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The Vampire's Assistant

(Cirque du Freak #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  39,096 ratings  ·  1,521 reviews
Darren Shan was just an ordinary schoolboy - until his visit to the Cirque Du Freak. Now, as he struggles with his new life as a Vampire's Assistant, he tries desperately to resist the one temptation that sickens him, the one thing that can keep him alive. But destiny is calling... the Wolf Man is waiting. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published May 30th 2000)
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Alexis Barth If you're a foreigner and read manga or something of the sort, you read it from left to right; up then down. The front cover generally has the authors…moreIf you're a foreigner and read manga or something of the sort, you read it from left to right; up then down. The front cover generally has the authors name. (less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  39,096 ratings  ·  1,521 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
THIS IS NOT a unicorns-and-rainbows middle school book and I loved it for that.

Finally, something where morals do not outweigh the plot. Finally, there's evil characters who are truly evil (and not merely misunderstood). Finally, a book where death actually exists and poses a real threat.


Darren is still reeling from the events of the last book. He must cope with becoming a bloodthirsty creature of the night. He doesn't want to kill, but is finding the impulse increasingly m
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book was a quick, enjoyable, fun read. I liked it!

Darren is miserable. His master, Mr. Crepsley, keeps pressuring him to drink human blood, but Darren refuses hoping to keep his humanity. But with each day that passes without drinking human blood Darren grows weaker. Crepsley warns Darren that if he does not drink he will die. On top of all this Darren is lonely for friends his own age. So Crepsley takes them back to the Cirque du Freak where this story takes place.

I am enjoying this series

Will M.
I didn't know what to read next, even though Blood Song was already on my currently reading list, so I decided to rearrange a part of my bookshelf. I noticed book 3 lying around with a couple of other random books. I then had a slight feeling of wanting to continue on with the series. I heard nothing but great things, but book 1 managed to disappoint me. Setting the bad past experience of book 1 aside, I decided to read the book 2 and decide after if I would finish the series or not. Despite the ...more
I really had to think about my rating for this one for quite a while. I waffled between 3 and 4 stars for a few days because of one thing: the heavy-handed foreshadowing.

The more I thought about it though, and especially after finishing the book, I realized one really important thing: these books are not written for people my age. Without the foreshadowing and the constant mentioning that bad things are coming, I honestly think that what happens could be severely traumatic, upsetting, and distur
Shawna (SugoiShawn/SugoiReads)
I liked this book slightly better than the first, but it still has some flaws. The narrator of the audiobook is not the greatest and the writing style is not very complex, but the characters grew to be more likable in this book and some new interesting characters were introduced. This series is also very addicting and each book is really short, so if you're looking for a bingeable series, check out this one.

I was shocked by how gory and graphic this book was. It's considered a middle grade book
Nov 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
What makes Darren Shan's books a great read is that even though they're over 200 pages long, I can easily finish them. The action within this book is very quick and there's always something new for you to read. The ending for me was a little shocking, but the way that Darren Shan writes makes you want to read the next book. The Vampire's Assistant is the 2nd book in a series of seven books. After reading the Dreamcatcher which was over 800 pages long this was an easy read and very quick. For man ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh me oh my!!! This series has suddenly taken off and I’m loving it!!! Darren’s story has seriously because super interesting, funny, and kind of intense. I mean intense in the best of ways. I couldn’t stop listening to it!! And I was so psyched that I immediately downloaded the next in the series.

Darren is much more likable now and I’m starting to care about what happens to him and his friends. So much happened in this one and considering how short it is, it’s nonstop awesomeness!! I especiall
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“The hunger inside us must be fed to be controlled.”

Wow. This one blew my reading mind all over the place, being far superior to the first. Both stories were good and this was a continuation where the first left off; however, this one was more consistent with plot, pacing, and even richer in story detail. Generally the tales of "when all the big, bad begins" has the most suspense and ambition, but in this case the character slowly settling into his new world ended up kicking the previous books
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an incredible second installation to the Cirque Du Freak series! Darren isn't too keen on the new life that was all but forced upon him, but it does prove to be exciting and full of interesting characters. We meet several new and fun people, and a few not-so-fun and interesting people (possible villains!). The atmosphere isn't as sinister as we originally thought in Book 1, and yet the characters prove they aren't all what they seem to be at first meeting.

Darren's new friendships at first b
Rachel Bea
The adventure continues of Darren, the half-vampire, as a vampire's assistant with the freak show. In this book he makes two new friends as he is adjusting to life as a half-vampire. He's coming to terms with drinking human blood -- stubbornly refusing to do so -- and meets an ecowarrior vegetarian nicknamed "Reggie Veggie" who will cause some trouble for Darren. I loved the book's age-appropriate discussion on environmental protection and animal rights. As someone who has been a vegan for quite ...more
Nov 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 10th-grade-books
The Vampires Assistant
By: Darren Shan

Twilight? Evermore? No, this isn't your average vampire book. Not all lovey-dovey, but real vampires. This book has no love, but it had cruelty. This book has things that Twilight and Evermore hid from you. This is just the second of the twelve books.

Darren, the main character in the book, gives up his human life to become a vampire in order to save his best friend, Steven. Steven, in the first book, A living Nightmare got bitten by Mr. Crepsley's spider, Mad
Briar's Reviews
The Vampire's Assistant was an excellent young adult novel that is full of thrills and chills!

I watched the movie adaption of this series YEARS ago, and I had been dying to pick up this series. Unfortunately for me, the bookstore is big and full of millions of books so I'd forget what I was looking for the minute I walked in. Luckily for me, I walked into a bargain bookstore and found an old, extremely damaged version of this book for clearance - so of course I bought it! A little water never hu
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cormacs-reviews
This book was quite gruesome but I liked it all the same. It is about The Vampires Assistant (Darren Shan) returning to the Cirque Du Freak with his guide Mr Crepsley (he was the one who turned him into a half-vampire). The difficult bit in the book comes when Darren Shan realises that he cannot stick to his humanity because he has to drink blood to survive. And he can't play with normal kids because he has powers and he might hurt them. So the whole book is about this struggle. Now I am reading ...more
Chafic (Rello)
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Resist the urge Darren, do not succumb to the dark side.
I kid, you're a vampire's assistant now boy - go do the thing where the thing needs doing.

These books were amazing as a kid, I'm not going to tarnish my joyful memory of these books by rereading them - but alas, I just love the evil.

Muahahahaha - insert diabolical laughter echo here.
Mission Blue
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
I definitely need a break after tolerating this amount of stupidity!!!
But I can't leave the story. I'll start the series again some other time.
BAM Endlessly Booked
Another lively chapter book for children
Now we have a werewolf
And an animal rights activist
Do the two mix?
Nic Echo
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nic by: Tesk
About the Book:
After witnessing a freak show, Darren Shan meets Mr. Crepsley, a vampire, and Madam Octa, Crepsley's performing spider. Shan ends up stealing Madam Octa, but when something goes wrong, he has to return to Crepsley for help. However, there is a condition and now Darren is Mr. Crepsley's half-vampire assistant. Of course, becoming a half-vampire has its disadvantages. Darren has to leave behind his family and friends, it's impossible for him to make new ones, and there is also the f
1. Darren Shan adds very macabre touches to his writing, and uses good cliffhangers and suspense to add to the feeling. All of the foreshadowing ("I know what's happening, and I'll stop it!"), gives you a stronger feeling,and enhances the feeling of being in the book.
2. Darren Shan gives the main character (Darren Shan) lots of characterization. From his feelings on becoming a half-vampire to being Mr. Crepsley's assistant, you see a lot of anger in our kid vampire.
3.This installment in the saga
Tasha  Ní Mhiacháin
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“I don’t think a good person can do evil things.”

I have to admit, chapter one spooked me. I don’t like the sound of my footsteps when I’m out walking at night because they seem to echo and make me think that I’m not alone – the fact that Mr. Collins does find the sound comforting made it worse for me.

Throughout this book Darren left lots of torturous cliff-hangers at the end of a few chapters which made it impossible to put this down.

I really enjoyed the conflict between Darren and Mr. Crepsle
Michelle Kor
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me up all night. Although it was on the paranormal side (and I'm pretty sick of this genre after the Twilight craze), but at least it's more adventurous than romantic (oh yeah! So my type!)

This book is about a guy, Darren, who went to a freak show set up by some gypsy with his best friend. After the show, his friend told him to go home because he needed to talk to one of the performers. And Darren hide behind some curtains and overheard that the performer is actually a vampire and
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Like the first book, The Vampire's Assistant was very enjoyable. I am 100% sure that both vampire literature and non-vampire literature will enjoy it. This book made me angry, mad, laughed, and cry. Every single sentence gave me chills and goosebumps. One thing I think that makes this book a little better than the first one is how much the Circus was in it. In the first book, we only got to read about the Circus for a few chapters. Even though those chapters were amazing and giving me chills, I ...more
Carrie (The Butterfly Reader)
This novel is about Darren coming to terms with the fact that he's no longer a human. He's half-vampire and has to drink blood. He doesn't want to. He thinks all vampires are evil and would rather die than drink from humans but something terribly tragic happens and Darren must not only drink for himself but for his friend.

We get to meet Evra in this one. I always liked the little snake boy. I loved getting to see behind the scenes of the cirque! It was cool watching Darren getting to meet the a
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is just marvelous!! And it has a praise by J. K. Rowling on the cover. What do you need more to start reading it! Seriously this is the best old kids/ young teens book/series since Harry Potter! Nothing less! It is fun, has very original characters, we don't fall into stupid clichés and stereotypes, it has a solid and dark story and I just having a great time reading it. Highly recommend!! ...more
Elio Zebinato
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book continued the story of the first book. This book gives you the same hero and his mentor. He has a hard time accepting the ways of a vampire. The book goes off to explain the events that took place before this book and who the character is. After that the story begins. After having to leave his family and join Mr. Crepsley they go off to join the Cirque du Freak. Once there Darren learns a lot about the circus and all its performers. He also learns about these people called the Little Pe ...more
Yumi Learner
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The second book is more interesting than the first one, and I sometimes forgot that I was reading it in English. I felt like I was reading it in Japanese. I really can't wait to read the sequel!

I think the book series is very dark, and I don't want to recommend it to children because I don't like children are involved in violence, and they mix up the real world and novels. However, I highly recomend the series to English learners! It's quite easy for reading and never makes us bored to read! I
Alexis Barth
Let me just start off by saying NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED IF YOU WOULD HAVE JUST DRANK SOME HUMAN BLOOD DARREN! Or you could have told Mr. Tall everything that was going on sooner than later, BUT NOOOOO.

Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Vampire's Assistant is book 2 of the Cirque Du Freak series, and this time we're actually part of the circus. Darren's struggling with both halves of himself - the human part that refuses to drink human blood and still wants to make friends with people, and the darker half of him that grows stronger every day. The circus is one of my favourite settings in books, so I enjoyed this one, but I do wish it had been a little longer, and more descriptive.

I mentioned in my review of Cirque Du Freak
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I read this one in just a few hours. Just 130 pages on my e-reader + an extremely simple writing style= a very quick reading experience.

This one gets 3 stars instead of the previous 2 I gave the first book in the series, because of the ending. This one ended really well; it was fittingly brutal, "fittingly" as in "in a book about supernatural beings with an already simplified writing, it was great to FINALLY get some violence that the writer chose to just tiptoe around up until this point"

I'm al
Adam Marino
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The theme of this book is do what is good for you and people around you because in the book, Darren has to make decision on whether or not he should take blood from humans and not just animals. Darren chooses to drink the blood.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
It a great sequel to cirque du freak and is one if the best books in the series, will lot of exciting moments that eave you on the edge.
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Librarian's note: Also writes books for adults under the name Darren Dash. And in the past he has released books for adults under the names D.B. Shan and Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak

Other books in the series

Cirque du Freak (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1)
  • Tunnels of Blood (Cirque du Freak #3)
  • Vampire Mountain (Cirque Du Freak, #4)
  • Trials of Death (Cirque Du Freak, #5)
  • The Vampire Prince (Cirque Du Freak, #6)
  • Hunters of the Dusk (Cirque Du Freak, #7)
  • Allies of the Night (Cirque du Freak, #8)
  • Killers of the Dawn (Cirque Du Freak, #9)
  • The Lake of Souls (Cirque du Freak #10)
  • Lord of the Shadows (Cirque Du Freak, #11)

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