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CR3 #10: A Living Nightmare (Cirque du Freak #1) by Darren Shan

I watched roughly half of the film Cirque Du Freak, and thought to myself , "This is vaguely entertaining. I wonder if there is a book?" And as it turned out, there was!

The first book in the series introduces us to main character Darren Shan, an average 15 year old British schoolboy. He lives with his parents and younger sister and is almost totally average. Then one day, he and his best friend Steve (who seems the very definition of a bad influence) get the opportunity to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a very mysterious freak show. After seeing the show, things begin to go awry for Darren. Steve has some dark secrets, and Darren's adventures with a poisonous spider bring things to a head. Pretty soon, he ends up becoming part of the Cirque Du Freak as a vampire's assistant.

This is not a bad book, particularly if you keep in mind that it's a YA novel. It is probably perfect for the 10 - 14ish range, though I will admit I mostly enjoyed it. The author does very well with using and defining vocabulary words without making it obvious or sounding like a douche (the main reason I couldn't handle reading any of the Series of Unfortunate Events books was the unbearably pompous narrator). This book suffers a bit from "first book in a series" issues, in that there is an awful lot of exposition. On the whole, though, it is a fun little book to breeze through in an afternoon.

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