It is recommended you read Cirque du Freak first just to know the background information on Darren and Mr Crepsley and the Cirque du Freak show. The majority of the characters do show up from the first one, so it’s a good idea to know who’s who before you start this book.
The Vampire’s Assistant carries right after Cirque du Freak. Darren is now fledgling of Mr Crepsley (well half fledgling) and a very reluctant one at that. He refuses human blood and instead feeds off of animals instead. Darren feels lonely and resentful however, and Mr Crepsley decides it’s time to go back to Cirque du Freak and live with them for a while. Little does Darren know that despite making two new friends, he’s asking for a lot more when he goes back. It all has to do with a vegetarian and a Wolf-Man.
I thought this one was just as good as the first one. It was a quick fast paced read and well written. I liked the descriptions of the “Little People” which reminded me of a real ugly twisted version of munchkins. What was also interesting was the relationship between Mr Crepsley and Darren. Although they dislike each other, they also both realize that they have to work together as well and it’s those times when I think their relationship is great to see. Sometimes when I see them fighting, Darren just acts like as spoiled brat I’m surprise Mr Crepsley puts up with him upto now.
Whether Darren has developed, I’m not sure. There are moments when he still acts like a child (which he is) and then there are times when he has moments of maturity I didn’t like him very much in this novel because of his behavior it seemed almost quick and changeable in temperment. At times I liked him for his humor and ability to have fun despite his circumstances, and other times he just acted like a spoiled selfish brat who needed a good scolding. You don’t really read much about the characters around him, as the book focused a lot more on Darren and his relationships with other characters. I wish I could have read more on Mr Tiny and his little people. They sounded really creepy and I wonder if they return anytime soon in the next novel.
Also missing is Steve. He was such a central figure in the first one, yet not even mentioned in this book. Perhaps he’ll be coming soon in the next few books? I hope so! their next meeting would really prove to be interesting. There were many unanswered questions for me but I realize this is a book with less than 200 pages and you can only fit as much information as you. Besides, it makes you want to carry onto the next book in the series. I will definitely be continuing onto reading this one. The ending wasn’t much of a cliffhanger as it was in the first book, but it was a good one, to close one part of the story in Darren’s life.
Overall a good quick read and a great sequel to Cirque du Freak. I will be reading the next one as soon as I can get my hands on it.
I give it an 8 out of 10.