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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Department 19 by Will Hill

Title: Department 19
Author: Will Hill
ISBN: 9781595144065
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: March 29. 2011
Page #: 540
Source: My public library

"In an underground supernatural battle that's been raging for over a century, the stakes have just been raised.

When Jamie Carpenter's mother is kidnapped, 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..."
First Lines:

"Jamie Carpenter was watching TV in the living room when he heard the tires of his dad's car crunch across the gravel driveway much, much earlier than usual. Jamie looked at the clock on the wall above the TV and frowned. It was a quarter past six."
Page 10

Just to give you a heads up - this is a monster of a book. Well, no puns, really. It's about monsters and it's also humongus. And it took me forever.

So, this is the story of a boy whose father is killed early in his life and he and his mother move around a lot. One day his mother is kidnapped and he finds out what kind of monsters have taken his parents from him. He becomes a part of an elite fighting squad that deal specifically with supernatural terrors. Through them, he sets out to find his mother and bring down whatever monsters cross his path.

Sounds like a tall order for a fourteen year old, doesn't it? There are a few times when he isn't becoming a super soldier that you realize he really is a teenager with angst and crazy emotions. There's also a bit of a crush going on - which really helped me get through the story.

I really appreciated that the vampires were bad and the vampire hunters were good. I know that sounds strange. But we've had so much of the vampire love stuff lately that it's kinda romanced the whole thing. Instead this story goes back to the vamp basics - good vs evil. And there is some serious gore in this book. I mean, I think I was making faces through some parts. Just... gruesome. But you know that means boys will love it :). Me and my librarian brain.

One thing that sort of bothered me about this book was the jumping around in timeline. I do understand that it's necessary to the story - you need those historical figures before you can figure out what's going on today. But you jump from the 1800s to the present to the 1920s to the present. It's a little jarring every time. There is one chapter (the first one, actually) that says it's set in the 1800s. It's not. It's not supposed to say that. I will say that threw me off fiercly. I thought we were going to be time traveling or something because of it.

Okay, so all in all I did enjoy the story. It was super long, but I think you fully got into the character's lives. I really do think this will be best for middle school boys. It's gorey enough, it's actiony enough, it's overall a good story. So, I'll be recommending this one to specific people - maybe not to the general populace :). But I think it will go over really well.
Other Blog Reviews:

The Book Zone
Iceberg Ink
Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
SciFi Chick

Empire of Books
Well-Read Wife
Books 4 Teens


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KateCoombs said...

Nice review! Nothing like a good vampire-slaying book (says the woman who still misses Buffy). Have you read Black Hole Sun by David MacInnis Gill? Also a good, fairly gory boy-power book (sci-fi).

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