet your appetite, then The Vampire's Assistant will certainly leave you hungry for more. Watch out for the next fang-tastic sequel. --Nicola Perry