Review Blog

Jul 18 2012

Department 19: The rising by Will Hill

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HarperCollins, 2012. ISBN 9780007455409.
(Ages: 13+) Highly recommended. Adventure. Fantasy. A stunning opening takes the reader into the world of the Loop, an unknown base housing Department 19 within the most secret place of the British Intelligence system, where a group of people, selected almost as a birthright, seek out and kill vampires, the modern scourge within world communities. Heroes, Larissa, Jamie and Kate retrieve two vampires, taking them back to the Loop, where a group of scientist are working on an antidote. But along the way, the words, 'He Rises' are seen as graffiti, chilling the very essence of many of the vampire hunters.
In the first book, Department 19, the premise for this exciting story was given as Jamie a witness when his father was killed by a group of black suited unknown assailants and his mother kidnapped. He eventually found out that his father was a member of this department but both his parents had turned, causing a moral dilemma amongst the group, which included Frankenstein and descendants of Van Helsing. Jamie joins the group, despite their having murdered his father, and is surprisingly joined by Kate, a vampire, but one who wishes to help destroy the evil overtaking the world.
This second novel is absolutely full of incident and adventure as the trio pit their wits against the vampires, often locked in blood soaked battle with them. Within the story, the relationship between the trio is stretched to the limit as Jamie and Kate begin a romance, and Larissa is also befriended by another hunter who Jamie does not like. The trio keep their secrets and this causes tension between the group, adding to the fascination of the story.
Jamie is at once a likable hero but arrogant and selfish, often treating his two friends badly, putting his own demands first. His position within the facility too, gives cause for concern as he is seen as someone who has gained seniority through influence not talent, and is treated scornfully, often with suspicion.
In three months, Dracula is said to be ready to take over the world again, as his servants from his past have stolen his remains and found a way to revive him. So the countdown is on. The first part of the book, 91 Days to zero hour, will keep readers on track to get through the 700 pages full of action to find they still have 85 days to go! But no worries, it is a great read, with the promise of much to come.
Fran Knight

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