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Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 2) Paperback – 29 Sep 2011

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Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 2) + Palace of the Damned (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 3) + Brothers to the Death (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 4)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007315902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007315901
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Darren Shan's real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy (pronounced O-Shock-Nessy, though it can also be pronounced O-Shawn-Essy). Although he is Irish, he was born on July 2, 1972, in St. Thomas' Hospital, London -- directly across the river from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which may explain his fascination with evil bloodsuckers! He lived in South East London, near the Elephant & Castle. He started school at the early age of three (he was such a wild child, no pre-school facility would have him!), in English Martyrs. At the age of six, he moved to Limerick in Ireland, with his parents and younger brother, and has lived there ever since.

Shan went to primary school in Askeaton, where his mother was a teacher, then to secondary school in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. Later, he went back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University. He then worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a couple of years, before setting up as a full-time writer at the age of 23.

Although Shan always wanted to be a writer, it was only in his teenage years that he began writing in his spare time for fun (before that, he only wrote stories if they were for homework). He bought his first typewriter when he was 14, and never looked back, knocking out loads of short stories and comic scripts, and making false starts on several books, which he never completed. He enjoyed his first taste of literary success at age 15, as a runner-up in a television script-writing competition for RTE in Ireland, with a dark comedy script titled A Day in the Morgue (he was morbid even then!).

Shan was 17 when he finished his first novel. Although it was never published, he relished the writing experience, and found himself focusing more on novels in the coming years, leaving behind the short-story format. For the next several years, sandwiched between university and work, he wrote an average of one book a year, experimenting with different ideas, genres, lengths and styles. When he started writing full-time, his output shot up to 5 to 6 books per year! But that has dropped back to 2 to 3 recently, due to all the travelling around he's been doing to promote sales of his books.

All of these early books were adult-oriented. Although Shan quite liked the idea of writing a children's book one day, he considered himself an adult writer first and foremost. In fact, Shan's initial breakthrough was with an adult book, in 1999, titled Ayuamarca (since re-released in the UK as Procession Of The Dead, and coming to the USA in 2010).

In January 2000, his first children's book, Cirque du Freak, which he'd written as a fun side-project, was published. The first book in a series titled The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque du Freak, as it's known in America), it attracted rave reviews and an ever-growing army of fans hungry to learn more about vampires which were quite unlike any that anyone had ever seen before!

Shan loved writing for children so much, that for the next several years he focused exclusively on his books for younger readers. First, he wrote a total of 12 books about vampires. He quickly followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, a series about demons. Running to ten books in total, The Demonata cemented Shan's place in the UK as the Master Of Children's Horror, and saw him score his first UK #1 bestseller. He also wrote a one-off short book, called Koyasan, for Wold Book Day in the UK.

There was a very successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. It was originally serialized in Japan, but collected volumes are now on sale in the USA, UK and other countries.

In addition to writing for children, Shan has now returned to his first love and is once again writing for adults as well. He has had two adult books published in the UK, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon. They have been released in a number of other countries too, and are due to hit the USA in 2010. A third, City of the Snakes, goes on sale in the UK in March 2010. His first adult books were released under the name of D B Shan, but they are being reprinted under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and City of the Snakes will be released under the Darren Shan name.

By the start of 2010, Shan's books were on sale in every continent, in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and have been children's bestsellers in America, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries. The books have topped adult bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Shan's books have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide!!!!

The movie rights to Cirque Du Freak were bought by Universal, and the first movie (which combines elements from the first three books in the series) was released on October 23rd, 2009, starring newcomer Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan, along with a wide array of established stars such as Josh Hutcherson, John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe. The movie was called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February 2010.

A big film buff, with a collection of more than four thousand movies at home, Shan also reads lots of comics and books, and likes to study and collect original artwork, especially comic art and impressionist and post-impressionist art. He has recently started adding sculptures to his collection, making use of the large, empty field outside his back door. Other interests include long walks, watching football (he's a Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, theatre, worldwide travel, sampling the delights of both gourmet cuisine and finger-licking junk food, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers!!!

Shan spends most of his time in Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas. He has no pets, but a neighbourhood dog called Goldie joins him on his walks most days. He also feeds a variety of wild birds, and spots the occasional hare and pheasant strolling through his back yard. In addition to his main home in Ireland, Shan has an apartment in London, to which he escapes for a burst of high-speed living every so often, when he feels the need to get his juices flowing!! Shan rarely writes when in London or on the road, preferring to tie himself to his computer when at home in Limerick, where he can work away solidly without any distractions in the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside.

Product Description


Praise for the Larten Crepsley Series:

“His writing is slick, his dialogue sharp and clever, his plotting immaculate. His books ooze with the kind of creepy, dark atmosphere and powerful characters that young teenage readers lap up. Shan is honing his craft with every book, and I look forward to the next gore-fest with relish.”
Irish Independent

“Forget Stephen King, this author's the master of scaring children.”
The Big Issue in Scotland

“A tantalising start to the series and a must-read for Darren Shan fans.”
Books Quarterly

About the Author

Darren Shan is the number-one best-selling author of the series THE SAGA OF DARREN SHAN, the DEMONATA and more recently the SAGA OF LARTEN CREPSLEY and ZOM-B. His books have been read by millions of people around the world and translated into more than 25 languages. Darren lives in seclusion in the depths of Ireland. He is a big film buff, and also loves theatre, comics and books, and collecting art. He loves dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers, but never drinks blood. Or so he claims.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacie @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm not sure how to start this review. I finished the book last night and was fighting the urge to pick the next one up and read straight away, but had planned to watch a film with the other half so didn't. I still haven't as I wanted to write this review first, only problem is I don't know where to start. I've been a fan of Darren Shan for about 8 to 10 years now, I've read just about everything he's written, with the exception of a few books, and he still never ceases to amaze me.

The book starts of with Larten and Wester leaving Seba to go explore the world before returning to their studies. On their travels they come across other vampires with the same interests, drinking and gambling, and soon take up home with them (where that may be). Even though Larten is surrounded by beautiful women, money and good company he is never happy, and it takes a encounter with a vampaneze for him to come to his senses and set off on a different path with Wester returning to Seba.

The story skips forward a few years to find a still unsure Larten on his way to see Lady Evanna, the Lady of the Wilds and Desmond Tiny's daughter, for the second time with her new assistant Malora. After a bit too much to drink and a bit of an misunderstanding Larten fleas from Evanna with a young Malora following ( I love how he got his scar. I've waited a long time to find out and now I have, well done Mr Shan. Well done haha)

(The first time we see Last Evanna in the book is when Wester, Latern, Seba & Vancha stumble apon her and we meet her assistant Arra Sails, a lady we first came across in The Saga of Darren Shan, but as a vampire. I found this bit of the story very interesting, short but interesting)

In the last section of the book Larten is ill with vampire flu.
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By Barmy_Bex on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
Carrying straight on from book 1, Larten is geting used to being a vampire, but that doesn't mean he likes all that comes with it. Fed up of all the rules, training and hassle he sets off for a bit of freedom, taking Wester with him. Wester has also been turned into a Vampire by Seba Nile so the two become like brothers. They go after adventure, fun and end up drinking, fighting, chasing women and generally getting up to mischief with a group of like minded vampires known as the 'Cubs'.

I actually found this a bit frustrating, knowing what a great vampire Larten becomes, I was shocked to see him behave so poorly and disregard everything we later know that he believes in. He acts selfishly and immaturely and seems to have no regard for others. However it also shows how he changes and develops as a character to come through it all, but for me it seemed to go on a bit too long.

Larten ends up turning his back on that life, thoroughly fed up with no real purpose to his long life he ends up back at Vampire Mountain, but whereas Wester seems comfortable there and finds what he wants to do, Larten isn't ready to settle in one place and so he continues his search for more and ends up on a ship bound for America. Despite the book being called 'Ocean of Blood' he doesn't get on that boat until about half-way through. We are introduced to Malora, a human who used to serve Evanna the witch but who chooses to leave with Larten instead. She was an interesting character, I had to wonder what she saw in Larten to make her stay around and put up with him for so long, but I liked their dynamic and was excited to see where it would go.

I read this one just as quickly as the first and again it was good to see characters i recognized from the Darren Shan saga. I did find it a bit more exciting than the first but I wanted more from Larten, I want him to find his way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a dearest fan of Darren Shan, i would say that he has produced yet another masterpiece however this book is not as good than some of the previous books he has written about.

Ocean of blood is a fascinating series of what i have read so far as it keeps me hooked on to every page. This book focuses on the protaganst Larten Crepsley who has seperated himself from the Clan and is wondering around lonesomely and is now starting to realise the vampire life and that it is not about sleeping all day and partying all night. As an indivisual Larten is finding it hard to cope being by himself as he is struggling to find food and yet keeping a low profile at the same time. After being rejected from Evvana and picking up an accomplience along the way he finds himself on a boat and comes down with vamipre fever. During his stay on the boat he starts to find himself craving blood again and suddenly goes into a frenzy and kills most of the people on board only keeping a few as captive. However he quickly fled from the scene taking an innocent baby with him.

For me that let the book down was the end, as a cliffhanger is supposed to want you keep reading however this was not the case and it was slightly dissapointing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris D on 1 May 2011
Format: Hardcover

At the end of the last book, Larten and Wester were left behind by Seba so that they could have fun living in the human world with fellow young vampires called Cubs. The book starts off with Larten having a ball of a time, and when he leaves behind the Cubs he and Wester join a war pack: they observe humans fighting and then feast on the bloody corpses. It's one of these 'feasts' that provides the book's second most gruesome scenes, but the top scene for giving you nightmares is... Well, I'll talk about that later.

The fun and games can't last forever, though, and Larten and Wester are soon back at Vampire Mountain. Wester knows what he wants to do with his life, but Larten is not sure, and so the majority of this book sees Larten trying to find his path in life. More characters from 'The Saga of Darren Shan' are re-visited in this book, including Evanna, Arra Sails and Vancha, and whilst it is good to learn more about these characters, it also can make this book at times feel like just a re-telling of 'The Saga of Darren Shan' rather than a brand new book. But that's only at times; mostly this book feels fresh and original.

I mentioned before that there is a scene that will give you nightmares and that blood-drenched scene comes right at the end of the book. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you!

My only main critism of this book is that, like 'Birth of a Killer', there are very few strong, original female characters. Most of the women are either: stupid and pretty humans for the Cubs to woo or a house-wife waiting for her husband to come home so she can cook the tea for him.
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