Vampire Mountain

6 years after the end of Book three the fourth book in The Saga of Darren Shan see’s Darren and Mr Crepsely leaving the Cirque once again. This time however it is not for a holidays but to go to Vampire Mountain and Evra doesn’t come with them as although they are still good friend he has aged whilst Darren only looks a few months older. However they are not travelling alone as Mr Tiny has insisted they take two little people along to take a message to the Princes. Along the way Darren learns more about the tough world of vampires and the good things. They are joined by an old friend of Mr Crepsley’s who tells Darren lots of stories and he also makes friends with a pack of wolves. When the reach the mountain Darren continues to be educated in his new life. However they are still burdened by the problem of what will be said about Mr Crepsley blooding a child.

I think this in an important book about learning about the life of vampire’s. There isn’t a lot that goes on but I still enjoyed the book and the end sets up book 5 very nicely.

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Tunnels of Blood

Book 3 in this series is one of my favourite. Darren has finally began accepting that he is a vampire’s assistant and he is enjoying his life at the cirque. However just when things seem great an old friend of Mr Crepsely turns up and they have to leave. Thankfully though Erva, Darren’s new best friend gets to come along too and the enjoy a break from all the hard work and enjoy a little be of normal life. The boys keep each other company during the day as time heads towards Christmas whilst the see very little of Mr Crepsley. Darren even gets a girlfriend. As always though things turn ugly when they hear about 6 bodies found drained of blood. The boys blame Mr Crepsely at first but they are soon introduced to a whole new part of the dark world of night creatures.

I like that in this book Darren finally gets to enjoy a little bit of normality. However I also think it is the first one that I enjoy the action side of it. It also has many happy moments in it to balance out the continuing theme of tragedy that seems so follow Darren about.

The Vampire’s Assistant

In book 2 in The Saga of Darren Shan Darren is trying to come to terms with his new life. He is on the road with Mr Crepsley but as just a half vampire spends a lot of time on his own. His boredom eventually gives him the courage to go out during the day and try and meet people but this doesn’t work out quite as he planned and he ends up feeling worse than ever. Refusing to drink blood from humans makes him weaker and Mr Crepsely worry but to try and help Darren feel better the pair go back to travel with the Cirque du Freak. There he finally makes friends and starts to feel good again. He helps out around the camp getting close to one act in particular and together they even make friends with a couple of humans. We are also introduced to another important character in this book that appears frequently later on. Sadly however the happiness doesn’t last and trouble does occur for Darren and his new friends leading to an emotional ending.

I really like this story. It is easy to understand the lonliness that Darren must be feeling as a young boy trapped by his new blood. He is also battling with himself because he won’t drink human blood. He know this could kill him and Mr Crepsley does try to make him, showing he does care, but in the end it has to be Darren’s choice. It is also easy to feel sorry for him when he is stuck not being able to connect with people his own age. This makes the move to the cirque more enjoyable to read and it really is sad when things end the way they do.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Books From The Past 10 Years I Hope People Will Be Reading in 30 Years

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Books from the Past 10 Years I hope people will be reading in 30. This list may be very similar to others I have due to have already talked about books I particularly love but hope you agree with some of them. I have also gone over the 10 years for some of the books but only by 4/5 years and you will understand when you see them.

1. – 7. Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Ok I have kind of cheated with this but my first 7 have to be the Harry Potter books. Written between 1997 to 2007 I think they bring some magic into real life and are full or messages about friendship, loyalty, bravery and so much more. I believe that they will continue to be classics for many, many years to come and many more people will be captured by the imagination of JK Rowling. 

8. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Again this one is slight more than ten years. Written in 1998 this is also a story of magic but one that is for younger children. I think it shows that even in what might seem like horrible circumstances children can be amazing and I think many children will love hearing about Matilda’s story and want a teacher like Miss Honey.

9. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

This story I believe is important because it makes us rethink how we see the world. I believe it can open many people eyes to how much things have changed over the past decade in how we view race but also that there is still a long way to go and it is important to realise that sometimes we ignore what is going on around us right under our noses. 

10. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

Written in 2011 this book reminds me of other war stories and I think it should be remembered along with them. It is a new story about a war not been written about a lot and it is important to be able to remember the variety of suffering people had to go through to reach where we are today.

11. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

I am also putting this in because I have the Harry Potters. This story was a big hit when it was released in 2006 as it came from a new perspective and was so sad. I believe people will be reading this for years to come as a new way of remember the tragedies of the war.

Cirque du Freak

I originally read this series years ago but I’ve decided to re-read. It is so easy to get into due to how it is written and I’m still enjoying it second time around.

Book 1 of 12 Cirque du Freak introduces us to the main character, Darren Shan, and how he becomes involved in the world of vampires. A normal boy Darren loves his family and his a great group of friends at school. He is good at football and has a fascination for spiders. However this becomes part of how his world turns around. When the friends come across a flyer for the Cirque du Freak Darren and best friend Steve are amazed by what they see so amazed the Darren learns that Steve has a secret. It is a special spider though that gets Darren into trouble as he risks his life for it. Although things start of great for Darren his world drastically has to change in order to keep his loyalty to his friend something that later isn’t returned.

These books are very easy to read and I think as a one off I’m not sure I would have read them all. I have the trilogy collections however and it makes it a better read. The first book sets the scene for the series quite well and haven read the series before I am enjoying picking out the bit of information that are important later on.

 

Insurgent

Book 2 in Veronica Roth’s dystopian series wasn’t as good as the first one but still a very good read.

The book carries straight on from the ending of the first with the group of Tris and her friends fleeing the state that the city has been left in. As they travel around they get involved with various factions trying to work out how they can rid society of self-destruction. However the more she learns the more Tris seems to not be able to make the things that Tobias wants to add up. What makes it worse is that his father, the one person she hates most in the world seems to be the only person that can lead her to the truth and she will have to embrace all her options of faction to get to it. Through the book she is faced with many difficult situations that test her both physically and emotionally. She is scared for the events she has already lived through and is struggling to come to terms with her own actions. Whilst this is going on she is also trying to accept that the people around her aren’t who they think she is and there is also her relationship with Tobias. However she continues to fight for the truth and risk the consequences of what she believes to be an inevitable end.

It took my a while to start this book due to exams but once I sat down and read it I did really enjoy it. Although not as good as the first book there is a lot a like about it. I think there was a lot going on and the variety of characters that we came across and their actions made it easy to keep on reading. I really liked the ending but I kind of had the truth worked out from what we were hearing throughout the book. If you have read the first book you should read this and if not it is a series you should read. I liked the idea behind the story and how the society has come to be and I’m also intriuged to see what is going to happen next.

Update

My blog, and reading, has been a little bit neglected over the past couple of weeks while I have been studying for exams but I am getting back on track and I’m currently making my way through Insurgent by Veronica Roth. So far it’s going good and I will be on soon to tell you all about it.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Quotes From Books

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is the Top Ten Quotes from books. I realised whilst deciding on quotes I really need a way to remember one I like from now one and that I could also have a  list just for the Harry Potter Books.

1. “Watch your dad kiss her cheek, notice them smile. Know that whatever happens, they are your parents” Before I Die

2. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we really are, far more than our abilities” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

4. “I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another” Divergent

5. “Self-preservation, the only instinct stronger than thirst” The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

6. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

7. “You don’t love someone because they are perfect, you love them in spite of the fact they’re not” My Sister’s Keeper

8. “I cannot be other than what I am, and I am the choices of all my days” Passion

9. “Destiny is a tower of cards – nudge one just an inch and everything stacked on top come crashing down2 Birth of a Killer

10.”and maybe, like a game of footie with Holly, like the sun in April, it was important to appreciate good things when they came” You Against Me

Thumped

Thumped is the conclusion to the dystopian novel ‘Bumped’ by Megan McCafferty

It is hard to talk about this book without spoiling the first one so I will try really hard not to but I apologise in advance to anyone who reads this who hasn’t read the first book yet and I give too much away.

Thumped brings us back to Melody and Harmony’s lives 8 months after the end of Bumped. Harmony is living back in her religious community and Melody is trying to deal with the mess that was left behind. However neither of them are happy with their situations. Harmony, who is about to give birth, makes the radical decision to leave the safety of her home once again in order to find happiness with the help of Melody, Jondoe and unexpectedly her husband Ram. She is still torn between what she know to be a good choice in Ram and her what her heart seems to want Jondoe but Jondoe is determined to prove himself to her anyway he can and it is him with her when she finally goes into labour. Melody on the other hand is struggling with her feelings for best friend Zen and the expectations of her bumping contract. These bits make for quite amusing reading and the balance of comedy and plot made the book very easy to get into and not want to put down. Both girls learn through the book that they still have things they want to experience in life and that they want to become their own person. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of easy emotions and it had me laughing, getting frustrated and desiring what I wanted to be the outcome. I didn’t get the outcome I wanted but I think it was the right one and I really enjoyed reading the book.