Sunday, June 27, 2021

Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt by Darren Shan


"But our story's forever evolving," Argate says. "We've started a new chapter, and unluckily for you, you're part of it." 


The day Archie first spotted the girl on the bridge, outrunning her pursuers and disappearing into thin air, life as he knew it had changed forever. 

The day he returned to the bridge to say goodbye--hell jackals defeated, a King saved, an Empress outsmarted, a vote of alignment decided--he thought his time in the "weird, welcome otherworld of the Merge" was over. 

But the Merge needs him back, and this time, Archie may never return to our sphere. The world of the living. The world of the Born. Archie's mind-bending adventures continue in book one, volume two of Archibald LoxArchibald Lox and the Forgotten Cryptand things are only getting more dark, more intense, and more dangerous from here. 

For loyal readers of Archibald Loxthe Forgotten Crypt is an unnerving welcome back to a world that we've come to love, and for new readers, it is a story that will grab you, hold you tight...


...and never let go.

I was approached by Darren Shan a few months ago to read and review the upcoming books in his new young adult series, and I fear that at the present moment, there are no words to properly express the level of excitement I was experiencing at the time. I'd reviewed Darren's work in the past when he was publishing books under his pseudonym Darren Dash, but to be asked for my honest input on his young adult works is an honor I never expected to be given. 

As someone who's been a fan of his stories for the better half of twenty-five years, I will say with full disclosure that Archibald Lox does not disappoint. As we, the avid readers of Darren Shan have matured over time, so has his writing. The whimsical, magical, "run off and join the circus" captivation and intrigue is still there, with its hold on you as powerful as ever, but Darren has moved on from the young adult world of vampires, spiders, and demons, and is now dabbling in the more sobering art of life, death, and life after death. Darren Shan masterfully crafts a story that opens a door (or borehole) into a universe previously unknown and undiscovered to us, and takes us on a journey through realms, war, politics, and the psychedelic wonders of the Merge. From whimsy to terror, from despair to peace, from a game of Grop to political intensity between realms, this could only be the signature work of a true master of horror. 

In Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt, Darren Shan does what he does best. He spins a chilling tale of wonder, enchantment, and intrigue, and leaves us bewildered and breathlessly reaching for the next book. 

While reuniting us with beloved characters, and setting us on a new, treacherous mission, Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt is sure to ensnare, mesmerize, and astound readers of all ages.