Thursday, January 26, 2012

Supernatural Like You Have Never Seen Them Before

Department 19 (Department Nineteen)
If you couldn't tell from the cover of this book that it was an intense story, then you need some lessons in visual imagery! Will Hill's debut young adult novel Department Nineteen kicks off a fast-paced trilogy about the British Department in charge of maintaining supernatural order. Don't worry, the US has one too, but you won't believe the usual suspects who make an appearance!

Jamie Carpenter watches his father killed right before his eyes, right outside their home. He was told his father was a traitor who was selling information to terrorists. The repercussions are wide spread as jamie and his mother must move time after time once their neighbors realize they are the family of a man who betrayed their country. When Jamie is attacked by a strange woman, he rushes home only to find his mother gone, kidnapped. In fact, Jamie is almost taken as well if not for the arrival of one very large man/monster... complete with bolts on the sides of his neck. Victor Frankenstein saves Jamie from what is clearly a vampire- a very old, very angry vampire who wants Jamie.

Frankenstein takes Jamie back to the hub of Department 19 and explains to him that Jamie's dad worked at the Department, a government agency designed to protect humans from supernatural beasts like vampires, zombies, and werewolves. Jamie's father was indeed a traitor, but he didn't betray his country to terrorists, at least not in the sense Jamie originally thought. He betrayed mankind to the vampires, endangering Department 19, the lives of operatives, and the rest of the unsuspecting humans the Department protects. While Jamie has been disenchanted with his father for years now, he finds this all very hard to stomach, especially when most people in the Department aren't happy to have the son of Julian Carpenter in their midst. But Frankenstein vowed to protect the Carpenter family, and when Jamie insists on traveling all across the continent to find his mother, Frankenstein comes along to protect him. What they don't know is the death of Jamie's father was not the death of a traitor, and that traitor is still inside the Department. Now they are not only battling the creatures who want to destroy people and use them for cattle, they are battling the very people they expect to protect them.

Oh, this book was exciting from the very first page to the last. They bounced all over the continent and between the present time with Jamie's dilemma to the past when Van Helsing and the other founders of Department 19 battled and killed Dracula. And you won't want to miss the hilarious truth behind Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker! I loved the excitement and repurposing of old stories in this action-packed supernatural thriller. In fact, I can totally see this story being made into a killer movie (no pun intended!). 

The story definitely has some violence in it, and it is a rather long story (over 500 pages). I think it would catch anyone's attention once they started it, but it might be too long for a student who struggles to finish stories. I see this as a great book for guys who need action and anyone who is interested in supernatural stories. I am eagerly awaiting the next in the series, as I am sure you will too once you read this one!

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