Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare –Book Review

I’ve seen the Cirque du Freak books for a while at bookstores but only gave them small notice. I actually developed an eagerness to read the series after I’ve seen the movie which came out months before. I essentially enjoyed the film (but not really that awed by it) and as I thought that most of the time the books are better than the movies, I decided to read it.

The premise of the book Cirque Du Freak 1: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan is about a boy with a fascination for spiders named Darren Shan (yeah, they have the same name) who, due to circumstances, went to watch the Cirque du Freak, or Circus of Freaks. Cirque du Freak is not the same one as the regular freak shows, it showcases real freaks and Darren will know them firsthand. The Cirque du freak happens to feature a talented spider Madam Octa owned by Mr. Crepsley. Madam Octa impressed Darren, and this made him decide to steal her from Mr. Crepsley—who turned out to be a vampire. What future does Darren Shan have now that he used up his guts to steal from a vampire? Add to this is his best friend, Steve, who happens to want to become a vampire.

I have no problem of the fact that the name of the author and the main character is the same.  The book’s story is told using the first person point of view, which is appropriate given that the author wished to name the character before himself, but sometimes Darren seems to annoy me. (The character, and sometimes the author :P)

The book is a so-so book, with a so-so story, and so-so characters. I enjoyed it, yes, but I think it can use a lot of improvements. The good thing about it is that it is surely a fast read. Not action-packed as I thought it would be, but maybe (or hopefully) it will be after the next books.

As I’ve seen it, the book just set out the origin of the series. There wasn’t really much action which what I was looking forward to. That is why it seemed boring even though the chapters were relatively short as the book was short itself. The length of the book made it bearable to read up to the end. The humor too, though not really exceptional, made me finish the book.

But as it was the first book, it should give a big impact on the readers so that they would continue on the series, but unfortunately it didn’t give much of an impact. This just told as to how Darren Shan’s adventures start, this is not necessarily Darren Shan’s first adventure.

Would I want to read the next of the series? Probably yes, but I’m not really hyped on grabbing the next books instantly. I would want to know what will happen next to Darren Shan but I’m in no hurry. I still have other good books to read.

Re-readability wise, no. I wouldn’t want to read it again. But I’m not closing the doors, if I enjoy the next books, maybe I would like to read some parts of the beginning of Darren Shan’s adventures. It will all depend on the next books.

It’s a book that you can read when you’re bored but not really looking for an intelligent read. There isn’t really something exceptional about this book. No big lessons, no life-changing quotes, just mainly for entertainment.

Concise review:
The book is an enjoyable and fast read, but lacks thickness of plot.


  1. This sounds like a decent idea without good development. That is, it could have been so much more.
    Jennifer Perry

  2. Hmm this sounds interesting! Doesn't sounds like my type of book though. Thanks for the great review.

    Oh and you've won an award over at my blog! :)