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Tuesday 31 August 2010

Birth of a Killer [Review]

Written by: Darren Shan.
Published by: Harper Collins Children's Books.
Format: Hardback.
Released: 30th September 2010.
Rating: 4.5/5.

Official synopsis: "Following the massive success of the Demonata series, Darren Shan is back where it all started – telling the life story of the vampire Larten Crepsley. Spanning centuries and continents, taking in sea voyages, murder, war and love, this is the epic, bloodsoaked tale of a vampire who started out a nobody… and ended up changing the world forever. When Larten escapes the terrible workhouse in which he toils, he doesn’t know that he is running from an early death… into another kind of transformation. After meeting the mysterious vampire Seba Nile while sheltering for the night in a crypt, Larten finds himself drawn into the shadowy world of the vampire Clan. As he travels and learns, Larten finds himself enjoying the adventure he has always dreamed of, seeing a world beyond any he suspected in his poverty-stricken youth. But Larten begins to discover something else, too. Much like death, becoming a vampire is something you can’t come back from…"

Darren Shan is back with a brand new series. After completing the amazing Demonata series last year, and releasing the one off story, The Thin Executioner, he is gearing up for the release of this beaut. Birth of a Killer, the first book in The Saga of Larten Crepsley - those of you who have read The Saga of Darren Shan may be already acquainted to Mr. Crepsley, but if like me, you haven't read them yet, this may just be the perfect place for you to start, for The Saga of Larten Crepsley is a prequel series to The Saga of Darren Shan!

This book is very different to what I've read of Shan previous (I still haven't read The Thin Executioner - what is wrong with me?!). It's written in third person, with a rich narrative that is smooth, entertaining and gripping. Shan has said that series spans over 200 years, and this book itself spans some years - don't ask me how many, I am terrible at maths!

I love Darren's portrayal of vampires. They're realistic - as realistic as vampires can be... - and a lot more interesting, and thought out, than your usual vamps. 

From working every day of the week in a factory, to meeting the creepy Seba Nile, his time with the Cirque Du Freak, to the depths of being a vampire, the book is fast paced and hugely entertaining. It is a great series opener and has left me dying to find out what happens in the next book of the saga, Ocean of Blood out May 2011.

My thanks to Jessica at Harper Collins for my copy!

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