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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Only Took One Sitting
As a 15 Year Old emphatic reader, I don't struggle to get through 3 or 4 novels a week plus - but it's still rare that I manage an entire 250 page novel in one 2 1/2 hour sitting. Birth of a Killer is another fabulous instalment to an already incredible repertoire by Darren Shan. I ordered the book from amazon a few days ago, but a friend gave me their copy, saying I had...
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by AngusJ

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I love Darren Shan and I enjoyed this read but I found it was quite short and the big time gaps have left questions
Published 15 months ago by lex


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Only Took One Sitting, 1 Dec 2010
By 
AngusJ "AJ" (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
As a 15 Year Old emphatic reader, I don't struggle to get through 3 or 4 novels a week plus - but it's still rare that I manage an entire 250 page novel in one 2 1/2 hour sitting. Birth of a Killer is another fabulous instalment to an already incredible repertoire by Darren Shan. I ordered the book from amazon a few days ago, but a friend gave me their copy, saying I had to read it immediately. I started at 9 O'Clock this morning (during an exam revision session in school) and powered through, not being able to look up - as I quite literally found my self hurling through Larten's initial adventures with him on every turn of the page. Before I knew it my school bell was ringing at 11:10 but I couldn't get up! I genuinely couldn't bring myself to put the book down! Unfortunately, by the time I'd finished it, break was over and everyone was coming back into the room ... but it was worth it!

I think this book shows another side to Shan. Having not read The Demonata Series I'm unable to comment on those, but from my experience of The Saga of Darren Shan he is a writer who draws readers in by bundling them from one fast paced action sequence to the next, and indeed from reading some of The Demonata reviews this is the impression I get. The Birth of a Killer takes a step back, especially in the first half of the book, and looks more at the emotional side of things, especially as Larten makes the decision between becoming a Vampire's Assistant and committing himself to a life of darkness, or staying in the human world and ... I wont tell you what drove him to becoming a Vampire - that would spoil it! This somewhat more emotional outlook, in no way impairs the story line though! Shan makes sure we're always well stocked on bloody feuds and heart stopping punch-ups - indeed the murder the title refers to comes only 40 or 50 pages in. There is quite literally, never a dull moment.

As to whom I would advise this book to? Anyone. The best thing about this book is probably the fact that it doesn't rely on having read The Saga of Darren Shan. Although it is a prequel, there is nothing to suggest you would have less understanding, or get less out of the book, having not read about Larten's adult life. We are set the scene brilliantly in the initial chapters about Larten's childhood, vanquishing the need to understand him as an adult during the Cirque du Freak years. Obviously, I think this series concept may be more aimed at males, but it is not gory in anyway, despite murders, so I would wholeheartedly recommend it to women as well. For the same reason, I don't think younger readers would have a problem. the language is not overly challenging, and I think it will provide the same brilliant reaction to everyone - young and old. I would recommend it to anyone, and I hope - after seeing the amazing reviews and buying the book - you will too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intersting new series, 31 Aug 2013
This review is from: Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 1) (Paperback)
Having read and mostly enjoyed the Cirque Du Freak series I wanted to know more about Larten, he always was one of my favourite characters from the series so I was quite excited to find out he had his own series. All the events happen a long time before those in Cirque Du Freak, way back when Larten was still a human. The series will then lead you through his life until it meets back to where we first met him performing at the Cirque. This is book 1. I have made these reviews harder on myself as I read the first 3 books in one day and am now trying to separate them in my head as to what happened in which. So if things get a bit muddled, forgive me!

I actually found this book started off quite slow, I kept waiting for something great to happen but it took a while to get going. I was glad I stuck with it though as it does get more interesting quiet quickly once it gets going. And it was interesting to see how this mighty vampire started out. I could never have guessed how he got to where he ended up when he met Darren and this answers so many questions - especially the hair!

It's also nice to see the other sides of his personality, from scrawny but quick witted young boy, to feisty and aggressive to scared and adventurous and rebellious. It really makes him seem more real as a character and brings him to life off the page.

It was quite fun meeting characters we already know and trying to place their names and situations. There are obviously some characters that are new to us, those that don't get mentioned in the Darren Shan series, but placing those I did know was fun.

This book is quite short at just 253 pages and I read it in a couple of hours, but it is definitely worth a read. Once you get into it you will rip through it.

Made me want to read the next book for sure. Larten's life is certainly no easy ride and it makes for gripping reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Nostalgic, 20 Sep 2013
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I was anxious to delve back into the works of Darren Shan again, it having been a good few years since I finished the Vampire Assistant series however this was a very warm welcome back into the series. I was afraid that i had outgrown the writer however following the tale of Larten Crepsley quickly rekindled my love for the world that Darren Shan has created. Old names and a refreshing story which was easy to follow and very entertaining. I finished this book in two sittings which is something i rarely ever do and i have already purchased the others in the series so that i can revisit his world. A very good read for young teens to old fans!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, and a well done revival of the series!, 1 Oct 2010
By 
Mr. L. A. Milne (Hertfordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I am half way through the book now, and have had to force myself to put it down to save some of it for later. So far I have found it thoroughly enjoyable, and a looking forward to finishing it, which for someone who rarely reads, making an exception to anything written by Darren Shan, is quite something. It is refreshing to have a book which is more similar to some of the earlier [simpler] books in the series which I preferred to the madness that was towards the Demonata series. Overall, I am enjoying it and am eager to read the next installment in this new [hopefully exciting] quadrilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darren Shan is amazing, 9 Dec 2010
By 
S. Kerr (England) - See all my reviews
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Another triumph by Darren Shan! Just when I was sad that I had finished all the Demonata books and already had read the Vampire saga the author comes up with another fantastic story to keep you happy. As with all of Darren Shans books they are not just for teenagers but make exhilarating and adventurous reads for adults with an imagination as well! If you are a fan get this book now, if you are new to Darren Shan then start with the Vampire saga, either way you will not regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great idea!, 14 Nov 2010
I have to say, this is probably my favourite book thats been released recently, my favourite books of all time are the books of 'the saga of darren shan' in that well written series, I could laugh, cry and relate to many of the characters. When the series was concluded, I knew there wouldnt be more, because how could it be extended after the conclusion that was previously written. What I didnt think of however, is that we could find out more from the past; not the future, and discover how some relationships and attitudes were formed between the older characters in the series. This witty, interesting book succesfully does exactly that and if you enjoyed the saga of darren shan, then youll love this. If you havent read that series though, then youll need to so that this can be understood.
I loved this book so much, that Ive already pre-ordered the sequel 'ocean of blood' which isnt out until next april!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Nov 2010
Another excellent chapter from the master Darren Shan. The book is in keeping with the previous sagas and having read all the saga it makes sense and gives you understanding of where the charachters came from. Another book that you cant put down and I cant wait for the next instalment. If you are a Darren Shan fan you will love it. If you are not a fan then I promise you after reading this book you will be and will want to read the rest of the saga.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 28 Oct 2010
I love this book - it's so easy to read and although it's another vampire story, it's got an edge, it's bit different and thoroughly enjoyable. It takes the story back to before Cirque de Freak and The Vampire's Assistant to how it all began. I love the characters' names, the descriptions, the story in general. Shan is an excellent story teller and I cannot wait for the next instalment!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Darren Shan Saga!, 18 Oct 2010
By 
D. R. Follows "bumfree" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've almost finished this book but i can already tell you- its great! At no point do you feel bored reading it, page after page is filled with amazing adventures and great story telling, much like Darren Shan's previous book- the Thin Executioner. It's written in 3rd person and so it shows you the thoughts behind the characters from the Darren Shan Saga, such as Seba Nile and Vanch March.

If you read the Darren Shan Saga you'll love this book even more- it's great how you can read about a young Vancha March, Larten Crepsley and (Younger) Seba Nile.

Anyway, if you liked the Darren Shan Saga or Thin Executioner this is a definite buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Great Days, 8 Oct 2010
After reading this book in first day I got it. I was delighted, it was as good as the Darren Shan saga, which were a great read and I highly recommend both series. Could not put down either. GREAT BOOK.
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Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 1)
Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 1) by Darren Shan (Paperback - 28 April 2011)
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