Monday, 15 June 2015

Killers of the Dawn by Darren Shan (Saga of Darren Shan, #9) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

The hunters become the hunted...


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 185
Chapters: 21 (Plus a prologue.)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


I hate you Darren Shan! (Not really) I hate you! (Of course not really) How can you do this to us? How? What? Huh? Why?AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

What is life now...?

Killers of the Dawn has the worst and best ending EVER! 

I'm still partially unable to comprehend the mastery that I've just been through. 

This, is how storytelling is done. Filled with adrenaline and action from start to finish; add a healthy dose of suspense and some of the best twists I've seen, and you're on to a guaranteed success. 

SPOILER WARNING - A MAJOR one. Not only are there revelations from previous books, but also massive ones for this entry as well.

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

Darren, Larten, Harkat and Vancha have become the hunted.
The vampaneze, the police, the average citizens of the city; all, are thirsty for our heroes' blood.
Well, they've been framed and thrown into a sadistic game with rules they aren't privy to.
And places to hide are running out fast.
But destiny and fate are fickle forces.
Warnings have been issued, and the time has come for them to become a reality...

Plot - 5/5 Stars


Is there a better word? I don't know, I can't entirely comprehend what's going on.

Killers of the Dawn surpasses all other previous entries to the series, by miles. The story is top-notch stuff, oozing all the things we love. As a conclusion to a mini-trilogy within The Saga of Darren Shan, it does not disappoint. 

I especially love the insight into modern society, and how sadly, it's very true. When Darren, Mr Crepsley and Harkat are captured and incarcerated, a very clear picture of us as a culture is formed. Our heroes are taken and vilified, on a simple rumour. No matter how enlightened and factual a society we become, people are still quick to believe another person's tale, whether or not that tale has any bearing on reality.

A little ironic, right? Considering a large chunk of my life is dedicated to reading and reviewing stories. But I think one of my main reasons is because I love to question things; I love answers. I'm curious, and whenever someone tells you 'curiosity killed the cat', hit back.

Not physically, of course, but with an equally witty statement. I've even created one for myself whenever people get annoyed by my need to understand practically everything I come into contact with.

Simply: Thanks to that cat's questions and curiosity, it knows how to avoid the death you predict.

I see and hear of it all the time. People love a good story, and if the truth and facts aren't exciting enough, they'll add controversy and unfounded fiction to give it flair. 

I've gone way off topic, I think. I guess what I took from this progression of events in the book, is, question everything. Don't take someone's word for something, even if you trust them wholeheartedly. Come to your own conclusions, because assumptions are destructive.

Killers of the Dawn also reinforces messages of family and love. The people we choose to surround ourselves with; the ones we trust, respect and learn from. It's sweet, and a recurring theme in many books that doesn't grow old.

Family aren't always blood related; they can be chosen.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

You're not going to spend long on this entry.

It's fantastic and hooking, and I promise you there's no way you're putting the book down until you reach the bittersweet end.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

Okay, deep breath, here we go.

I'l probably only focus on one character in particular, and if you've read the book, you can guess who: Mr Larten Crepsley.

He's killed!!!!

*Cries maniacally*

The rest of the cast shine, they really do, but Larten is perfectly polished and brought to the foreground this time round. His relationship with Darren, their fatherly bond, his cool, calm yet empathetic way; everything about him has been done to perfection. His death is admirable and fitting, and the author's little 'fake ending', before crashing back to reality had me blinking like a madman. 

Bravo, Master of Horror, bravo.

But, and don't crucify me, I do feel Larten's death is necessary. Why, you ask, even though I screamed aloud with anguish when it happened? Essentially, the stakes had to be raised (a little pun intended). Bad guys were dropping like flies, while our heroes weren't facing any real consequences. They always came up with something that got them to safety.


Everything has changed, and will continue to change. This death will have ramifications on both the world and its characters. It will affect Darren and the rest of the cast in ways needed for their development, and in turn, the story's progression.

I hate it, but love it.

Also, hell yes to the Steve twist! Mr Shan, you cunning devil! My prediction about the half-vampaneze crazy was right, only, I fell for the decoy just as much as our main characters did!

Writing - 4.5/5 Stars

Much in line with what I've said previously. Simple, and often aware of its shortcomings, using them to hilarious effect. It's a smooth, fast-paced ride that's bound to darken with the turns this book alone has taken.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

Nine books in, and the story and the characters are still as strong as ever. They're still engaging, and nothing falls short of fantastic. 

And I reiterate, that's nine books in.

With no loss of momentum or enjoyment. 

That deserves massive credit.

Previous Instalment: Allies of the Night
Next Instalment: The Lake of Souls

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  1. I miss Crepsley so much :( His death was a great plot twist but it's still sad.
    I read these books about a year ago and I'm still crying.

    1. I completely agree!

      Probably the most effective and emotional event in the entire series.