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City Trilogy (3) - City Of The Snakes Paperback – Mar 29 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: UK General Books (March 29 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007261349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007261345
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #510,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Nicola Manning-Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 4 2010
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: Next and last in the series.

Starting ten years after the events of the first two books we meet up with Capac Raimi again whom we last really saw in Book One, though he was referred to in Book Two. We see that his rule as Cardinal has not gone as smoothly as he had hoped but this is in fact his own doing as he wants to put his plans into action and slowly watch them unfold since he has eternity to fill. But what he hadn't counted on was the power the rival gangs were gaining and that has him worried. Also though he has started to see and have encounters with people from his past who are dead and that can only mean the mysterious blind Incan priests are up to something. When Capac disappears, his second in charge hires professional killer Al Jeery to find him and this leads to the realization that the Ancient priests have been secretly plotting to take back the City for themselves for years.

Darren Shan has brought all the aspects from books 1 & 2 together in this conclusion to the series in an explosive showdown between the gangs, the Cardinal's mafioso and the powerful Incan priests. The plot is fast-paced and keeps its energy throughout. Just as expected from the previous books this is a dark, gritty, violent urban fantasy. All threads are pulled together and story arcs run to conclusion many in unexpected endings. I was a bit disappointed that Capac's part was limited to the opening and closing sections, with Al Jeery being the protagonist throughout the main portion of the novel. But that's just because I was fascinated with his character in book one; this story needed to be told the way it was.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Equal parts mystery and horror June 8 2011
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
With The City, Darren Shan seems to have filled a very particular niche. This is a dark series but well done, equal parts mystery and horror, casting a host of villains and really no traditional "pure and uncontaminated" heroes. While plenty of horror stories exist that deal with a nexus of pure evil, Shan's is unique for leaning toward the fantastical and somehow not becoming corny. It would seem overly misleading to call it a dark urban fantasy because it is quite dark --- much more than readers might expect from a novel traditionally placed in that genre.

Building on the story Shan has already meticulously laid out, CITY OF THE SNAKES jumps forward a few years, after the Cardinal Capac Raimi has become comfortable on his throne but is finding that power lacks some of its previous luster. To be clear, this isn't because Raimi has not yet discovered that happiness lies in cultivating his conscience; he doesn't have any human qualities. Beyond being a creature who isn't strictly human, he's an evil dictator who knows no other way to be. Raimi is simply disturbed because things aren't going quite as planned. New factions are arising that question his leadership. His own men have been attempting to assassinate him recently, hinting at a loss of control. He's been reincarnated so many times that he cannot count how many, and once he realizes something is quite wrong and begins seeing ghosts of long-dead people, he arranges for a temporary replacement while he uncovers the source of the problem.

Tasso Ford, an important character in previous volumes, is the one chosen to sit in as his replacement. Once Raimi disappears, Ford becomes the indefinite leader of The City. This is a job he doesn't want, but as Raimi has vanished, he's stuck. He seeks the help of an old ally, Al Jeery, the sharp-witted detective in Book Two. But the new Al is not the same person we all got to know in the last volume. It seems the City and its men have corrupted him, just as they have everyone else.

Al has become a ruined killer, taking on the likeness of his evil, ruthless father in a feeble attempt to obtain some twisted form of justice. Though the serial killer, Paucar Wami, was wiped out with the first Cardinal, Jeery has now taken his place --- truly --- wearing not only the mask of the serial killer but assuming the personality of a heartless man, killing over and over, for no other reason than his obsession with luring out a prized victim. He has sunk beneath where he thought he could, and his only care now is to kill the man who destroyed his life: Bill Casey, the father figure who is now assumed dead by all but Al.

Hiding behind makeup to disguise his new face, Al retreats into his previous persona and begins the investigation alone, alternating dual personalities of a killer and vaguely good man. While he searches for trails of Raimi, his only care remains in fulfilling the promise of receiving the hiding place of Bill Casey. But all trails have run cold, at least for a time, until the evil of The City breaks wide open into violence and outright guerilla warfare. Amid rival gang wars, the villacs make their appearance, making it clear they're back and never had lost power, having returned to reclaim their city and all the Ayuamarcans, past and present.

CITY OF THE SNAKES resolves the mysteries left unsolved in previous volumes while revealing a good deal about the psychology of the killer --- or the psychologies of multiple killers. One of the main themes here is that, even in this hellish place, there are always varying shades of good and evil. The Ayuamarcans are not human and so make particularly notorious criminals. Guerilla warfare takes up a good portion of this final installment and should captivate readers. And there will be many more who will be pleased to discover that not all scoundrels are past all hope of redemption.

--- Reviewed by Melanie Smith
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Conclusion to the Series Aug. 17 2011
By Dave Edmiston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've made it through books one and two (Procession of the Dead: 1 (The City) and Hell's Horizon (The City)), then by all means don't stop reading now!!! This final story delivers a great conclusion. Plus now that the two timelines from the first two books have caught up with each other, Capac and Jeery can coexist together in the same concluding story.

This series isn't for all Darren Shan fans. It certainly isn't a Young Adult series. It's very very adult. The other thing to know about this series is that he wrote these books very early in his career and only recently polished and published them. So if the writing seems "different" to you, you're probably right. These are paradoxically from a much younger Shan: Young Shan writes adult stories and older Shan writes YA fiction, go figure.

Very very good stuff though. But this comes from a guy who enjoys stinky cheeses and stout beers. As the reviews of Procession of the Dead show, many readers dislike this series. That's their loss though.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Finish Feb. 26 2012
By CyberKlown28 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shan does it again with his accessible, fun writing. Twists and turns continue the quirky, shocking tale of this one city. Every issue and question gets solved, with a wild ride. Beautiful trilogy worth reading.
love! Dec 25 2013
By Heather L. Meade - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this series, and I love Darren Shan. I have yet to be disappointed by any of his books. I read all of the Cirque and Demonata books while I was in Middle School & High School and was very excited to see that he had put out adult books too!
good May 30 2013
By Mark Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really like this author. Everything I've read by him has kept my attention. Plus he has a lot of series type books, so the story lasts longer, and I like that a lot.

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