blo Teens Read and Write: BIRTH OF A KILLER (The Saga of Larten Crepsley) by Darren Shan

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BIRTH OF A KILLER (The Saga of Larten Crepsley) by Darren Shan

Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley)
by Darren Shan
Pub: Oct. 2010
Pages: 272

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 brother as an example to the other children.

In that moment, young Larten flies into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive. Forced on the run, he 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, Larten takes it.

This is his story.

I loved the Cirque Du Freak series. It was awesome. So to say I was excited for the story of Larten Crepsley is an understatement.

The story begins with a very young Larten living in a crowded house working a terrible job with an abusive supervisor, circa sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's. One day his best friend/brother/cousin, Vur, is killed by said abusive supervisor. Larten calmly responds by stabbing the supervisor in the neck.
It was all the rage back then.
Running from the law, with nowhere to go and a storm setting in, he hides out in a crypt where he meets Seba, an ancient but kind vampire who's willing to teach Larten the ways of the night!

Perhaps BIRTH OF A KILLER isn't on the scale of storytelling epicness of Shan's other series - sometimes it felt more like a biography than adventure - but I loved exploring Larten's past and experiences that made him who he was later. 

The story never stays in one place too long - a lot of skipping - he's a teenager, wait now it's been a few years, oh wait now he's a vampire, did we skip the half-vampire stage? I would have preferred to follow more chronologically and stayed longer in the different stages of his life.   

Shan's gift for creating imaginative, fascinating characters continues in BIRTH OF A KILLER. I loved them!  And the cameos from the Cirque Du Freak series was a blast. The only downside being that since the last CDF book (Sons of Destiny) came out in 2006, even I, Jake Kirk: Black Belt in Suave, Debonair Demeanor and Licensed Love Docter(Ph.D), had trouble remembering a lot of the characters. My good friend Wikipedia and I took several strolls down memory lane to jump-start my memory. 

I didn't mind checking stuff out but be aware there's a heavy focus on nostalgia from the Cirque Du Freak series so I recommend reading that first.

BOTTOMLINE: I went in expecting more of an epic adventure on par with Shan's other tales but got more of a memoir. Disappointing? No, I just had to change my expectations. Lovers of the Cirque Du Freak series will relish this background tale of Larten Crepsley, of the greatest series characters of all time. Fun, entertaining and a perfect read for Halloween!


Blodeuedd said...

Nice review :)
Was the a cirque movie...if so that I saw, though haven't read anything

Shy said...

I saw the Cirque du Freak movie though I've never really read any books by Darren Shan. Though I've to say that I thoroughly enjoy the movie despite it being rather weird at the beginning (not to mention creep!!). Nice review and I actually laugh when you mentioned this part Jake Kirk: Black Belt in Suave, Debonair Demeanor and Licensed Love Docter(Ph.D)

You're funny, dude! ;)

Golden Eagle said...

I haven't seen the movie or read anything by this author--I'll have to check out them out!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Great review. I haven't read this series, but I've been a bit interested...that's great that Shan decided to go back though.


Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

I find books like this hard to follow. Hmm I am thinking about it.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I need to read the Cirque Du Freak books. Thanks for the review. If I get to those books I'll have to add this one to the pile!

Nina said...

I have never read a book of the Cirque Du Freak series, so I think will skip this one. But it does sounds very nice to read.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great post. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

this looks perfect for halloween!

YA Book Queen said...

Nice review! Guess I should read CdF first though...good thing it's sitting on my shelf!

And wow, the US cover is just really not good in comparison to the UK one. Yikes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...