The Vampire's Assistant - Darren Shan
I remember now why this series stuck with me for the last 11 years.

The great thing about Darren Shan is that everything leads up to something. Nothing is left to chance and nothing is ever meaningless. Throughout the book there were so many clues about what was going to happen and even outright foreboding. I knew something important was going to come of an event, but I still wasn't left bored and nothing was predictable.

And there's just something about the character of Darren that makes me want to know what's going to happen to him. He's that underdog hero. Everything bad that could happen to him, will, but he will overcome it and be the reluctant hero. Even as a kid. He always tries to do the right thing and ends up in even more trouble.

I like the newer characters as well. Evra is great and a totally unique character, as are all the performers. Something I really love about the characters is that they aren't hiding who they are. In so many YA books, you have the super special character who has to live in secret. Here, not only are they open about who they are, but they use it to their advantage. That's very refreshing.

Something else that's nice, and I can't believe I'm saying this, there is no romance. It's wonderful. There's just lots of action. I didn't realize how much I could appreciate that.

I felt horrible for Sam. He ended up kind of like Darren. Trying to get a piece of something special and destroying or losing his life for it.

RV, I could care less about. He was crazy. And not in a good way, either.