Will Hill's-Department 19



Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein.
Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
“Department 19″ takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania.
Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.
Hardcover, 489 pages Published March 1st 2011 by HarperCollins ISBN 0007354452 (ISBN13: 9780007354450)
After witnessing his father’s death, Jamie and his mother go on the run, until one day they are caught by two different groups. His mother is kidnapped by the enemy, and he is taken in by the same group his father belonged to, Department 19. Jaime is determined, not matter what it takes, and no matter who gets in his way, to rescue his mother.
Although Jamie is the main character and the story really revolves around him finding his mother, we do get to meet a lot of different character as it goes along. Jumping from perspectives and groups gives the reader a fully-rounded picture of what is happening on each side of this battle.
The author plays on real myths and stories from history to build this narrative, and by doing so, brings in a very classic storyline into a very modern story. The groups’ past, and their current day struggles are very well researched and there are a lot of interesting topics interwoven with a very believable take on what a modern vampire could be.
This book is rather large at just under 500 pages. It contains a lot of world building and is very much a book for those who enjoy detailed war stories; weapons, kidnappings, international travel, conspiracies, and the history behind the groups and wars of the past and current.
I think this book lived up 100% to my expectations of it.  I loved the vampires, the histories and how the departments have changed to today. The only thing that flawed the story was my connection to Jamie. His character felt a little flat, besides his determination to find his mother. I really didn’t get to see a developed character, or as much growth as I would have hoped for. What I did find is that Frankenstein had plenty of humour and personality to make up for Jamie’s lack!

*This review was originally written for and posted on http://www.burnbright.com.au/category/kristas-reviews/

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