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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 18 June 2017
Book arrived has promised in excellent condition.
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on 22 May 2017
The best author for all the times!
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on 18 September 2017
Birth Of A Killer By Darren Shan is a great first book of four about the origins and life of Larten Crepsely.

It's a must read and will be enjoyed by anyone who loved the saga of Darren Shan books as it's the closest thing you will read to a prequel/sequel of sorts.

We learn alot about the background of the much loved and for alot of Darren Shan fans the most loved character he ever created as he is interesting and very cool.

Read it and like the saga of darren shan you will not be able to put htis book down.
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on 1 December 2010
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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on 17 April 2017
At 26 I considered I might be too old for this, but I always reminisce how great Shan's sagas are, I've read all of them again and come to the conclusion I'll never be too old for them! I'm not a heavy reader but I find the level of detail and investment in the story fantastic, I really find myself imagining the scenes and every character and scrambling for the next book!
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on 18 October 2010
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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on 14 November 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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on 6 January 2011
When terrible events force young Larten Crepsley to flee his home he finds himself alone in the world. Then he meets the mysterious Seba Nile, who introduces him to the ways of the vampire clan. Travelling with Seba, Larten experiences the adventures he has always dreamed about. But will he turn his back on humanity and join a world from which there can be no return ...?

Birth of a Killer is the first book in Darren Shan's brand new series The Saga of Larten Crepsley, a prequel series to The Saga of Darren Shan. Now after the ending of The Demonata series and Darren's stand - alone fantasy novel The Thin Executioner I was not all that sure what to expect from Birth of a Killer. I needn't have had any worry because this book is far from bad. It contains all the things that make Darren Shan's books enjoyable. Its got a good adventure, A character that learns lessons throughout the book, it's got a bit of blood and of course its got the charm and comedy Darren is so good at mixing into horror.

Now as usual in Darren's books the main character is in his teens and is also a fairly rebellious character with guts and more attitude than Danny Dyer on a bad day, so those of you expecting this case to be different just because the character is Larten Crepsley a character we'd already established in the succeeding series this is not the case. Larten tends to be rebellious a couple of times in this book.

This book is nothing like what I'd expected and I was very happy to see that the beloved Cirque Du Freak played a part in this, and I imagine it probably will do in future instalments. Like The Demonata, Larten has a kind of Grubbs, Bill - E, Dervish relationship in this with the characters Wester and there mentor Seba Nile. Seeing that kind of relationship in this book was a very nice addition to the story in my opinion and gave it the charm and warmth we've come to expect from Darren's books since the character in The Thin Executioner was a rather heartless, cold and two dimensional character in my opinion.

Concluding my review all in all I found this a rather enjoyable beginning to this brand new series which Darren Shan claims will be another lengthy series. I am thoroughly looking forward to reading the upcoming instalment Ocean of Blood which will be released in May this year.
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on 31 August 2013
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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on 17 December 2010
This is the first book in the new four book saga by Darren Shan. It's the highly anticipated prequel to his previous saga - The Saga of Darren Shan - and it's all about a certain Larten Crepsley! Words cannot describe how excited I was to read this book, as I loved Shan's previous saga, as well as the Demonata series, and Mr Crepsley is one of my favourite fictional characters of all time!

The book is split into four parts, which all cover different sections of Larten's life as a vampire assistant, and then as a vampire. This creates a fast moving plot with a lot of action thrown in. That's not to say that the book is just for teenage lads who want to see some killing, oh no. It's quite the opposite. There's some pretty sentimental and emotional stuff in there too, and I was in tears at one point.

For anyone who's read The Saga of Darren Shan (TSDS), you will know Larten Crepsley, but this book lets you in on his background and his past. You find out why he has bright orange hair, and you begin to understand why he was the way he was in TSDS. I loved Larten in this book, he was brave and funny, and at the same time very flawed as a person and he certainly had his demons.

The other characters were simply amazing. Every single one of them was beautifully developed and described. I loved meeting Seba Nile - Larten's mentor - again, and I loved visiting Vampire Mountain and seeing all of those familiar names. There were also many connections to events and people in TSDS thrown in, even if we didn't meet/see them first hand. Which was simply AWESOME! I'm particularly excited to see what happens with Wester - you'll know who I mean when you read the book. He's a great character.

Overall, I highly recommend this book but you should read TSDS first, as I did, so you get a feel for his writing, and also so you can make all of the connections that I did!
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