Saturday, 13 June 2015

Hunters of the Dusk by Darren Shan (Saga of Darren Shan, #7) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

While death is certain,
we do not know who it will claim...


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 177
Chapters: 20 (Plus a prologue.)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I'm back on the reading wagon! I hadn't realised just how long I'd gone without picking up a book, and it's shameful. Hunters of the Dusk makes that feeling worse by being so darn good. I love the kind of mini-trilogies the series contains; they're fantastic, and help keep the reader invested with the balanced myriad of plots and adventures, foreshadowed with the coming of the 'big plot'. The Vampire Prince's conclusion revealed a future that's impossible to ignore. Excitement, anticipation and dread are the main emotions I felt going into this entry; things took a huge turn for the better at the end of the previous book, and I'm frantic with anxiety, waiting for that other fateful shoe to drop...


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

War has broken out between the vampires and the vampaneze.
One that's fated to be the likely genocide of the vampires.
Darren Shan, half-vampire himself, and newly appointed Prince has no time to revel in his victories.
War and strategy have become his closest friends.
But when Mr Destiny shows up at Vampire Mountain, with a sly smile and a way in which the vampires can win the fight, everyone's naturally on edge.
Chosen by fate to hunt the Vampaneze Lord, Darren, Mr Crepsley and Harkat leave their home.
And death is all but certain...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

Hunters of the Dusk's story pulls on the previous books' history, and begins a new journey for our beloved heroes. It's fun, engaging and full of portents of doom. All the stuff we really love. 

The Prologue gives us a good jolt. The Vampire Prince gave pretty conclusive predictions that a war was coming, and in this instalment, the vampires are six years into it. It's hit the ground running-type stuff, and instantly, the sense of immediacy and danger is heightened for the reader. We visit old locations and characters, but are also blessed with new ones. We're covering ground quickly, and it's usually around this point in a series - especially a Darren Shan series - where I get depressed that it's coming to an end.

Although, I am going to make a prediction. I'm just too intrigued not to. When we learn that our band of merry creatures will find another hunter on their travels, I was hoping it would be Steve, Darren's long ago best friend. But, shortly after, and before we meet the real new hunter, I made another prediction that I'm going to stick by.

I think the Vampaneze Lord might be Steve!

Because, simply, awesomeness!

Essentially, a solid entry that matches the magic of its predecessors.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

In summary: Quick, action-packed and unputdownable.

Everything is perfectly structured to hold a reader's attention right through to the end. Series like this are just addictive as hell.

If hell were addictive that is...

I'm not entirely sure that sentence works...

Characters - 5/5 Stars

I'm surprised and extremely happy at where Darren starts off in the story. When he was elevated to Prince status, I couldn't help but assume the title would be more of a novelty rather than a serious vocation. But our hero fully accepts his role and performs it with gusto. The last six books gave him a vast amount of experience; factor in his loyalty, bravery and, at times, sheer selflessness, and the vampires wholly trust him. I love this. Darren's defying odds and traditions, and doing it all with style!

Plus, he retook his Trials of Initiation and kicked ass!

The bond between him and Larten is also reinforced, with the teacher advising Darren in his role, lending expansive intellect and a wise mind to temper Darren's immaturity. 

I adore the new entries to the cast as well, especially Evanna and Vancha, who are both so well-written and characterised. The series does not fail when it comes to its versatile range of personalities and people, even six books in.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

In a nutshell: Unencumbered, enjoyable and slowly darkening and maturing along with the plot and its characters.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

Hunters of the Dusk will not disappoint. If you're enjoying the series so far, ready yourself for that to continue. If you're not, then, well, huh? 

Keep going. That's all I have to say.

Previous Instalment: The Vampire Prince
Next Instalment: Allies of the Night

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