Dark Calling Hardcover – Oct 1 2009
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Praise for BLOOD BEAST "One of his best yet." Cork Evening Echo Praise for BEC "All the spells, severed body parts and horror you expect from Shan, with a nail-biting and shocking finish." Waterstone's Books Quarterly "To my shame, this is the first of Shan's books I have read; I now understand why they are so popular! Very enjoyable." Books for Keeps Praise for LORD LOSS "Utterly unputdownable." The Times "The plot twists and turns like a sharp descent down a dark flume" TES --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Darren Shan is the author of the twelve book series 'The Saga of Darren Shan'. His adventures have been read by millions of people around the world in several different languages, yet much of his life remains shrouded in mystery. He lives in seclusion in the depths of Ireland. And he never drinks blood. Or so he claims. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is Kernel Fleck's story, told in his voice as he and the Kah-Gash try to face down one of their worst nightmares ever. Plunged into a world of demons and darkness, Kernel, Beranabus, Grubbs and Bec are desperately trying to keep Lord Loss and his Demonata minions from taking over the world. They thrust wildly from one window to the next, fighting what seems a futile battle. Their losses are great, their army is small, and their resources are so weakened that they are on the verge of losing heart. Kernel has had his eyes torn out and maggots are eating his brain. Blood is everywhere. This is just the beginning --- or, more likely, the end!
In the universes they move between, the Demonata seem to dominate one and the Kah-Gash another. But there is yet another place, and Kernel is suddenly on a journey to "The Crux," a common point between the two universes. An "Old Creature" guides and holds him captive as he relates the fantastic history of these worlds and their connection with Atlantis. The creature --- who has assumed the body of Kernel's younger brother --- will not yet reveal why Kernel has been chosen for this journey but instead takes him farther away from the Kah-Gash and the battles that are yet to be fought. It leaves his friends in great peril, and all Kernel can do is try to figure out how to get back...before it's too late.
Although Kernel is finally able to escape back to his friends, he almost immediately seeks to return to the Crux. Because of new knowledge gained from the Old Creatures, Kernel believes that Bec poses a threat. Bec, who has been a strong force for the group, may unknowingly have come under the powers of Lord Loss. And to make matters worse, they have also lost the beloved and mighty mage, Beranabus, who for thousands of years had guarded the portals between worlds. Now, their group consists of Grubbs, his weakened uncle Dervish, and Kirilli, who's not exactly known for his bravery. How can this underpowered and overwrought group combat the encroaching horror of Lord Loss and the Shadow? Grubbs's cry says it all:
"...we have to try. Everyone's depending on us. Meera died for this. Dervish will be dead soon, too. Beranabus and Bill-E. All the others who've given their lives. They can't have died for nothing. We fight on until the demons kill us all. Only then do we stop."
Darren Shan does not let his readers rest a minute in this whirlwind bloodbath between the Demonata and Kah-Gash. There are unexpected twists, gory battles, blood, guts, and plenty of spilled entrails. Fans are going to love it and be all the more anxious for the 10th and final book, which is certain to be a treat. All I can say is that I sure hope the right side wins!
--- Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts
In this tale, way too much time is spent with Kernel traveling with an Old Creature through portal after portal and world after world, serving no real purpose but to eat up pages until they finally get to the center of the universe where we hear about Shan's take on the origins of everything. Although original, and the use of the chessboard was obviously prepared well in advance, the ideas surrounding the Old Creatures seemed hashed out in a hurry.
The book picks up once Kernel returns and the three protagonists are reunited. They go searching for Beranabus in the throngs of the Shadow, but leave with zero information - just more despairing conjectures. We get more character deaths, but only one of them is truly emotional. Meanwhile, we get a betrayal (maybe) at the very end, and Grubbs showing that he's more a selfish dictator then a true leader.
Much like the last few titles, this book feels as if it could have been shortened and combined with others to produce a better, more concise work. Unfortunately, somebody must have had the idea of ten total books in mind before all the details were planned out.
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