Sunday, 5 August 2012

Book Review - Birth of a Killer

Birth of a Killer
Author: Darren Shan
Series: The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1
Genres: Paranormal, Vampires | Young Adult
Release Date:  September 30th 2010
Publishers: Harper Collins
No. Pages: 253
Source: Purchased
When terrible events force young Larten Crepsley to flee his home he finds himself alone in the world. Then he meets the mysterious Seba Nile, who introduces him to the ways of the vampire clan. Travelling with Seba, Larten experiences the adventures he has always dreamed about. But will he turn his back on humanity?

Before I write a review I'll tell you a story. I was there when Darren Shan first said he would be doing The Saga of Larten Crepsley. He was doing a small signing/reading/Q&A at a local children's theater near to me, so me and my best friend of the time (who lent me my first Darren Shan book) decided to go. Well at the start he told us that at the end of it he would read a chapter from his new 4 part series. As the Q&A come around lots of people were asking questions about possible films and what had happened to some characters. Well as I've always loved him and he was my favourite from the off, I asked if he had ever thought about doing a stand alone book about Larten Crepsley in his younger years, before the circus and maybe before and how he became a vampire. He said that it was a possibility, only to later go on and read a chapter from what would later be Birth of A Killer. After, when it came to the book signing, he couldn't stop laughing at me because my question left the perfect set up for his reading. And later emailed me to say thank you. (Yes, I did go all spazz fan girl arfter haha)

Growing up I didn't read much.From the moment I first read The Saga of Darren Shan I knew that things wouldn't be the same. It didn't take me long to connect with characters or to get the aching for more feeling you get at the end of a really wonderful book. Basically those books made me who I am today. Its taken me a long time to read this book because it came out when my little girl was still young, so I just didn't have the time, that and having to wait  for his books before, I thought it would be best till they were all out, knowing I would breeze through them haha. I don't think I could take the pain of waiting again. Reading it today brought back all those feelings I had when I was 12/13 and so many happy memories along with it.

I couldn't put this book down and smiled from ear to ear while reading it. Why? because Darren had brought back a lot of old characters from The Saga of Darren Shan such as Vancha, Paris, Evanna, Seba and Mr. Tall, Mr. Tiny and Murlough. Even though some of them were only mentioned it still made me smile remembering all I had read when I was a teenager.  At first I was a bit worried about this book. Even though its something I've dreamed about since I finished Sons of Destiny, I was concerned in case Darren had lost touch with the characters, forgotten what made them great. I am thankful he didn't and curse myself for doubting him in the first place.

I think the thing I loved most about this book was that young Larten is so much like young Darren. Head strong and determined. His relationship with Seba is very much like his with Darren's and I'd be lying if I said it didn't warm my heart. Seba is strict with his assistant, always correcting his grammar and making him rebel against him, thinking its his own decision when really its what he wanted all along. He's very hard on him but deep down loves him like a son. I love the introduction of Wester, Seba's other assistant, how they went up against Murlough when Wester wanted revenge. He's a nice addition to the family, someone Crepsley can turn to when he's second guessing Seba and someone to trust, something he hasn't had other than Seba since his cousin Vur Horston was killed in those factories. (also love his cousins name. It shows that no matter how old Crepsley got he still missed his cousin and part of him was still human. If you're wondering what I mean, Vur Horston was the name that Steve knew him by in Cirque du Freak)

1. My tattoo 2. Art work from
The Demonata series 3. Artwork
from The Saga of Darren Shan.
Some people who have read it might have thought it was a little fast paced. Darren said that the 4 books will be set over the space of 200 years so with that in mind, and the fact that the most interesting things happen to him as a vampire, I think it was necessary to skip some points in his life and not focus too much on him when he was human. It was timed perfectly.

Sorry this review wouldn't make sense to a lot of people, but this ones mainly for me. My advice to those who haven't read anything by Darren Shan is to start with The Saga of Darren Shan before moving on to The Saga of Larten Crepsley. Only then will you truly get this book.
(That photo is the tattoo on the back on my back. I got it when I was 18 and I've never regretted it. As you can tell its a mixture of both artwork from the series (they were the only ones out at the time)

Even in death may you be triumphant. :)

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