Parent reviews for Cirque Du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan Series

Common Sense says

Vampire horror series may hook reluctant readers.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 75 reviews
Adult Written byshanerocks May 1, 2012

Very suspenseful series

This series has a great plot to it. I've read all of them I love them! It doesn't get gory until the end of each installment.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written bytommysportsgirl April 9, 2008

An exciting read

Extremely violent, but still a fascinating story!! The rest of the books in the series aren't that good, however.
Adult Written byconcerned mom January 30, 2014

disturbing for young children

Please take the time to look at the images printed in these books and read some of the content before buying. If you wouldn't let your child watch a horror movie then don't let them read these books. This book is full of horrific images which are very disturbing and physically sickening . I am an avid reader and I fully encourage my children to read but I would never let them read one of these

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 10 year old Written byspirit0662 November 26, 2008

I read it 10 times

After reading the second book, The Vampire's Assistant, for a school project, I went back and read the first book. The first and second were so good, I had to read the rest of the series. All of the books were good, excecpt for the last half of the 12 book. It has a horrible ending.
Adult Written byTheodore Acheron July 13, 2011

The perfect book for adults, teens and young prodigies/vampire fans

Many of the other reviews on here aren't really expressing what this book has to offer. Sure it has some violence, but I started reading this series (or rather having it read to me) when I was five years old. I enjoyed every word of it and every time I got a new book I would stay up late reading it cover-to-cover. Not to mention, I was a sensitive kid back then, a very nice, sensitive and rather intelligent little one. For little kids like me who are above their age in reading it is terrific. I am a picky reader but this series had me hooked from the beginning. You have to overlook the violence and occasional mention of alchohol (oh come on, those kids are seeing worse on TV). This book isn't all about gore. The main character, Darren, is a good character who truly loved his family and friends and he was a very good boy, and a loving big brother. But as he is separated from them, he even begins to form strong bonds with his companions despite their differences. He tries to do the right thing and he is a good character and he is so brave and strong despite his youth and all the things that happen around him. He has on several occasions proved that he is willing to sacrifice his own life to save his friends. This book also deals with his coping of death where in some situations he could be at death's door at any given moment and in another situation far into the series he copes with the very sad death of one of his good friends. If you think your child isn't ready for it, then don't let them read it! Save until they are old enough to understand the book. It is a Young Adult Fiction book for a reason. I was able to understand it at five and I was an avid fan of vampires back then (I wanted to be one). And like I said, I was the sweetest kid you could ever meet and very intelligent despite my young age. I just happened to want to be a vampire instead of a superhero. But no two kids are exactly alike. Parents and teachers, read it for yourselves. Overlook the drinking and "swearing" and violence. If you look in there without letting yourself fall victim to immediate disgust without reading the whole book and the others in its series (they get better and better after the first) you will never see the true characterization and meaning behind the book, you will never see the mind-blowing amount of wit the book contains and you will never get to know the characters and trust me, there is some real character development in there. If you don't even bother to read it, you are missing out on an amazing book. If a five-year-old could pick the book up and understand each word and discover the true meanings of the book in a heartbeat after reading each new book, then why can't you?

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent of a 8 year old Written bytppppp January 31, 2010
it's amazing i was addicted to the books
Parent of a 4, 7, and 9 year old Written byMandL December 2, 2009

perfect for 8 - 16 who love action and good for older kids

Love it, action packed and overall amazing!!!

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byJulia from Sweden June 29, 2011

the movie vampire's assistant.

poisitive messages about being proud of your heritage and who you are and being defined by the content of you character. "It's not what you are, it's who you are" Main character has an edward cullen-attitude towards humans.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written by-Ms.Shan October 1, 2009

this book was.. AWESOME! READ IT!

it was the first actual series i read, i read it when i was 8 but finished when i was 10 for the series. The first book hooked onto me, and i didn't want the series to end. I give this book like 10/5 stars.. MATT YOU ARE WAYYY OFF ON THE STARS
Parent of a 6 year old Written byauntraini August 10, 2009

Not bad

Darren Shan is not a perfect hero. He is a very confused young man who just wants to do the right thing. He constantly second guesses his decisions and tries to see both sides of every conflict. An enjoyable journey, but not appropriate for younger children.
Parent of a 14 and 14 year old Written byxmasterxofxmyxd... November 14, 2008

an entertaining read for tweens that can be hard to put down but its nothing more than that

an entertaining read for the pre-teens but it is not very well written if you have read more intricate stories by more talented authors. but overall it is a fun weekend read for tweens, but the plot is thin and the characters are cliched.
Adult Written bySlytherin Student March 13, 2012

Excellent read for those who are old enough

These books are excellent! It does have some language, blood, and gore but the books clearly state they are placed in the horror genre. Horror has this sort of thing. I think Darren Shan is a great author and I highly recommend it to any Vampire fan.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byunknown person June 10, 2011

Good book for horror fans

Although content may be a little too violent or gruesome, it will suck in readers with its imaginative voice. Perhaps between ages 9-12, fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps will love this book.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMessyHair21 July 31, 2009

Kids wouldn't understand, vocabulary need upgraded

Good for any age, I said 10+ because I don't think younger kids would understand the story because they wouldn't know what some of the words meant. And there is some swearing, but age ten, there's kids in public schools cussing anyways. Ten is the perfect age to teach your kids that there is such thing as words that shouldn't be used, and you should enforce it by playing by their rules. If they can't cuss, you shouldn't either. Sure, you're showing them that you have control over them by saying "I'm an adult. I can do it." But that will make them feel like it's the cool thing to do, and that it's alright to do it, because you ARE their role models. :)

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive role models
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
Adult Written byimpkat April 9, 2008

One of my favorite series, but definetly not for kids under 13

Unfortunately, parents can easily be misled by the first book, cause as the series goes on, it gets more and more graphic. I feel that it should be pg-13, not +10.
Adult Written byMatthew T. January 17, 2018

Do Not Underestimate This Series

I read this series when I was about 11 and grew up with it for a good 3 years. I agree with many of the other adults saying it does get more explicit in violence as the books go on, though I'd say similar to how the Harry Potter series ages with it's readers. When it comes to topics of sex, language, or drugs/alcohol you don't have to worry much as those aren't brought up much as they don't hold any importance to the series. Having read the entire series the books do take on some mature and even philosophical topics of conversation that were enlightening and surprising to me when I was a younger reader. Overall this is a fantastic book series that even today I reread often. The only reason I give it a higher age rating is due to the common themes of violence. Aside from that it is a fun action packed fantasy for most younger teens to enjoy (and there is a lot to enjoy with a whopping 12 books).

This title contains:

Positive Messages