Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan

Fans of the Saga of Darren Shan will be familiar with Larten Crepsley, the strict but honourable vampire who took the hero under his wing. But Birth of a Killer shows us a whole other side to Mr Crepsley: before he was a formidable vampire, he was just a poor, grubby kid growing up in miserable conditions.

Larten lives in one room with his four brothers and sisters, but the only person he really feels close to is his cousin, Vur Horston. Larten and Vur work long hours at a silkworm factory, where the sadistic overseer Traz beats his young workers regularly. He bites off noses and cuts out tongues, but Traz had never mortally wounded anyone – until one day when he pushes Vur too far, and Vur fights back. Traz finishes off poor Vur, and nobody bats an eyelash. Nobody except Larten Crepsley.

Not content to let the monster who killed his cousin live, Larten snaps and with one thoughtless reaction becomes a killer. The world might have been willing to look the other way when a grown man killed a boy, but not the other way round, and Larten suddenly finds himself on the run with nowhere to go.

Starving, cold and alone, Larten takes refuge in a graveyard. He thinks he’s alone, but Larten quickly discovers he has a roommate, and he’s not exactly human. Is Larten next on the menu, or does the vampire have other plans in store for the boy?

The mysterious Mr Crepsley was one of my favourite characters from The Saga of Darren Shan, so I absolutely devoured this book. But Birth of a Killer isn’t just for fans of Shan’s previous books, and newcomers will have no trouble picking up this highly original take on the vampire myth. There’s plenty of action within these pages, and quite a few hair-raising moments for the horror fans out there. Darren Shan has once again created a start to a series which will completely suck you in, and have even the most reluctant of readers craving more!

Cover image for Birth of a Killer

Birth of a Killer

Darren Shan

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