Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Department Nineteen

This is the beginning of another vampire series. The author, Will Hill, worked in the publishing field for several years before he started writing. This is his debut novel.

While I am not usually a fan of vampire novels, once I started reading Department Nineteen, I found it "interesting". An actual department (well I know there is not actually a real department like this, just in case you thought I believed there was) within the governmental structure of the United States (hmmmm) and a teen becoming an unwilling part of the department. Jamie Carpenter finds out that his father, Julian, was a member and wound up betraying the organization. Jamie not only has to deal with this shame but also must rescue his mother, who has been kidnapped by Alexandru, a very old vampire and the prime enemy of Department Nineteen.

What makes this entertaining is how Hill has put in just about every gothic character and their authors in his novel! Frankenstein (the Monster, who has taken on the name), Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Quincey Morris, John Seward, Arthur Holmwood and authors Bram Stoker (who is a drunk) and Mary Shelley, who Frankenstein refers to as "that miserable little girl".

There is lots of bloody action. The vampires are nasty brutes who love to torture and kill in a most gruesome manner. The weapons the vampire fighter use are very interesting kill very effectively and brutally. Just the kind of novel that readers want, lots of blood and guts.

It was interesting, watching Jamie make the transition from angry teen who wouldn't listen to anyone to a young man who took on responsibility and leadership. His relationship with Frankenstein (who in fact had committed himself to family protector) was complicated. It was not until much later that he came to appreciate what Frankenstein had done for him and his family. Oh, and Jamie falls in love with the beautiful vampire that plays a fairly significant role in the novel.

The characters were interesting and I found it somewhat appealing that we found out a little bit more about those characters in the Dracula novel. There was enough action to hold the reader's interest and you get into the characters and want to know what happens to them. There will be more from Department Nineteen and I think I will keep them on my radar.

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