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Bec: Screams in the Dark - Darren Shan

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4 Reviews

Genre: Junior Books / Author: Darren Shan

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    4 Reviews
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      05.05.2010 16:58
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      a good book but can be boring at times!

      I have been a massive fan of Darren Shan's for many, many years, ever since he published his first novel, to be accurate. His writing style is so amazing it grips you automatically even if you are an adult, you'd love his book just as much as young adults or even the oldest teenagers. Scary and frightening, his books may be, but it's not so bad with his amazing writing style.

      This book is the fourth book in a series called "The Demonata", these books always have an amazing effect on the light and in the dark, as it is a series you would never ever put on your bedside table under your lamp because as soon as you turn the light off and try to get some sleep, and if you are unable to and you open your eyes, there will be 2 green eyes and some green fangs staring at you, trust me, I've done it and it freaked me out, and I never ever did leave it beside me ever again, and I do not plan on making that mistake again!

      Now before you read much further on I totally suggest you read the previous reviews on the books that preceded this one which are "Lord Loss", "Demon Thief" and "Slawter", this way you may understand some of the stuff I'm saying rather than you not understanding as you haven't read my previous reviews or the previous books.





      I'll take it you are now back, or you have already done what I asked above!

      Darren Shan is one of my all time favourite authors, he is currently my 5th favourite (but the question is: will he go up at any point?). I have to tell you that he is up there with Meg Cabot and Stephenie Meyer. However, I have recently noticed that his writing style is getting me less and less interested in reading his books, which is kind of weird. But I think the reason for this is that I'm growing older and although I've been a fan of his books for some time, I'm passing the age group for Darren Shan, and therefore making me not enjoying these books as much as I once would. Darren Shan has written many books, including 2 series (The Darren Shan Sega, which has recently been made into a film (well the first three books have so far), and This Demonata Series), a world book day book called Koyasan (which was brilliant), and he has enrolled into adult fiction also. I have read all 12 books of The Darren Shan Sega, and I cannot wait to watch it on the big screen, although I didn't have the time when it was in the cinema so I'm waiting for the price to go down on HMV before I buy it.

      This book is totally different to the other books to an extent, as it has brought in a new character again. So we now have 3 main characters that appear in separate books, these characters are: Grubbs Grady (Main character in Lord Loss and in Slawter), Kernel Fleck (main character in Demon Blood) and now we have BEC (new main character in this book). This is set way before Kernel Fleck's time, which was set a few decades before Grubbs Grady's books, so I had to get my head around the ides of flitting back and forth with each new book of the series, and I am kind of dreading when I read the other books hoping that I don't have to keep flitting, but nothing is ever that simple, and Darren Shan has been very clever while making this series.

      Right so we follow Bec on her life. She knows she was born by her mother, who died after giving birth, but that is not all, her mother was running away from something or someone and Bec is feeling a sense of loneliness, okay, so this group of people have taken her in and has trained her to become a trainee priestess. The tribe, who has taken her in, fear her for her magical power, but they need her to help protect them. But when the demons come there is the problem of there being a war on and Bec really wants to help them but doesn't want them to fear her even more.

      Then out of no where a little boy who can run really fast and is pretty illiterate and only can say a few words, comes towards the tribe and tells them "Run Fast". The tribe doesn't understand but decides to send a group of people to go with Run Fast (that's what they called him) and see if another tribe needs help. Bec, after putting her foot down is finally allowed to go. And she is really lucky, she finds someone who helps to train her into a proper priestess, but what does he want from her? And how has she managed to pick up all the magic techniques he has taught her so easily?

      This book fully interested me, but I know you are totally questioning why on earth my rating isn't as high as usual? But I will not give you the answer (which will appear below); I'll just see if you can work it out for yourself for the moment.

      This book is pure escapism, I presume. I personally like horror books because it makes me feel ashamed at my nightmares, the ones I used to get, as they used to seem really terrifying, but if a book is more scarier it makes you realise that nightmares are not so scary and that makes all the difference, it also makes you feel more interested as this nightmare (or book) actually does have an ending, and so you don't end up waking up too early!

      I am pretty surprised that people have managed to put this under the children's section as they are pretty scary at times, but then again the argument would be, why is R.L. Stine under there or even Stephenie Meyer (since vampires are horror), so maybe I'm being overly definable by genre, but personally I would have put this under horror, just in case a little child accidentally read it, but then again who am I to decide at what age a child should read horror novels?

      This opened a new light to the way us humans used to be like, tribes are like clans right? Only this tribe attacks demons when Clan's attacked bears and other animals to survive. Which was a clever idea on behalf of Darren Shan, and made it that little more interesting, although it is countered by the difficulty of trying to get into the story line as you found bits really boring, but still interesting in a way. I have to admit the ending was a little disappointment, not in the way it was done, more like upsetting and saddening (trust me I'm not giving away the ending by these little hints!) But the true question is whether I would read it again? This happens to be a difficult question to answer considering I wasn't that interested reading that book and ended up bringing it into school and on holiday where I could read it but could also easily get distracted, so I knew I wasn't that into reading this book. And so ended up reading it un-properly, if that makes sense, I don't mean that I didn't read it properly, but I wasn't that interested in it so I wasn't understanding fully what was going on, so returning to the question, I would say that I would re-read it as long as I have time to sit in my bedroom for 2-5 days and read it in peace (but as if that's going to happen) and it's unlikely that I would get a chance to re-read considering the amount of books that I have piled up to read!

      If you really like horror novels then this is the series for you, if you have already read the first three books and you are reading this review as you are wondering whether or not you should continue reading the series then I suggest that you should continue, this could be the worse book in the series and the other ones after could be the best, and because of what I've said, I may have made you think twice about reading this and then you give up reading the series, and then you don't have a clue what you've missed and then you'd be annoyed that you didn't take this bit of advice. So I totally recommend this book to you. But is there a more wider audience? It could be possible that this book could influence people who love history books to read this. Though I still suggest you read the whole series. Such as "Demon Thief" that could influence people who wants to re-live their teenage years as it is set in the 80s and features a punk concert. So in theory these books could attract different types of audiences.

      So back to the question that I planted on you at the very beginning. I heard you say "finally", I am one-hundred percent sure you said that so don't go denying me! So I only rated this three stars, which I didn't really want to do as Darren Shan is such an amazing story writer and probably a great story teller, but every author has their weaker novels is that not true? And maybe he was not totally happy to the way he wrote this book, but writing is a time consuming task, all us reviewers totally agree, and so under time constraints some writing can go from good to bad to even worse, and then once in the knack of being short of time, you finally find a way of making it better and better and better. That's the only reason I can come across for this novel being one of the weakest novels I have read from him. As I have addressed above, there are quite a few weak points such as unnecessary or boring chapters and the inability to grip me through out.

      Overall it was a good book, but compared to his other books this one seems really weak, though if this was his first novel and I had never heard of Darren Shan ever before I may have risen my star rating by an extra star making it four. Unfortunately I have known this author for quite sometime and I am used to his writing and so this has managed to drop a star, which I don't like to do. Thank you all for reading!

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        04.03.2010 20:07
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        A great book both individually and in a collection. Adventurous and gripping, horror at it's finest.

        Darren Shan, the infamous writer of the gruesome and gory takes another plunge into the deep depths of horror to bring us something different to the Demonata Collection.

        Bec is set in the past, filled with magic, demons and all other things unholy. Structured to follow the trials and tribulations of Bec, a young priestess (A user of the magics) travelling to save her town from destruction. Along the way she is (as typical to any adventure story) seen to accumulate various companions up until the crescendo moment where she completes her goal and the book reaches an all-time climactic end.

        The book itself remains relatively independant and any reader should be able to pick it up without the other books that accompany it.

        I personally met Darren Shan to which he delighted me and a few others in a short extract of the book before it's release. The vivid and blood-curdling description of the foul, roaming beasts immerses you into the book beyond all areas of recognition to the point where you feel as though the book must have been a historical artifact uncovered deep in the Earth and completely non-fictitious.

        In short, if you are looking for an adventure story that embraces the senses and sends you on the wildest of adventures, Bec is for you. It's description is intricate and well-thought, it is no doubt that Darren Shan envisioned each monster before him as he scribbles them down before use. Pick up the book for under a fiver and see where it takes you.

        I do give advanced warning to those of weak heart to read it with more than just a reading light though.

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        04.07.2008 16:05
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        Not the best in the series but worth a read

        Darren Shan treats us to another special. Bec is the fourth of this series. I feel that Bec does not live up to its predecessors in the series (Lord Loss, Demon Thief and Slawter); it lacks the sparkle that we are accustomed to find in a Darren Shan series. Having said that, Bec it is not a bad book and lends itself to setting up the next two books nicely.

        The book like all in the series so far jumps to a new character and era. Bec, a young orphan, starts off as a weakly trained, feeble young priestess faced with war against the Demonata. Demons fill the country threatening to invade the land. Bec sets off on a perilous journey after she meets a rather humorous character called 'Run Fast' who calls for help. The journey leads her to meet up with a Druid, who teaches and trains her magic. They encounter Lord Loss, who Bec is slow to learn at first but soon becomes potent force.

        Bec ends up on a voyage to find and close the portal linking the world of the demonata and her own, but must make a costly sacrifice. Darren Shan's usual twists and surprises leads to the realisation of why the Druid, called Drust is so eager to partake in this quest and also leads to the finale of the book, which is left at a cliff-hanger!!!

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        06.05.2008 17:14
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        Darren Shan is at it again!

        This is the third book in the Demonata sage from legendary Horror writer Darren Shan. The saga follows the adventures of 3 different protagonists that are separated through time.

        This story is the first book to be from the perspective of Bec. She is a teenage girl who is the priestess of her village. The time is 1500 years ago and small villages surrounded by walls are the only civilisations around. Bec lives in one of these. She has no parents but has been brought up by the old witch from the village. Bec is taught by her how to use the magic in the air to heal people and to help fight. The village is filled with warriors of varying age who all have their special attributes. The village is also has a leader.

        One day the village comes under attack by demons, this isn't a new thing but it does happen rarely. The warriors and Bec manage to kill the demons but more come. The village is worried by the dramatic increase in this evil that seem to be taking over the world. A boy named Bran arrives at the village, he cant talk but implies someone should follow him. He leads a small group including Bec to another village where everyone is dead, killed by demons. Here they find an old druid named Drust who has a plan to stop the demons, he needs help however. The gang set out on an adventure to save the world. On their travels they meet the mysterious Lord Loss, a demon master from previous books. There are twists and betrayals and a very shocking end to the book.

        The story is fantastic, the previous two books were set within 20 years of the present and to travel back though history and learn about the past of the demons and Lord Loss is fascinating. There are subtle nods to the other books and more of the events in this book are made clear later in the series. Darren Shan is a great writer. His books are probably aimed at ages 16 and below but that's not to say older people cant get enjoy them. I can easily finish one in a few hours however. This means for quick readers the price may not be justified. I would not advise this for the very young. If it were made into a movie it would be a 12. There are moments of gore and some mature themes that would not be suitable for all children.

        This entire series of books is great. It would have been nicer if two books were combined into 1. Even though they work as stand alone stories I would much prefer a greater content. You can get this book for around £5 now and it is worth it. There is no better author for this genre of book.

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