Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's Hear it For the Boys - Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill

Published: March 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 701
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads
James Bond meets Dracula in this epic saga of one boy and a ton of weapons versus the world's oldest evil--vampires as you've never seen them before!

Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter's life was violently upended when he was brought into Department 19, a classified government agency of vampire hunters that was formed to deal with a little problem . . . known as Dracula.

But being the new recruit at the Department isn't all weapons training and covert missions. Jamie's own mother has been turned into a vampire--and now Jamie will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on her captors. Even if that means facing down Dracula himself.

The Rising is a fast, furious, can't-turn-away thrill ride that will suck readers in just like a video game. This riveting second book in the Department Nineteen series is packed with cutting-edge gadgets, international locales, and daredevil action that tumbles ferociously across the page--perfect for fans of Darren Shan and Anthony Horowitz.
Wow, what a book.  It was just so much fun. At 701 pages it was not quick read, but there is just so much packed into it.   In this alternate earth, vampires are real and literary monsters are not just in our imagination.  Ancient vampires are out to take over the world and it's up to Jaimie and
his confedarates to make sure that doesn't happen. Will Hill does a fabulous job of suspending disbelief. It did not seem strange that a bunch of 16 - 18 year olds were fighting for a clandestine government agency, and I was just glad they were on my side, so to speak.
The Rising is graphic and gory - Tv's True Blood, exploding vampire, gory - and there are some very nasty vampire bad guys, doing unspeakable things, so if you have a sensitive stomach you might not enjoy this very much.  There is a lot going on over a very short time - just 6 days in fact - but there iis a lot of back story introduced in the form of flash-backs, which helped fill in some very necessary background information.
One of the things I enjoyed is that not all of the monsters are bad guys, and some can take you by surprise.  But conversely, not all the good guys are good, so beware.  The character development is stellar and is it wonderful to see outwardly confident kids struggle with their inner demons.  Some very strong friendships are formed and difficult decisions made.  Only once was a decision made by an adult that seemed just a little 'convenient', but I was able to get past it.
The Rising is an  explosive read that will grip you early on and keep you reading long past bedtime.

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