Cirque du Freak, Vol. 12: Sons of Destiny
written by Darren Shan and Takahiro Arai
It all started for Darren Shan when he and his best friend Steve Leonard decided to see the show at Cirque du Freak. From that night, their lives would never be the same.
Now, after 18 years, affairs with Steve will finally come to a head, but there is a catch: He who wins will become the Lord of Shadows and destroy the world, and the loser will die. Not the ideal situation either way.
If that weren’t the worst part of the situation, then that would not be as bad as things are. Darren’s nephew, Darius, has been blooded by his father, Steve, and has become a Vampanese, a savage vampire-like being. The Vampanese nature is still dormant, but will emerge with time, so if Darren wants to save his nephew from becoming a monster, he must act fast.
Even after Darren arrives at Cirque du Freak and unites with his friends, he must get past all of Steve’s underlings, which will not be easy. When he finally reaches Steve, he is battered and at a serious disadvantage. However, even once Darren somehow manages to defeat Steve, he has so much more to content with, the maniacal and chaos-loving Desmond Tiny, who turns out to be not only Darren’s biological father, but Steve’s as well!
Desmond is possibly the most powerful being in existence with immortality and countless magical powers that just don’t seem fair to have all at once. However, he has one weakness, which when approached right, may allow Darren to not only get around becoming the Lord of Shadows and dissolve that future, but prevent himself and Steve from becoming the damned beings they have become all together. But how can you foil the plans of someone who seemingly cannot be deceived?
This series is absolutely amazing and excellently-suited for lovers of vampires and violence in general. The character designs are intricate, yet believable. Takahiro Arai did a very good job packing each volume in Darren Shan’s Saga of Darren Shan. I also liked the fact that Shan gave the main character his own name, and even worked the plot so that it would look like these things actually happened and the story is being passed on by the current Darren Shan, just like in the climax of the story.-- David Gromer