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Cirque du Freak: Allies of the Night by Darren Shan

Cirque du Freak: Allies of the Night by Darren Shan

Cirque du Freak: Allies of the Night by Darren Shan is the eight book in the twelve book series by Darren Shan. It is also the second book in the Vampire War Trilogy.

The last book left off with the unsuccessful attack on the vampaneze, with the Vampaneze Lord escaping and it being the kinda-sorta fault of Vancha March (his brother was protecting the Vampaneze Lord and Vancha couldn’t fight him, etc). Thus, the hunters lost another chance to defeat the Vampaneze Lord before he becomes all powerful.

I get the feeling that the giant confrontation between Darren and the Vampaneze Lord is going to happen, but there is a nice tension added to the whole situation, especially knowing that if our heroes don’t kill the Vampaneze Lord by their next encounter with him, two of them will die. Stakes= heightened.

So Vancha, feeling pretty lousy, decided to go back to Vampire Mountain to tell the other vampires about their encounter with the Vampaneze Lord, thus making him absent for most of this novel.

Meanwhile, bodies drained of blood have been found in Mr. Crepsley’s hometown… again (it happened the first time in Tunnels of Blood, the third book in the series). Thinking that the vampaneze are terrorizing the town, Mr. Crepsley, Darren, and Harkat Mulds decide to revisited the town.

And that’s when things take a turn for the… weird.

See, not long after the gang makes it to the town, a school inspector comes to the hotel they’re staying at and asks Mr. Crepsley why Darren isn’t in school.

So, Darren has to go to school. Of course, there is a couple of scenes in which Darren tries to fit in, but he can’t because he’s become completely distant from human society, so he gets bullied for being this awkward weirdo, and you can practically see all this happening before it actually appears on the paper. And all I could think was… why?

I mean, it’s not like they’re on a big epic quest that decides the fate of the two vampire clans, and to an extent, the rest of the world.

So, why have Darren have to go to school again?

This is answered in the next chapter, in which we find out that Debbie Hemlock (a.k.a. the girl Darren dated back in Tunnels of Blood, book three) is Darren’s English teacher.

That’s why.

There’s this weird moment where Debbie and Darren recognize each other IN CLASS and they do this running embrace and hug each other IN CLASS and it’s super awkward because this is all happening IN CLASS.

Yeah. So, that,,, happens. And it gets even more awkward when Debbie asks Darren where he went and why doesn’t he look different. And then, Darren kisses her in the hallway of the school.

Did I mention she’s his teacher now? I did? Good.

Darren and Debbie catch up, and she offers to help Darren catch up to the other kids at school (Darren is years behind all the other kids due to vampireness). Meaning that Darren started spending a lot of his evenings with Debbie.

Granted, Debbie and Darren are technically the same age, numerically.  Mentally, Darren still seems to be at least a few years younger than she is. And though Darren wants to get back together with Debbie, Debbie, realizes that this will always and forever be weird.

Also, if anyone actually saw Debbie and Darren getting in any way more intimate than a teacher and her student should be, she would get f-i-r-e-d FIRED.

In case, it’s not totally clear, I’m not exactly ok with this new development. At all.

However, once the plot actually comes back into the book, it gets better. In fact, I feel the book turns a good 180 and becomes a pretty solid murder mystery. Pretty much all the things I really liked about the book comes at the end and would  be completely spoilery to state here.

I feel that this was the reunion special of the series, in that a few characters from the first trilogy come back and appear in this book. Debbie Hemlock is one of them, but to hear the others, you’ll just have to read it to see the others.

Rating: 7 out of 10.


There are two things that I wanted to comment on that are definate spoilers. One is another grip, while the other is a complement.

My complaint comes toward the very end of the book, when the vampaneze are murdering Darren’s classmates. Keep in mind that, other than one scene in which Darren befriends a kid named Richard in one his classes by standing up to some bullies, every scene Darren has a been in or has been described with his classmates is when Darren was being picked on by them. So when Darren finds out that kids in his class were being killed, I just don’t feel anything. Their deaths didn’t mean anything to me as a reader, because I didn’t know who these people were.

The other thing I wanted to mention was that I liked the way Steve Leonard came back into the series. I also appreciated that Mr. Crepsley didn’t trust him, which makes sense. It also shows Darren’s gullible nature, which I liked. To be perfectly honest, Darren was getting a little too perfect hero-ey.


Cirque du Freak: Hunters of the Dusk by Darren Shan

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Cool things

Eventually, I’ll probably replace this with a legit post, but for now I hope you’ll be content with the fact that I recently got a tumblr.

I want the tumblr to be more random snippits from my life, in addition to another way to talk about books. It’s also a good way to talk to me. 🙂

Also, once in a while I might preview new cool things I’m doing on my tumblr, so be prepared for that.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and tell any regulars what’s up.


Emily Geek


Here you go.

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