There's a freak show coming to town. It's hushed up, since freak shows are illegal, but Darren Shan and his friend Steve are able to get tickets. Darren sees wondrous things that he had never thought possible. One of them is a man with a large spider that he can control with a flute. Soon, he gets it in his head to steal that spider, which leads to a charming adventure filled with secrets and monsters. Vampires are involved.
The prose seemed incredibly familiar to me, but for a while I couldn't place it. I soon realized that I had read words that flowed in a similar fashion in every interview I had ever read, from the ones in science magazines to those of famous authors. It sounded in my head like a real person was speaking the words. There were a few too many exclamation points for my taste, but I could never manage to pinpoint a single occasion when one seemed off. This gave it a realistic quality like no fantasy book I have ever read. It was incredibly easy to slip into the pages and ignore the passing of time. An excellent read.