Review Blog

Jan 28 2010

The Saga of Darren Shan: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan

cover image Takahiro Arai. HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN 978000 7320882.
(Ages 10+) The tales of Darren Shan, a series of 12 books about a boy who becomes a half vampire and must always fight to retain his human half, was enormously popular when first published in 2000. To be reissued in Manga form will reintroduce the series to a different reading group, as well as thrilling those who already know the series. Readers of both the book and graphic novel form will love the adventures of Darren as he saves the day against all manner of monsters. Fighting against his vampire half means finding another way of satiating his appetite for blood, and with all vampire books which show the vampire trying to be human, the way of receiving blood is always fascinating.
The art work by Takahiro Arai will entice readers of this graphic novel. Using the traditional Manga style of big eyed children, as well as other conventions of blank pages with one drawing at the bottom, different sized comic strips, a whole page devoted to an emotional climax, and so on, the art work is at once familiar but with different touches that kids will love. The monsters in this book are thrilling, the fight scenes scary and bloody. It will have wide appeal; and this is number 2.
Fran Knight

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