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About the Author: Darren Shan

Librarian's note: Also writes books for adults under the name Darren Dash. And in the past he has released books for adults under the names D.B. Shan and Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He is the author of the series The Demonata, The Saga of Larten Crepsley, and Zom-B. He has also released the stand-alone novel, The Thin Executioner, and the stand-alone short novels, Koyasan, and Hagurosan. Plus, for adults, he released The City Trilogy (originally under the name of D.B. Shan), and Lady of the Shades..

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Goodreads rating: 4.12

Paperback, Published in Dec 2016 by HarperCollins Children's Books

ISBN10: 0006755135 | ISBN13: 9780006755135

Page count: 169

The Vampire's Assistant is the second instalment in the saga of Darren Shan, which began with Cirque du Freak. Then, Darren made the difficult decision to become a half-vampire to save his best mate Steve Leopard's life. Now, he must leave his friends and family behind as he travels cross-country with the vampire Mr Crepsley and the Cirque du Freak. Early on, Darren dispels the vampire myth in his typically facetious fashion:

Crosses and holy water didn't hurt us. All garlic did was give us bad breath ... A stake through the heart would kill us, of course, but so would a bullet or a knife or electricity ... We were tougher to kill than normal people, but we weren't indestructible.
However, despite Darren's seeming flippancy, The Vampire's Assistant is not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. How long can Darren go before he must drink human blood? How safe are Darren's new-found friends? Why don't the mysterious, blue-hooded dwarves speak or cry out in pain? And does their master Mr Des Tiny really feed on little children? No one is safe in this gruesome, macabre tale--more a who's-going-to-do-what than a who-dunnit:
And then the red monster was on him. Stanley opened his mouth to scream, but before he could, the monster's hands--claws?--clamped over his mouth. There was a brief struggle, then Stanley was sliding to the floor, unconscious, unseeing, unknowing.
Familiar characters include Mr Tall, the wolf-man and Evra, the snake boy, who are more fleshed out in this follow-up. New characters include Darren's new mate Sam and R G (Reggie Veggie), an ecowarrior. If book one whet your appetite, then The Vampire's Assistant will certainly leave you hungry for more. Watch out for the next fang-tastic sequel. --Nicola Perry

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