Cirque Du Freak

October 7, 2010

By Darren Shan
Reviewed by Greg
Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Darren Shan was just an ordinary boy, with ordinary friends, and an ordinary family. That is, until him and his friend Steve went to the mysterious Cirque Du Freak. Everything was forever changed about their lives that fateful night, as an out of place meeting with a creature of the night swept over them unexpectedly.

The Cirque performers had all possessed amazing talents, like running on their hands and eating metal, but the one that had Darren mesmerized the most was done by an odd man by the name of Mr. Larten Crepsly, and his performing, deadly, spider Madam Octa which he controlled by telepathy and a flute. Darren was amazed by the performance, and decided quietly to himself that Madam Octa would be his. His good friend Steve, however, was in a state of complete shock for the duration of the act, but would not say why. When the show was over, Steve told Darren to wait for him outside and would not say why. Darren figured he would follow Steve and see what mischief his friend was up to. What he witnessed in the next few minutes was unbelievable, and he would never be able to look at Steve the same way again.

After a surprising turn of events, Darren finds himself as the owner of the magical Madam Octa, the performing spider from the Cirque. Darren learns to wield the power of telepathy through a flute to control the spider. Everything then goes downhill for Darren, as he finally speaks to Steve again after that night at the Cirque, and tells him about his dark secret of stealing the spider from Mr. Crepsly, and asks him to come see the spider in action. A freak accident with the Madam Octa then puts Steve in the hospital, paralyzed, with Darren to blame. Darren must then make a deal with a mysterious creature of the night, who claims he can save Steve’s already hanging life. But there’s just one problem… The creature only deals in blood!

Cirque Du Freak was an amazing story about the mysteries of what lurks in the night, and is full of suspense, surprise, and difficult choices. Darren Shan’s use of vivid description and a sense of keeping the reader waiting is a perfect combination for this suspenseful, powerful book. This book can also be very relatable, as it shows the value of friends and family, and self-sacrifice to save another. This is the first book in the Cirque Du Freak series, and I would recommend it to any reader wanting to dig into a long series of excitement, action, and suspense.

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