Flashback Friday: Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan

flashback-friday-featuredHappy Friday!! Today is the first official Flashback Friday 🙂 What’s Flashback Friday?? Well, the full story can be read here (& you should read it), but it’s a weekly meme meant to highlight books published at least 2 years ago that are on your to-reads (that you never got to) or that you read years ago and loved! It’s hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast & Fiction Fare.

cirque du freakA LIVING NIGHTMARE (Cirque Du Freak #1)

by Darren Shan
Hardcover, 266 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published 2000)

Book Blurb

Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy – until he gets an invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak…until he meets Madam Octa…until he comes face to face with a creature of the night.

Soon, Darren and his friend Steve are caught in a deadly trap. Darren must make a bargain with the one person who can save Steve. But that person is not human and only deals in blood…

Add to Goodreads to-reads (hopefully you get to it!)

My Thoughts/Review

I won’t do thoughts/this long of a post every time, but this is one of my all time favorite books so…

For my first Flashback Friday post I decided to choose the entire Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan, more specifically A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak/The Saga of Daren Shan #1).

Now, I’m a huge vampire fan (?–not sure if that’s the right word). I love vampire lore. It all started with Anne Rice, as it should, and my most recent addition to the vamp book lineup was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black which was amazing (in her acknowledgments she thanked vamp lore writers like Anne Rice, it brought tears to my eyes).

Alas, I digress. I picked this series/this book because it was one of those series I wasn’t sure I would love. I mean, I love vampires but this is like if Stephen King wrote a vampire book (has he?). Major horror. I don’t know how I slept at night. But, it’s Upper MG/low YA. I vividly remember being in my school library and picking it up for the first time. Love at first read.

It’s a beautiful story about a boy who gets mixed up with vampires, but there’s so much more than that. It spun the genre well, it added in marvelous creatures, a very interesting friend/enemy-ship(…I mean the relationship between Darren and Steve, boy now that’s good), had all these underlying messages about your destiny and rewriting your own path (hehe, Mr. Des Tiny<–took me forever to get that, he’s a character in the book). And the ending, wow. They made a movie and while it’s okay there’s no need to waste your time…there’s a reason there’s only one movie out of the 12 books published (it stars a young Josh Hutchinson). 

I whole heartedly recommend it (My rating: 1 million owls, LOL). I think it’ll surprise you. It sure did me.

Oh, and J.K. Rowling blurbed it so, yeah…it’s freaking awesome 🙂

What was a book you remember reading when younger that surprised you and became one of your all time favorites?

Whimsically Yours,



8 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan

  1. So glad you joined us!, I haven’t ever read or seen these! I’m so happy to find new books to add to my to read list and these sound amazing! Definitely will be checking them out!

    Jaime @ fic fare

  2. Oh and another thing: I’m in a weird position with book reviews, where I get new(ish) books to review but end up reading them slowly because of school, and review them sometimes months after they come out because I also don’t have the money to buy new releases. Your post gave me the idea of doing “flashback” reviews, for when I have no new books around to review. I might try this. Thanks! 🙂

  3. AHHHHHHHHHHH *flails* I LOVED these books! I borrowed one from a friend in middle school because I didn’t have a free reading book for the first 10 minutes of class, and I got hooked from there. I also read his Demonata series, which is basically slasher horror in book form, but Cirque du Freak is better. Also, guys actually cry in these books. And, like, express actual feelings and sh*t. Being emotionally clueless in general, I would read books about guy protagonists written by guy authors to see just how exactly the teen male mind and heart worked and expressed itself. Though in retrospect I shouldn’t have done all my “research” with fiction. :/

    • Laura, yes! You hit on everything I love about the book. Like especially because it’s a 12 book series, we see so much sadness, Darren seeing his family, falling in love, yet not being able to rejoin them or settle down, it’s so real. I’ve been meaning to check out his Zom-B series as I haven’t read any zombie books and I figured he should be my first since he’s so good at horror.

      You should definitely join the flashback friday meme. I love doing flashback reviews, I once did something called “Time-Travel Tuesday” (and you’re welcome to “steal” it) where I reviewed old books on Tuesdays.

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