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Book Review: Department 19 by Will Hill

Department 19 (Department 19, #1)Title: Department 19
Author: Will Hill
Series:  Department 19, #1
Pages:  489
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of Publication: 1st September, 2011
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
"Department 19" takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond - from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it's packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.


My Thoughts:
I've had Department 19 on my bookshelf since it first came out in hardback in 2011. I wanted to read it, but it was huge and I have a hang up about reading big books... I don't dislike them, I just always choose a smaller book. Anyway, my friend began to nag me to read it, and a few twitter peeps too, so I thought it was time. It turns out that the length didn't matter at all - I loved and devoured it and now I WANT MOAR.

I'd heard that Department 19 was a bloody, action packed boys' book. I say, screw that. I'm a girl and I loved it. Yes, there's a lot of fighting, vampires exploding in splatters of blood and coating everything around them, and lots and lots of gore, but it's thrilling and exciting and I basically inhaled it. It's so readable and engaging and right to the very end, to the final cliffhanger, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.

The plot's quite simple: Jamie's father is brutally murdered, and two years later his mother is kidnapped by Alexandru Rosmanov, the oldest vampire in the world. Jamie is lucky and manages to escape, by being taken to safety by Department 19, a top secret government organisation that protects Britain from the supernatural. Jamie vows to save his mother and with the help of Frankenstein and Larissa, he sets off on a seemingly impossible mission.

I loved reading about Department 19 and its history. I thought it was really interesting learning all about its founding families and the rivalries between them. I liked reading about what they do and the training they have to endure. I've not really read many books like this, based around a military organisation, so the fact that it was new and different was really cool.

The characters that Will Hill has created are fantastic. I immediately connected to Jamie and his story and was eager to see it through to the end. There are references to many classic novels in Department 19, such as Dracula, but my favourite was the character of Frankenstein. He's a hulking, seven and a half foot tall green monster with bolts in his neck, and he was great fun to read about. My favourite character though I think was Larissa. As soon as I first read about her, she stood out to me and seemed the most real, even if she was a vampire. Will did a really fab job of creating realistic characters, even in a paranormal thriller, so hats off to him for that.

Overall Department 19 was a brilliant read that I'm quite annoyed at myself for not reading sooner! In the future I'll be less picky about the length of books, I think! I can't wait to read more of the series, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you're like me and haven't yet got around to reading it. It's really worth it!

Comments

  1. Sounds fabulous! I'll be adding it to my TBR pile! Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete

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