Sons of Destiny Paperback – Oct 1 2007
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Lord of the Shadows 'Stephen King for kids ... Darren Shan has brought his own brand of vampire mythology into the heads and hearts of thousands of children with his vivid and compelling series The Saga of Darren Shan, about one boy's journey from ordinary lad to vampire prince. Once they're hooked, kids tend to rip into the flesh of these books, quickly draining them of their life blood. The covers, with images of ghouls, creeping hands and dripping fangs are terrifying alone. ' Metro Life, Evening Standard Cirque Du Freak "...fast-paced and compelling book which leaves the reader hungry for more." JK Rowling "I read Cirque Du Freak last week. I loved it. I love the way you manage to juggle the funny with the unpleasant, the affection with the hurt. It's great story-telling." Roddy Doyle The Vampire's Assistant "The Vampire's Assistant blazes a thrilling, gruesome trail through a fascinating plot." The Good Book Guide Vampire Mountain "Get your teeth into it!" Funday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Darren Shan is the number-one best-selling author of the series THE SAGA OF DARREN SHAN, the DEMONATA and more recently the SAGA OF LARTEN CREPSLEY and ZOM-B. His books have been read by millions of people around the world and translated into more than 25 languages. Darren lives in seclusion in the depths of Ireland. He is a big film buff, and also loves theatre, comics and books, and collecting art. He loves dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers, but never drinks blood. Or so he claims. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kids can't seem to get enough of Shan's brand of compelling, scary stories, but they also address some serious issues, and show the importance of friendship and sticking to your moral and ethical standards. It seems to me to be a bit too frightening for kids ten years old and under, but maybe just the thing for older teens that are reluctant readers. It's an ongoing story that you might want to start reading with volume one and work your way through the series, but this one has enough background information that you can enjoy it by itself.
Reviewed by: Grandma Bev
Since my last review on Shan I've found out that the last two books in his "The Demonata" series will be released in the UK and Canada next year (2009) so I intend on starting to read it early next year. Also the second book of his adult series "The City" will be released in March in the UK and April in Canada.
I can only say that in a way I was expecting what happenned to happen.If you loved the Cirque du Freak series, then you might have problems letting go.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have to say that Book 12 left me a bit disappointed. At the end of the book, Shan has the main character go back in the time & prevent himself from making the mistake of kidnapping Madam Octa. Since Darren manages to stop himself from kidnapping the spider, he never makes the deal with Mr. Crepsley & ends up leading a normal, healthy, life as a human. This, of course, means that Darius is probably never born (because Annie wouldn't be a single mom at 16). But there is a possibility that others still die the same way -- Mr. Crepsley, Shancus... their fate may be the same, but Darren won't be around to witness it.
I understand that Shan felt that this was the only way to resolve the convoluted system of "Destiny" that he created in the past 11 books. However, in the process, it left the reader high and dry because the ending basically told us that the stories we had just invested time and effort in for the past few years didn't happen. Sure, they would still happen in a way -- but these trials and tribulations wouldn't fall on a boy named Darren Shan. Some other, nameless, person would step up to take over Darren's destiny. And we're just supposed to leave to our imagination how the universe righted itself & who was affected by the change in the end. Will the ones who died still end up dead? Will this new child (whoever it is) end up sacrificing themselves & floating to Paradise (as Darren predicts he/she would) or, maybe, they cannot resist the lure that Mr. Tiny places on them.
The biggest issue I have with this ending is that it makes us wonder -- why'd we read the past 11 books if they were all irrelevant? This is the equivalent of Shan ending the series with a scene where Darren wakes up from a nightmare and finds out it was all a dream. I invested time and emotion in Darren's Saga. And now you're telling me that it wasn't Darren's saga, at all. And, perhaps, even the people mentioned in the book might not have had anything to do with it, because Darren changed the course of history.
Another thing that bothered me were the holes in the whole "fate vs. destiny" situation. Darren managed to overcome the two set futures by killing himself and Steve. However -- why didn't he just have the power to "Just Say No" to Des Tiny's edicts? Why not just say, "Thanks, but no thanks, I choose my own fate and I don't want to rule the world." Particularly when he'd already been shown the consequences his actions if he did get mixed up with Mr. Tiny's vision. The author was feeding us two messages: (1) You control on your fate in a manner of speaking and should choose the path of good, but (2) If Mr. Tiny makes you evil, there's nothing you can do about it. I was like, "huh??" Not to mention -- Mr. Tiny had waaaayyy too much power & I didn't like the fact that he wasn't facing any consequences for his actions.
Also, why did Darren go the Lake of Souls... he was a decent guy and sacrificed himself. I didn't buy the whole "guilt" thing. Other vampires had probably done much more bad things in their long lives (like Mr. Crepsley) and they went straight to Paradise. It made no sense that Darren -- a half-Vampire who constantly did the ethical thing -- would end up in the Lake of Souls for hundreds of thousands of years & there would be no force in the universe that could right that mistake. Again, giving Mr. Tiny way too much power.
Basically, I give this 3.5 stars because the series, as a whole, is excellent. And, naturally, if you read Books 1-11, you have to read this finale. However, this particular reader was left unsatisfied with the resolution of the series. I was hoping for more closure.
Book #12 Bugged the hell out of me. Ok, Darren sacrificed himself for the greater good. I was pretty much expecting this so no big deal. I could even see the story ending here and despite the sad ending, it would be a good piece of work.
The problem comes in when Darren, trying to keep things happy, happy, joy, joy, does a 360 at the end so everyone lives happily ever after. THIS DOES NOT WORK IN REAL LIFE. Ok, so stories aren't real life and even ignoring the paradox of Darren going back in time to stop himself from becoming a vampire, which means he wouldn't have a reason for going back in the first place, etc... etc... The whole end seemed like a cop out. It says to me "I couldn't think up a better ending, so I nullified the whole story", which any idiot can do.
I can say that I'd be right up front with those that like a happy ending, but this was worse than killing everyone off. The author made the whole storyline irrelevant, and I find that unbearably sad. All the time Darren spent with friends he cared for no longer happened. So Darren goes back to his nice normal life with his family and best friend Steve (Someone who was willing to kill Darren because he was chosen for something Steve wasn't, I might add) and someone else takes Darren's place. Assuming the rest of the story goes pretty much as prophesied this is what we are left with...
Mr. Crepsley makes some boy a vampire (who isn't Darren) They join the circus and the boy (who isn't Darren) makes friends with Evra and Sam. Mr. Crepsley and the boy (who isn't Darren) go to vampire mountain and go through the trials. Kurda betrays the vampires and the boy (who isn't Darren) stops him. The war (which still happens) is fought by the boy vampire prince (who isn't Darren) He and Mr. Crepsley go to the town where Debbie lives and Mr. Crepsly still dies. The boy (who isn't Darren) fights the vampaneze boy (who we can assume isn't Steve) for the title of Lord of the Shadows. Now, after getting all of that out, there are 3 ways (again) that this can go - The boy who isn't Darren can win (world ends) The boy who isn't Steve can win (again world ends) or both can die (back to where we started again)
I don't mean to sound sarcastic. I really loved the whole series. I would just rather it be Darren's adventure instead of some doppelganger's because Darren wimped out at the end. He shouldn't have the option of choosing a different path because for whatever reason he didn't like his original choices.
IMO Read the books. Even read number 12! Just skip the last few chapters, you'll be glad you did.
But after reading the last book i completely agree that it was a horrible why to end the saga and left me asking why did i even bother reading them in the 1st place. Even though i hate the end and it did spoil the whole saga i still recommend reading all the books because in spite of the bad ending i really enjoyed reading all the books.
Not only a waste of my time, but my hard earned money also. Don't get me wrong, i loved the series up until the end. i devoured the books and could not get enough, but this to me seems like Darren Shan was saying, "i don't want to write anymore Cirque Du Freak books, so lets just make everything i wrote in books 1-11 not happen!"
i feel like i was cheated.
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