Posts Tagged ‘vampire fiction’

After the success of the original ‘Saga of Darren Shan’ and the subsequent ‘Demonata’ series, Darren Shan goes back to where it all began in book one of ‘The Saga of Larten Crepsley’.

I’ve had this review copy for a while now, and it took me a long time to work through my pile of ‘to-read’ books but I’m glad I finally got to it. Honestly, I’ve always written off Darren Shan books as for boys only so I started this book with some apprehension, especially as I hadn’t read his previous books.

There really was no need to worry. In fact, this book is probably a good place to start for those who want to know a little bit about infamous vampire Larten Crepsley. Consider it a prequel of sorts…I started the book with great anticipcation and preconceptions about this vampire figure. I mean, with a name like that he just sounds like some distinguished character challenging Dracula for the title of most notorious vampire.

But the book is more than that and you really learn a lot about Larten and where he came from, giving the premise of the book some context. So often is the case with many vampire fiction books, that we are just thrown into the deep end and just expected to accept everything about vampires, that it all gets too much. But this is a thrilling read as Larten escapes a horrible workhouse where he lives. From there he meets another vampire, with an equally suspicious name; Seba Nile and eventually joins a vampire clan with whom he embarks on a journey, becoming more of a vampire every day, but once you’re in, there’s no backing out.

What a great book! You get to travel  with Larten and the other vampires, and learn everything about him even before he’s learnt it himself. Boys, of course will love this book, especially those who are already fans of Darren Shan. But I think a lot of new people will discover this book and find it the perfect opportunity to get stuck into them. If this review isn’t enough to persuade you, just look at the cover. I love it, full of mystery, intrigue and adventure and it just draws you in.

This book is published in hardback, 30th September 2010 9780007315857 RRP is £12.99 although I suspect many retailers will sell it for half price. A perfect book as the nights draw in and we near Halloween.

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What I love about this edition is that it looks genuinly vintage. The blood red cover draws you in and Dracula holds your attention with his deadly glare. With his crazy, wild hair seemingly coming out of the book, who are you to resist the thrall of the first vampire. He is the original undead, before the new-found Edward Cullen’s came to be and the book is unadulterated horror. ‘Dracula’ really is a fantastic gothic book and the subject for much literary debate. Whilst Stoker didn’t ‘invent’ the vampire, his work is considered the turning point for gothic horror stories about the undead and should be read by all children if they are to appreciate the wealth of vampire fiction available to them today.
This edition has of course been adapted for younger readers but it still maintains its epistolary format through letters and journal entries. It is a most frightening book in its original form but the content has been tempered down, whilst the historical reference remain. The illustrations, by Anne Yvonne Gilbert are impressive and take on the format of etchings in a journal, using scratchy black ink on a white background. They are very emphatic of the story and paint the picture of an eery mountain landscape in Transylvania. A fantastic book, a gift for keeps.
Published by Templar ISBN: 9781840115161 Recommended 9-12
Templar also has a new edition out in July with similar illustrations. I can’t recommend Templar publishing enough as they maintain the integrity of the original story through their emphatic illustrations. Looks great, now you have a choice. In fact, you have a huge choice in Dracula editions, these are just two of my favourites.

Published by Templar ISBN: 9780763647933 Recommended 9-12

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As promised, here is my review for the first book in the new vampire series ‘Blue Bloods’. I will read the other three books and review them as soon as I can as I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 9781905654741

It’s Twilight meets Gossip Girl!

The book has a fantastic, glamourous Manhattan backdrop as ‘Blue Bloods’ follows outsider Schyler Van Alen as she has to deal with all the usual teenage issues we might expect from a priviledged girl; prep school, pearls oh… and becoming part of the powerful vampire elite. Schyler comes to terms with her life as a vampire, but it’s not long before her dangerous and intimidating new life catches up with her as she must  protect her family, and herself as they are targeted by someone or something who wants them dead- or deader than they are already.

It can’t be ignored, there is a lot of vampire fiction around at the moment, but ‘Blue Bloods and the rest of the series by Melissa de la Cruz published this Spring promises to deliver the suspense of a vampire tale with the added New York glamour factor.  Vampire’s in heels- this is a sure winner for teens looking for an enticing change from the usual vampire fare.


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New reviews which will be up on the site soon:

‘Blue Bloods’ by Melissa de la Cruz. This is part of a series published by Atom and with a big marketing push, it is set to do very well. I’d place this in teen fiction and in the new ‘Dark Fantasy’ genre created at Waterstones.

 The first two in the series have already been published priced £6.99 with the third ‘Revelations’  and ‘The Van Allen Legacy’ both published 1st April 2010.

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