Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
I actually preferred this to Slawter
on 22 January 2007
I've been reading Darren Shan for years now, and I've kept up to date with all his books. For me, this series is nowhere near as good as his last series, but it's still a compelling and unique enough read. I didn't particularly like Slawter - well, I did, but I thought it was the worst of the series - so I was pleased to find that I enjoyed Bec. Nevertheless, I'm still waiting for the magic of his last series to appear, because I'm a little unimpressed with the Demonata so far. It's good, and I can't deny that Shan is a capable writer who knows his genre well, but I'm finding the individual books a little same-y.
Bec introduces us to a new set of characters and I'm glad about that, because that made it more interesting than Slawter. What I also enjoy are the small ways that Shan connects all the books, and it was nice to see the beginning of the curse on the Grady family. I think Demon Thief is my favourite so far - I can't wait to see more of Kernel - but Bec is more on a level with the first book than Slawter. I think Shan just needs to shake things up a little because Slawter especially felt like it had no impact on the series, and was merely a filler book.
I think I'm in the minority with preferring Bec to Slawter. I guess it was rather slow paced and there's a lot of portions where few significant events happen, but I still found it enjoyable. And, as always, Shan's refusal to pander to the expectations of children's books is refreshing, although I find some of his gore scenes a little too glorified in a way that's not creepy, but just feels as if he wanted to be gory.
I don't recommend reading all the books at once. The books took a plunge with Slawter for me, and still aren't quite back up to the standard of Lord Loss and the Demon Thief. Don't let this put you off - the series is definitely worth a read and Darren Shan's writing is enjoyable as always.