In The Lake of Souls, the tenth book in Darren Shan’s CIRQUE DU FREAK series, we take a little breather after the horrid events at the end of the previous novel, Killers of the Dawn. Darren has just lost someone who’s really important to him and he’s grieving. So, when Mr. Tiny shows up and tells Harkat it’s time to find out who Harkat really is, Darren wants to go with him. They embark on a quest where they cross weird landscapes, meet weird people, and complete weird tasks. Some of it is like a scavenger hunt.
We do, indeed find out who Harkat is, and the answer will almost certainly surprise you. It shows that author Darren Shan has been careful with his plotting so far and it will be interesting to see what role Harkat plays in the future. The little guy is growing on me and I appreciate his developing sense of humor.
Personally, I don’t particularly care for the parts of the story that have to do with Mr. Tiny, the witch, and their prophecies, mainly because the characters lose their power over the story when the plot is driven by destiny. This destiny part is not the author’s best story-telling. The drama between Darren and Steve and the impending war is much more compelling.
The Lake of Souls is a departure from Darren’s frantically paced story so far. Some readers will be pleased to have a break, but others are likely to wish that this story advanced the plot as much as the previous books did. Fortunately, the next book, Lord of the Shadows, is available, so eager readers don’t have to wait to get back to the main story. If you’re loving this series, as so many youngsters are, there’s no reason to stop now.
The Lake of Souls is the longest book in the series so I felt like the audio version was actually a good deal this time (six hours of audio). Ralph Lister’s overly dramatic style is growing on me.
Cirque Du Freak (The Darren Shan Saga) — (1999-2004) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. Then one day they stumble across as invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak, a mysterious freak show. Only two tickets are available, so they draw straws to see who will go. As if by destiny, Darren wins one, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires. This is Darren’s story.
The Saga of Larten Crepsley — (2010-2012) Young adult. Publisher: The highly anticipated prequel to the New York Times bestselling Cirque Du Freak series! Before Cirque Du Freak… Before the war with the vampaneze… Before he was a vampire. Larten Crepsley was a boy. As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his brother as an example to the other children. In that moment, young Larten flies into a rage that the foreman wouldn’t survive. Forced on the run, he sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by. And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire’s assistant, Larten takes it. This is his story.