Killers of the Dawn by Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak #9)

Outnumbered, outsmarted and desperate, the hunters are on the run, pursued by the vampaneze, the police, and an angry mob. With their enemies clamoring for blood, the vampires prepare for a deadly battle. Is this the end for Darren and his allies?

TITLE: Killers of the Dawn
AUTHOR: Darren Shan
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown Young Readers
YEAR: 2003
LENGTH: 206 pages
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Fantasy, Horror

Queer Rep Summary: Genderqueer/Nonbinary Secondary Character(s).

Within the larger series, KILLERS OF THE DAWN is the third part in a trilogy with HUNTERS OF THE DUSK and ALLIES OF THE NIGHT and it's definitely the most dramatic one of the trio. It resolves a bunch of stuff from the previous books, but also leaves a huge thing at the end which will have many consequences for later books to address. It would not make sense to start here, since it's getting towards the end of the series, and this relies heavily on the books immediately prior as well as calling back to some even earlier events. Darren is consistent as a narrator with the previous book, but he's been slowly changing throughout the series and here he is most obviously changed from the young human boy he was at the start of all this. There is a lot of emotional consistency with his younger self, since he's grown up in ways that make him more suited to war but he's retained a lot of the ways it was easy for him to be a bully when he was younger.

This has a nice balance between stressful but more static sections in terms of location, and being on the move but not in immediate danger. It picks up where ALLIES OF THE NIGHT left off, and the ending has a lot of very stressful stuff happening. It's brutal, physically and emotionally for the characters, and emotionally for me as a reader. I'm very excited for where the series is going, and this has a good balance between resolution and setup, as this is getting towards the end of the series.

CW for ableist language (brief), confinement, torture (not depicted), violence (graphic), gun violence, death (graphic)

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