Darren goes to a banned freak show with his best mate Steve. It’s the wonderfully gothic Cirque Du Freak where weird, frightening half human/half animals appear who interact terrifyingly with the audience. Darren – a spider freak – ‘falls in love’ with Madam Octa – an enormous tarantula owned by Mr Crepsley. Darren determines to steal the spider so that he can train it to perform amazing deeds. But his daring theft goes horribly wrong. The spider bites Steve and Darren has to sell his soul to Mr Crepsley – a member of the vampire clan – to get the antidote. Something out of the ordinary is set against the background of children’s normal lives to chilling effect. Atmospheric, funny, realistic, moving and… terrifying.I have heard of this series for years, this book came out in 2001 or so, and it was always on the list to read one day, but I had yet to pick up a book. Nicola has been reviewing them this year, though, and I must say she caught my attention. I had a bit of money as a Christmas present, so I decided to buy the first two books in the series and see what happened! I am rather picky about young adult books. There are many series out there that everyone loves and have been recommending to me over and over again that I just did not like at all! This one, though, I think I am going to enjoy!
I stretched out on the couch with a blanket, some fluffy slippers, comfy clothes, and orange juice and dived right in. I wasn't really scared, it takes a lot to frighten me, but I was caught up in the atmosphere and the creepy feeling that this book gave off. You knew right from the beginning that something bad was going to happen, so I had to keep reading to find out what that was! It's not a large book, but it is compelling enough that when you finish it you will want to read the next book (which I might just do) so that you can see what is going to happen next. You were right, Nicola, I think this is my kind of series!