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Department 19 by Will Hill

Department 19 by Will Hill. Pub. HarperCollins Childrens Books, 2011.

Jamie Carpenter is watching his father get out of his car late at night when he hears an ungodly noise. He looks at the tree overhanging the driveway and sees a shape but no shadow. Then an armed force is all over the place, the shape disappears but his father is gunned down. What the heavens is going on?

Then a very pale but beautiful young woman called Larissa is clawing at his window with blood all over her face. Got it yet? Yes this is a book about vampires and a hi-tech agency called Department 19 or Blacklight, who are committed to keeping society safe from vampires.

This is the first part of an action adventure vampire series in which a teenage boy is thrust into a do or die situation using all the modern gadgetry available to stop the progress of vampires, and boy is it exciting and compulsively readable.

There is an intelligent, literary angle to the story as well. It takes the view that Bram Stoker in his Dracula book and Mary Shelley in her Frankenstein novel were actually writing true stories. Dracula was killed but he left behind three evil brothers, the oldest of which Alexandru is the ultra villain in this novel. Alexandru is the second oldest vampire on the planet, he is immensely powerful and he has captured Jamie Carpenter’s mother. Add Victor Frankenstein as a protector of Jamie Carpenter and Department 19, who are run by the descendants of those that killed Dracula, and you have an update of an old story with action aplenty.

The history of vampires in London and in new York is thrilling. Vampires are everywhere but can they be stopped? Lots of gore but that is what you expect. This novel provides the history of the characters and sets up the series. I for one will be reading them all.

Intermediate and High school students will devour these books so get in while you can. This series is going to be big.

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