Tuesday, 5 April 2011


In a secret supernatural battle that's been raging for over a century, the stakes have just been raised -- and they're not wooden anymore. 
When Jamie Carpenter's mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government's most secret agency. Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. 
But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can't stand up against!

Department 19 ~ a tall tales & short stories review

Let's be honest, over the past few years there have been so many books about vampires it's hard not to have vampire fatigue. And personally, I think if you're going to have vampires they need to be bad-ass bad guys and thank you, Will Hill, you've done just that.

This book opens with a bang, actually several bangs, and it keeps up an action-packed, page-turning pace that certainly had me hooked. I must admit, the second part of the book didn't feel quite as streamlined as the first half and I feel it would have benefitted from a bit of tightening up but that's a minor issue in what is a great story. 

I think this is the kind of book to appeal to the action movie and computer game fan and that's a good thing. Open up book reading to the more reluctant reader who likes their thrills and spills of the more visual kind and I think you could bring a whole new audience to reading.  The array of weapons reminded me very much of computer games where you get to choose from an arsenal of kick-ass weaponry and the vampire carnage is quite gory, but hey, they're fighting vampires, it should be!

I like the playing around with pre-existing fictional characters, it reminded me of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in that regard, and although some puritans may take issue with this use of the classics, the flashback historical scenes also helped add another dimension to the very modern vampire hunting themes.

There's a hint of romance and there are a great couple of twists at the end but because I despise spoilers I shall say no more. There's also a satisfactory cliff-hanger of an ending that indicates much more to come.

I'm female and I throughly enjoyed this very modern take on vampire mythology so I refuse to say it's a book for boys but I would say that perhaps it isn't for the faint-hearted. But if you like your vampires with added bite and the vampire hunters with high-tech staking techniques and big guns, this is the book for you.


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