Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cirque Du Freak IV: Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan

I will always remember the wintery day I discovered this amazing book at a private book store on my way to Florida. This is the fourth book of the Cirque Du Freak saga, the first book of the saga I read and my first Young Adult book. 

The previous three book of the series describes how a young boy named Darren Shan visited a magical freak show, became a vampire, fought a wolf-man and helped his sire (Mr. Crepsley) defeat a mad vampanease (Murlough). A vampanease and vampires are the two creatures of the night in this saga that are rivals. Vampires only drink a little blood people and have an old-fashioned government, while vampanease kill their victims and have no balanced government. 

Vampire Mountain chronicles an exciting trek to a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Somehow, Shan was able to keep the trip amusing to read about. I admire how well the Shan was able to go through so much time easily and only incorporated exciting events. This book’s reminders of the rigid structure of the vampire government was interesting because they were spaced out through went they were relevant to Darren’s journey. Darren’s mentors (Mr. Crepsley, Seba, Kurda and Mr. Tiny) all are interesting characters that give Darren wise advise. There is no character scarier then Mr. Tiny; he takes delight in catastrophes and deals with ghosts. The wolves were very cute and reminded me of my dog. I was as sad as Darren when he had to say goodbye to them.

I liked learning the origins of the Little People from Harkat Mulds (the Little Person Who Speaks, previously known as Lefty). The threat of the Vampanese Lord was a great addition to the plot because it provides a mysterious villain to fight that might led to the end of the vampire race. It creates a dangerous dilemma that leaves room for many more adventures that serve a dangerous purpose. Also, the fight scenes were marvelously described. Darren describes his and his opponents moves with a variety of verbs and there is funny backstage commentary.  

This book is mostly a filler that leads into the next giant arc of the saga; the trials. Shan was able to make a filler that has exciting moments and rings interesting questions that will be answered later on in the series. The plot was fast paced, the characters were all relatable and the mood was horrific. I like how the book has a frightening world of terror and danger, while still having good vampires.

Feel free to leave comments! 


  1. I read a lot of adolescent fiction because I am a middle school teacher. I like to know about books that I can recommend to my students. This sounds like an excellent read. Thank you!

  2. The first book of the series, A Living Nightmare, is perfect for middle schoolers. Your Welcome!



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