Posted in YA Book Reviews

Darren Shan

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Let’s do something different, instead of focusing on multiple books, I want to review an author that I have really grown to love and appreciate….Darren Shan.

My first encounter with Darren Shan was Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare a couple of years ago. I have since read a couple more books in this series, and each one is a little reminder of how much I really love Shan’s style of writing. Even though they are considered “YA” (and I would say YA to the max in some points), they are so beautifully written.

Shan has a variety of book series, and I find myself wanting to read them all. I recently started Zom-B. I figured hey, another “zombie” book is on the market…but…it is Shan, so I felt more inclination to read it. This particular book is absolutely amazing in it’s own right. Shan pushes the boundaries. This book is so much more than zombies, but beyond that. It incorporates intolerance, racism, and how by not standing up for something unjust is just as bad as the intolerance itself. Sure, it still has zombies, but it is so much more than that.

I believe that the messages Shan includes in his stories are so much deeper, that you almost don’t realize they are there (except for Zom-B). I believe that is what makes YA so amazing of a genre. Sometimes, young adults do not get to see positive influences. Hatred and intolerance is a learned pattern. I believe that Zom-B is one of those books that really could help a reader who may be in an abusive home, where a parent is full of intolerance and hate, yet they do not feel the same as their parent. B loves her father, yet hates him at the same time, who plays into the hatred just to stay on her father’s good side to deflect abuse. All of his book has some message, mixed in with the fantasy, humor, and, often times, gore to really captivate the reader.

I recently found another book by Darren Shan, The Thin Executioner, and I am pretty stoked at reading it. Series by Shan tend to be a couple hundred pages a book. The Thin Executioner appears to be a full on novel. With his series, each book tends to be left with a cliffhanger (bah!).

If you want to try something new, that you might not have given the chance before, I would suggest any of Shan’s books. I haven’t read all of his series, but it is my goal. I enjoy his writing enough to say that he can’t write anything bad!


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