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Vampire Rites Trilogy by Darren Shan
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Vampire Rites Trilogy

by Darren Shan

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This trilogy contains books 4-6 of The Saga of Darren Shan (Vampire Mountain, Trials of Death and The Vampire Prince) and all in all they prevent a very solid continuation of the series. While the first three novels were a bit disjointed on the whole, the Vampire Rites trilogy takes the ideas that they presented and runs with them, further fleshing out the hierarchy and customs of the vampires.

The world building is utterly amazing. Shan's vampires remain incredibly detailed and original. Vampire Mountain in particular spends a lot of time walking Darren through their world, explaining the logic behind their practices and adding further detail to the reasons for the divide between vampires and vampaneze and the problems arising from this. The novels follow on directly from one another and therefore are best read together. To separate them would mean that you'd have to chug through some pretty hefty chunks of exposition (little actually "happens" in Vampire Mountain as it's mainly setup for Trials of Death).

The writing of the novel is pretty good and Shan certainly knows how to keep the reader's attention, especially excelling in writing fast paced and scary scenes. My only small issue, carrying over from the first trilogy, is is frequent use of unnecessary stings at the end of chapters to hold the reader's attention. It was easy to forget that Darren is just a boy due to the maturity of his voice and attitude which I suppose is entirely the point. While he was a young teen in Cirque du Freak, he's now technically a young man. While his body hasn't aged, his mind surely would have done.

Within this novel, Darren goes through a lot of development as he's forced to confront and come to terms with a lot of vampire traditions that he finds disturbing. While a lot of new characters are introduced to the story, none of them really get a lot of page time. Now Darren's left the Cirque du Freak behind him, the story really focuses on him and him alone. There are no other characters of his age for him to talk to. Everyone else is an adult vampire and very set in their ways, with little room for character growth.

My largest issue with the characterisation is still the lack of female characters. In this novel, there is only one and she doesn't come across as very well (even outwardly saying at one point that she's inferior to the male vampires). As a female reader, this is very disheartening. I'm not saying that every novel must have equal representation but we do deserve better than this.

Yet all in all, I did enjoy this book. The world has been expanded tenfold and I look forward to finding out what will happen next. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Mar 26, 2016 |
This is the second trilogy of Darren Shan books. Yes, these are kids books and neither complexed or wonderfully written, they're not going to make it into the halls of litterary greats but what the hell! They're great fun and Darren has made a fascinating world of vampires which is unique and compelling.
Darren appears to have taken a leaf out of JK's book and has allowed his writting style and content to steadily age with the main character. The first trillogy was obviously written for young children but as this one progressed the themes become increasingly grown up and and consiquences increasingly unpleasant. There's lots to be seen of my favourite character Mr Crepsley and you get to know him and his history a little better. You also get to know Gavner Purl, another favourite of mine, a lot better.
The ending of this trillogy does let it down a bit. It is very obvious where the story is going and it's more than a little far fetched based on everything that has happened, but as it's a kids book that hardly seems to matter. After all Harry Potter became the chosen one and vanquished the dark lord at 18 so whats wrong with a half-vampire doing something equally mental at the approximate "real" age of about 21.
On their own the three books that make up the Vampire Rites would be a bit of a dissapointment but tape them together into one book and you have an enjoyable little jaunt into a imaginative vampire world. Well worth the 5 stars as it kept me up to 2am because I couldn't put it down. Damn you Darren Shan ;-) ( )
  Amatheya81 | Mar 15, 2012 |
Vampire Rites comprises of books 4-6 of the Darren Shan Saga. ( )
  Clurb | Aug 24, 2006 |
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YA. Horror trilogy. 11 yrs+.

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