Monday, 9 January 2012

Monday Musings: Review of Department 19 by Will Hill

Does the world need another vampire book? I have to be honest, before reading this, I would have said no, not really. Does the world need another MG/YA vampire book? Still thinking no. Does the world need an MG/YA vampire book where the good guys carry T-18 pneumatic metal stake launchers, are led by descendants of the heroes of Dracula, and include Frankenstein's monster?

Well, when you put it that way...

I picked this up when it was reduced on Kindle the other day after seeing a fair amount of buzz about it but not really reading many reviews, and this has to be the best £1.99 I've spent for a long, long time. (Sorry, back up to £4.49 now - but still a bargain at the price!) It follows reluctant hero Jamie as, teaming with the monster (who now calls himself Frankenstein to honour his creator) and the ultra-secret Blacklight department, he's thrust into a world he knows nothing about in order to try and find the vampire who's kidnapped his mother. It's got great action, fantastic characters – my favourites being Frankenstein, and the vampire Larissa, a teenage girl who has incredible chemistry with Jamie, who is clearly attracted to her but doesn’t know whether he can trust her – some fabulous world-building, with flashbacks helping to clearly explain the history of the vampires, and a staggeringly good ending. This ending finishes off the story with a sense of real satisfaction, but which also sets up the next in the series, The Rising, brilliantly. I definitely can’t wait to read that one, as I’m keen to see what happens next to the characters I’ve grown to really enjoy reading about – those of them who survive, anyway!

Absolutely massive recommendation.

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