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Monday, June 21, 2010

Cirque du Freak (Manga, v.1&2) by Darren Shan

Title: Cirque du Freak (Manga, Vol 1 & 2)
Author(s): Darren Shan and Takahiro Arai
ISBN(s): 9780759530416 (v.1)
9780759530386 (v.2)
Publisher: Yen Press
Pages: 199 & 191
Got book(s): From my library

(Volume 1)
"Darren Shan was an average kid until destiny brought him to the Cirque Du Freak. Now Darren's been immersed into a shadowy world inhabited by vampires, werewolves, and strange creatures the likes of which he's never imagined, and his life will be changed forever!"

(Volume 2)
"Darren Shan's days as an ordinary schoolboy over and his life as the vampire's assistant has begun! With his mentor, Lartan Crepsley, Darren joins the Cirque Du Freak and slowly begins settling into his new role there, an adjustment made simpler when he makes a couple of new friends. But his life as a half-vampire can never be easy or ordinary - as Darren learns only too well when tragedy strikes!"

This is now the second novel-to-manga that I've read and I've decided that I really like the concept. Earlier I read one that I had read the novel from (Maximum Ride) - this one is a story I haven't read yet. Mostly because I haven't gotten my hands on number one. When the manga became available, I jumped at it. And I'm so glad I did!

I did find myself paying more attention to the story than the art. The story is very interesting. It was about what I expected, but there were some twists and turns that caught me off guard. I had several "Oh no!" moments while reading both of these volumes.

It's definitely a bit more "horrific" than I was expecting. I've read one of Shan's other books (Demonata) and it wasn't quite as gorey and frightening - but perhaps it would be if I were seeing pictures of it instead. The story flows really well and I found it very interesting how things played out.

One thing that bothers me in retrospect is that while reading the first volume, I didn't realize we weren't carrying a lot of those characters on in the story. I spent too much time trying to figure out who everyone was - only to be ripped away from them. A little bit of the same in the second volume, but as much. I do get that you can't very well say "Don't worry about this dude, you'll never see him again." That would ruin the whole story. Perhaps future volumes would pick these people up.

Speaking of future volumes - I absolutely plan on reading the next ones as soon as I order them for my library. I think they are up to volume 5 (don't quote me on that), so I look forward to reading more of this story.

Here's the official website for Darren Shan. I didn't find any sites for the illustrator - am I just overlooking it somewhere?
Other Blog Reviews:

Manga Recon (PopCultureShock)
Graphic Novel Reporter
Tiamat's Manga Reviews
Manga Maniac Cafe
About.com Guide
Manga News

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