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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sons of Destiny by Darren Shan (Saga of Darren Shan, #12) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Destiny is calling...

172262

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 196
Chapters: 20 (Plus a prologue and an interlude.)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

And so it has come: The end. 

Why do good things have to come to an end? 'Cause I dislike it immensely.

Sons of Destiny... What can I say? 

Darren Shan, thank you.

Sons of Destiny is one helluva finale in so many bloody ways. It pulls on its predecessors' stories and concludes it all with a heartfelt bang. The emotion, imagination, action etc. etc. are all masterfully woven into a hooking conclusion to The Saga of Darren Shan.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

The future isn't bright for our half-vampire, Darren Shan.
Destiny's countdown has reached its final stages.
The final battle is nigh.
But if Darren wins, he'll become the greatest evil the world has ever known.
And if he loses, Steve will become the greatest evil the world has ever known.
The world is screwed...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

I'm not even sure where to begin, so I apologise in advance if the review seems like a rambling confused mess.

The twists, and doubt, and ambiguity, and, and... Sons of Destiny is a roller coaster ride. This entry is split into two parts (three if you count the Interlude) and both parts are entire magical stories in their own rights. Part One focuses on Darren's battles with Steve, picking up directly after Lord of the Shadows. It could have fallen apart after the explosive cliffhanger, but we start with grief and hope. 

A proper reunion between Darren and his sister Annie. Cue tears! And laughs! Her reaction is realistic and hilarious: Anger, pain, grief, hope, surprise. There's even a faint thrown in for good measure. Despite only being in a small part of this entry, the author perfectly encapsulates her in a way that does justice to her young self back in Cirque Du Freak, while maintaining her adult side. She's smart, intuitive, just as she was before. 

We're then wrenched into a huge battle. Which then leads to a smaller scale confrontation that eclipses the bigger battle's epicness! Darren and Vancha VS Steve and Gannen. The tension in this fight made me bristle with adrenaline. 

Then Vancha's wound!

Then R.V.! Jesus awesomeness!

Then the final fight, Destiny's calling, Darren VS Steve! Vampire Prince VS Vampaneze Lord!

Then Mr Tiny revealed as both Darren's, and Steve's, FATHER!

If I hadn't been so invested, I'm almost certain I would have passed out. And how did I miss it! We've only been told for almost the entire series about Mr Tiny, Mr Des Tiny. 

The title? Sons of Destiny!

Sons. Of. Des Tiny!

How in God's name did I miss that!?

The Saga of Darren Shan is a series that is perfect for children and adults alike. The finale reinforces themes from throughout its run: Family, love, good, selflessness. Important and welcome insights into how to treat others respectfully. There are fantastic messages of hope and fighting for what you believe in and want. 

Withdrawal is setting in as I write this review... 

Someone quickly tell me there are more books and I just don't know about them!? Please!?

Pace - 5/5 Stars

For the first half of the book, everything blasts along at a rocket's pace.

It does slow after that, with a wrap-up half that's smart and fun to read. There's so much wonderfully plotted stuff going on that the change isn't even really an issue.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

Sons of Destiny's cast of characters truly shine!

Darren's a fascinatingly flawed character: Noble, selfless, heroic, but also selfish, being eaten away by hatred, with a rising darkness. But his inherent goodness wins out. Ever the hero, he sacrifices himself for the world! He's been a wonderful POV to journey with, and I am, sadly, going to miss him...

Mr Tiny and Steve are two of the best villains I've ever read. Both pure evil, in different ways, and with different actions that emphasise it. Mr Shan, author Shan, has created this sort of darkness perfectly.

Segue! Merla's support of Darren after her son's death actually did have me in tears...

The strength of Debbie! Gave, and still gives in retrospect, me goosebumps.

There are a wealth of characters, and each deserves the spotlight. They're all great, and I could read with them indefinitely.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

It hits the epitome of darkness in the first half, and corresponding hope in the second, right, on, the, head.

The quality and structure help drive home just how good a finale this is.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

It's the ending that resonates the most, and will no doubt capture the minds of children reading it everywhere. Heck, I'm twenty-two, and even though I know - or do I? - that the series isn't real, it's a testament to talent when, for a fleeting moment, you question...

There's only one thing left, Mr Shan.

You didn't happen to find these 'books' in your mail, did you?


Previous Instalment: Lord of the Shadows


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