Lord Loss – Darren Shan

“Double History on a Wednesday afternoon – total nightmare! A few minutes ago, I would have said I couldn’t imagine anything worse. But when there’s a knock at the door, and it opens, and I spot my mum outside, I realise – life can always get worse.”

Grubbs Grady’s lifes pretty bad, first he’s busted for smoking, by his own sister, then when he tries to exact his revenge he gets himself put further into the doghouse. But the month long punishment is cut short, after just 18 days he’s allowed out and about again. He finds this strange but it’s a win for him so he gets on with it. One evening his parents and sister claim to be going to a ballet, not Grubbs’ scene he is entrusted to his Aunt Kate’s for the evening. However Grubbs’ gets the feeling something is up and sneaks out. Returning home Grubbs’ has his first encounter with Lord Loss and his evil minions. In that moment he realises that the world is not safe, Grubbs has lost everything, and demons exist.
***
I loved the Darren Shan Cirque Du Freak books when I was younger. I devoured the whole series in one go between the age of about 12 and 14. In 2005 when Lord Lost came out I was 16 or 17 and although the Saga of Darren Shan books had only just finished the year before, I’d only finished them out of respect to the author and the Saga, I wasn’t interested n Lord Los, after all it was a children’s book and I was far too cool for that! HA!
With this in mind I was always upset that I didn’t give Lord Loss a go, so when I saw a copy in a charity shop I bought it in the pretence of giving it to my stepson. A year and a half of it sitting on my shelve I’ve finally read it and ralised that I totally should have read it all those years ago and that I need the other 10 books now!
The story wasjust as epic as The Saga of Darren Shan, with a huge history behind it and a air of mystery. You are kept in the dark about a lot of things and I liked the way that everything is gradually revealed. I love the ware wolf lore idea from the book and think the gore and scary-ness is kept at just the right level to entice young boys and girls into reading without giving them nightmares!
I loved Grubbs but it took me a while to warm to him to be honest. At first I thought he was just an annoying 13/14 year old boy, and to be honest he would have stayed that way had his family not been killed. I felt awful as soon as that bit happens as I really loved his sister and the family dynamic they seemed to have. Dervish Is a brilliant character with a great – but warped- sense of humour. I loved all his little jokes and the ways he teased Grubbs, it was like he was trying to get Grubbs to move on a little and greif in a good way to his family, but without being too obviously. Bill-E Spleen was hilarious too but in a different way and I loved the way his wacky and wonderful imagination got him and Grubbs into trouble. Lord Loss and his familars were really weird but they really made me want to know what was going to happen and I liked the back story to how Lord Loss is around.
I think this book works really well on its own and really hope that the whole series is one that can be read as a set of standalone books. I thought the ending was nicely wrapped up but am definitely interested in the rest of the series. The only thing that would put me off is the length of the series but having read The Saga of Darren Shan I know that this authors books are well worth a read.
I’d be a bit wary giving this book to any kids who are prone to nightmares and would probably wait for them to get to around 10 – 12 before offering it to them for a read. All in all though I’d say it was an amazing younger teen book, obviously aimed at boys but there’s nothing stopping a girl from picking it up either!
Lord Loss was published 2005 by HarperCollins. My copy was purchased from a local charity shop.
  • I really need to read a Darren Shan book, they look fantastic. Glad you love this series, after all those years, lol 😀 Great review, thanks for posting!

  • I really should read more Darren Shan books! I love it when series books can be as a standalone, so this would def make me want to read this. I may have to read it in the daytime, in case I get nightmares 😉

  • I was eight when I read this.. 😉 But I think it all sort of went over my head at the time, I thought the gruesome bits were so cool 😀

    Awesome review! The rest of the series is definitely worth reading, the first five books are amazing! The other books are still good but I just thought the series was dragged out too long :/

  • I loved this one out of the whole series the most. Darren Shan is an excellent writer-and he’s great at writing gore for younger readers. I wonder how many kids used this to get into horror-y stuff…I think that the ten parts weren’t all needed, but they’re nice reads. Glad you enjoyed this 🙂