(Cirque Du Freak, #7)

The pursuit begins....Darren Shan, the Vampire Prince, leaves Vampire Mountain on a life or death mission. As part of an elite force, Darren searches the world for the Vampaneze Lord. But the road ahead is long and dangerous-and lined with the bodies of the damned.

Nothing like opening a book in a series and finding out it’s skipped forward…by six years. Yes, six years. Hear me sigh in irritation.

The last book left off with a stunning revelation, but we’ve skipped forward now. Once I got past that annoying development, the story continues to demand my attention.

Darren hasn’t seemed to think or tend to the views of the former traitor he was considering before (peace treaties), and while not enjoying killing, does it with more natural ease when it’s needed. Or else, when he thinks it’s needed. Mr. Tiny has returned and along with his encounter, an interesting sorceress who tells the potentials of the future as well. Characters like Lady Evanna amp up the fantasy aspect.

The trio – Darren, Crepsley, and Harkat – leave the mountains finally to begin a classic adventure journey. Fits in well no matter the age level. There are four foretold chances, and the fate of the entire race depends on failure or success.

There was also a tossed in other possible outcome that affects Darren more personally, something I hope the next book covers in more detail. It’s dark, it’s serious, and it raises the stakes in a different direction. Curious and revving to go continue this journey in the next book – these just fly by when reading them.

Another four star book in the series that works in making this world more complex, more captivating.

   Book Quotes:

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." 

“It was an age of tragic mistakes.” 

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Horror Reading Challenge Quarterly Update

Cornerstones is hosting their first quarterly challenge update for those participating in the 2015 Horror Reading Challenge. I'm not going to create an update post for every challenge I'm taking part of (there are so many - have you seen my challenges page??), but for this one with part of the challenge is updates and also a chance to win prizes for participating.

There are four levels:

  • 1-5 horror books: Running Scared
  • 6-10 horror books: Brave Reader
  • 11-15 horror books: Fearless
  • 16+ horror books: Horror Hound
I've set myself for the Fearless level of 11-15 books for the year.

I haven't read many horror yet but plan to, so right now the offering is a little slim:

The Elementals by Michael  McDowell
Mr. Hands by Gary Braunbeck

I've read and reviewed some other horror thrillers such as Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising - but since they're more suspense to me, I didn't count them for this challenge.


(Cirque Du Freak, #6)

Branded a traitor, betrayed by a friend, hunted by the vampire clan-Darren Shan, the Vampire's Assistant, faces certain death. Can Darren reverse the odds and outwit a Vampire Prince? Darren's initiation on Vampire Mountain draws to a stunning, bloody conclusion-but the Saga continues ...

The Vampire Prince is a step in the right direction for continued improvement. While the decisions of the council irritated me in the fifth book, and Darren’s adherence to the ridiculous trials, the plot is picking up from that cliffhanger to go in directions I like again.

Graphic and depressingly grim with some of the fight scenes, I'm glad Darren redeemed himself more in my eyes with his thoughts towards some actions that had to happen. Crepsley finally grew more courageous in the face of common sense, and I loved seeing the wolves again, this time with a much larger role.

The punishment for the vampires is pretty brutal stuff – a strange contraption where they’re dropped on a bed of stakes and don’t always die instantly. Not fun.

The beginning was interesting with how he recovered, to the reactions of the vampires and the revelation of the traitor at hand. The ending - well, I kind of expected something like that to occur - although I wasn't sure how it would come about. It's a little outlandish and silly but I think it's to tie up with the prophecy. Have a feeling, thanks mainly to the movie, who his arch-nemesis will be.

I was kind of hoping to leave Vampire Mountain for a bit but don't see that happening anytime soon. Darren is such a likeable character that I'm glad the vampires in this book held more common sense than before.

Shan is leaving the black-and-white behind, redeeming the characters a little as their world opens and the opinions start to stretch out, seeking that there may be valid points even in the actions of traitors. Darren’s turning an eye toward the possibilities of the vampineze – the big, bad enemy of them all – may have started with the same good intentions the vampires did. They could be cut from the same cloth after all.

   Book Quotes:

“They forget that the vampaneze were once our brothers, that by destroying them, we destroy a part of ourselves. Most vampire never realize how pointless and savage war truly is. You were smart enough to see through the truth. Don't ever forget it.”

   Author Extras:

DELETED SCENES: Darren and the Wolves
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