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DEPARTMENT 19 by Will Hill

DEPARTMENT 19

From the Department 19 series, volume 1

By Will Hill

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59514-406-5
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

If the elevator pitch for this book wasn't "Dracula meets James Bond," it was pretty close. Shortly after the events of the Gothic classic, the British government formed the supersecret Department 19, its founding members the good guys who staked the Count, plus Van Helsing's valet. In 2007, that valet’s descendent (all the founders’ descendents are automatically invited to join Department 19) is brutally gunned down in front of his wife and son. Two years later, 16-year-old Jamie Carpenter is prematurely inducted into Department 19—nicknamed Blacklight—after his mother is kidnapped by a vampire and the Department’s Colonel Frankenstein rescues him (the monster, not the doctor; though his history is the novel’s, he looks like Boris Karloff from the movies). What follows is plenty of high-octane action, groovy specialized vampire-fighting equipment, buckets of gore, intriguing historical side trips and even a little romance between Jamie and a sexy teen vampire. Jamie will do anything to rescue his mother, which leads to constant violations of the chain of command, angry outbursts and unauthorized missions—forget James Bond; Blacklight’s a lot more like the fractious gang of 24. Readers will identify the inevitable double-crosser long before Jamie does, but they probably won't mind. They'll be so happy these vampires don't sparkle they'll forgive the novel’s excesses and keep flipping the pages to the next splatter-fest—and then they'll demand the sequel. (Horror. 14 & up)