Top critical review
An iffy book, at best.
on May 27, 2001
As I read this book, I was reminded of a quote from Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut--"My god, if only Kilgore Trout could *write*." That, my friends, is my reaction--the book would be great if Darren Shan could write.
Granted, the man can wield nouns and verbs with the best of them. He can write a proper sentence, make the reader laugh, and keep his audience more or less interested. However, his multiple errors and clumsy dialogue are, at times, quite distracting. It's hard to focus on a plot--even an incredible plot--when one's mind is occupied with picking apart the dialogue. This is a pity; the plot provides many twists and opportunities for shock. However, when these opportunities are passed to Shan, he almost invariably fumbles.
This being said, let me tone down my criticism. For those under the age of, say, 13, this book is great. Even those who are older, the story itself is able to provide some entertainment. If, however, you are a writer, or are used to a more polished version of children's literature, you buy this book at your own risk. I would give it two-and-a-half stars.