cover image for Birth of a Killer by Darren ShanReviewed by Rhea

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Birth of a Killer is a prequel to the series Cirque Du Freak.  While Cirque Du Freak is centered around Darren and his adventures as a vampire, Birth of a Killer begins the story of Larten Crepsley, Darren’s master.  Larten Crepsley murders the owner of the factory where he works after his young cousin is killed in one of the owner’s rages.  Forced to run as he will be killed if he stays, Larten goes to the only place he thinks he can find shelter: the cemetery.  There he meets Seba Nile, a vampire, who takes him on as an apprentice.  Birth of a Killer chronicles the life and adventures of Larten as he grows up and becomes a vampire.

This is a great book that I absolutely loved.  It has lots of action, while at the same time not going overboard.  The ending is very suspenseful and leaves the reader hanging.  This book connects to Cirque Du Freak not only because it has many of the same characters, but also because a lot of what happens in it ties together loose ends in the previous series.  I would recommend that you read Cirque Du Freak before reading this because it makes the story a lot more interesting.  There are lots of “ah ha!” moments.  Definitely read this book!