Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Procession of the Dead-Darren Shan

Procession of the Dead
Darren Shan
Grand Central, Jun 4 2010, $19.99
ISBN: 9780446551755

Capac Raimi arrives in the City seeking his Uncle Theo. He wants his relative to teach him how to be the leader of a gang. Theo welcomes mentoring his nephew but before they can start with gangster 101, the city’s top criminal gang lord The Cardinal kills Theo and his thugs.

The Cardinal finds Capac fascinating as the youngster shows a genuine desire to learn the trade. The lad joins the Cardinal’s mob squad, selling insurance to people who know better than to say no. However, shortly after signing on board, Capac begins to wonder about his life before he entered the city as he has no memory of it. Stranger is those people he met have vanished and become nonentities as if they never existed. He fears he will be one soon too even as Capac ponders about blind wizards inside their green fog and the black-clad puppets collected by the Cardinal. The apprentice criminal begins to understand one thing that the Cardinal does not just own the City, he is the twin of the City like two cheeks making up the same butt; and punks like Capac are expendable youths.

This is a dark look at a City mindful of early Spiderman during the Kingpin days but much grimmer. Fascinatingly the Cardinal has become a legend of almost deity heights with his control of the City to include the disappearances of sundry people who don’t just vanish from sight; they also evaporate from the mind like an Etchosketch. Capac’s naivety is a wonderful counter to the Cardinal as he begins to comprehend the influence he has given to his mentor due to his out of control ambition. Procession of the Dead is a deep dark character driven thriller as the audience along with Capac ponder what price to ask for one’s soul?

Harriet Klausner

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