Friday, April 20, 2012

Will Hill's Department 19 Reviewed

As a 14 year old, Jamie Carpenter’s life was altered forever after he watched his father get shot to death by a group of masked men. It was later revealed that Julian Carpenter was a terrorist and traitor responsible for the deaths of men under his command. (Or so the family was told.)

Two years later, we find a very angry 16 year old Jamie still stewing over his father’s actions and getting his ass kicked at school by everyone and his brother. Once again, Jamie finds that his life is about to be altered even further after his mother, Marie, is taken and disappears without a trace.

As Jamie is being attacked by a female vampire, later identified as Larissa Kinley who is out to kill him, she suddenly changes her mind, and leaves Jamie to the capable hands of Frankenstein who was supposeed to be the kids guardian. Yes, that Frankenstein. Larissa ends up being a key player in the overall scheme of things, and how the ending plays out.

Department 19 is an interesting yet strange story that features several points of views, and back flashes to the time of Dracula, Van Helsing, and Jonathan Harker, as well as Jamie’s own descendants like Henry and John Carpenter. The story is a combination science fiction and YA paranormal, and in my opinion, would have been a bit better had it not been for the storyline moving back and forth and all over the place over different time periods. Once again, my opinion is subjective and may not be in line with others who have enjoyed this book more than me.

Department 19 takes place over several different time lines including 1892, 1928, and 2007. Jamie finds himself immersed in a world of secret government agencies whose responsibility it is to protect humans from the paranormals like vampire, werewolves, zombies and others.

For Jamie, his only mission is to find his mother and bring her back in one piece. Unfortunately, others like the infamous vampire Alexandru Rusmanov, who was turned by Dracula himself along with his two brothers Valeri and Valentin, have other ideas. So, Jamie is forced to train with the legendary Blacklights so that doesn't get himself killed.

Jamie is an interesting character who is submersed along with the original six families all of whom made it their mission in life to work for the new department soon to be called Department 19. His primary mission is to find and rescue his mother before the villain can kill her. Note: if you’ve read the description of the second book, you know what happens to her in this one.

What you don't read is that Jamie grows up fast, and even though he is nearly an emotional train wreck at times because of his worries over his mothers fate, he does find attachment towards Larissa as well as other key members of Blacklight who help him along the way.

This book is not a tea and crumpets kind of story. There is bloodshed, and massive killings and it all falls on a 16 year olds shoulders because of something his own father did years before that has earned his family the wrath of Alexandru and other vampires.

I’m glad that Will Hill decided to make the vampires nastier than a drunk on Saturday night after being told that he can’t drink anymore. Of course, this is only the first book in the series and thus we really have to wait and see how the story plays itself out, and what happens to Will’s mother from here on out.

Author: Will Hill
Title: Department 19
Publisher: Razorbill
Released: March 31, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment