Cirque du Freak12 books in series
An average kid, Darren Shan gets sucked into life as a vampire’s assistant in this series of wonderfully freaky adventures for young listeners.
A little scary, a bit gory, and really creepy—that adds up to fun for Darren Shan. After all, he’s a typical human boy. When Darren and his best friend, Steve “Leopard” Leonard, get tickets to a freak show featuring weird human-animal hybrids that interact with the crowd, it starts as a frightfully good time—until a strange spider and a vampire by the name of Larten Crepsley complicate matters. Before he knows it, Darren is trapped into working as Mr. Crepsley’s assistant. From there, things only keep getting more mysterious and weirder.
In Cirque du Freak, author Darren Shan gets his young protagonist and namesake tangled up in all kinds of sticky situations while adjusting to his new day job taking care of business for his boss (who, naturally, can only go out at night). Mr. Crepsley hails from a vampiric line of noble warriors who live by their own rules. And, yes, they drink blood to survive and avoid contact with sunlight, modern technology, and anything that shoots bullets. As the series progresses, Darren is drawn deeper into the vampire clan, strives to be accepted as one of their own, and discovers the integral role he is destined to play in their fate, all while dealing with his changing body and appetite.
Darren Shan (the author) is the pen name of Irish writer Darren O'Shaughnessy. He bought his first typewriter at age 14 and never looked back. He is also the author of the Zom-B series for young listeners, as well as The Demonata series for teens and several standalone novels for adults.
Cirque du Freak follows the saga of Darren Shan (the character), grouped into four trilogies. All 12 books in the series are narrated by Ralph Lister, a British voice actor praised by listeners for his skill at portraying different characters, both vampire and human, and nailing the aura of mystery and creepiness.
The first three books in the series were adapted into a 2009 film, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, starring Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan. There was also a successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist Takahiro Arai.