Before quitting his job in publishing to write Department 19, Will Hill worked as a bartender, a bookseller and a door-to-door charity worker. He grew up in the north-east of England, is scared of spiders, and is a big fan of cats. He lives in east London with his girlfriend, where he splits his time between staring out of the window and staring at a computer screen. The latter tends to be more productive.
Hill hits the ground running in this explosive debut, an action thriller inspired by a genre classic. Jamie Carpenter's father died as a traitor to his country, but two years later, 16-year-old Jamie discovers his father's secret life when vampires attack and he's saved by Frankenstein's notorious monster. Taken to the ultra-secretive Department 19, a government organization founded by Dracula's killers (and run by their descendants) to protect England from the supernatural, Jamie gets a crash course in a world he never knew existed. When his mother is kidnapped by vampires, Jamie sets out to rescue her, aided by the immortal Frank-enstein (who took his maker's name) and an untrustworthy vampire girl to whom he's attracted. As Jamie unravels hidden agendas, deals with assorted enemies, and faces the triumphs and tragedies of generations past, he's drawn deeper into a plot that could tip the scales between humans and vampires. Alternating between Jamie's desperate quest and episodes set in Department 19's storied past, this is a nonstop thrill ride right up to the cliffhanger ending. This cinematic adrenaline rush has the makings of a surefire hit. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Gr 9 Up-Jaime Carpenter is a sulky, antisocial teen. Having moved several times in the past two years, he is the perpetual new kid and constant target of bullies. But what does he expect after his father is gunned down by the authorities for aiding terrorists? Now more sins of the father are being visited on the son. Jaime is attacked and his mother is kidnapped by a being of unbelievable power. The teen is only spared his mother's fate when Frankenstein's monster appears on the scene wielding strange weapons. It whisks Jaime away to a hidden government installation occupied by Department Nineteen, or Blacklight, the most secret of secret agencies. He soon discovers that vampires, like Frankenstein's monster, are real and are an actual threat to Britain and the rest of the world. He is told that Stoker's Dracula and Shelley's Frankenstein are accurate recordings of historical events. He also learns that his father was a slayer of vampires and other dangerous creatures. The director of Blacklight reluctantly agrees to let Jaime and Frankenstein search for Mrs. Carpenter with the help of a captured teen vampire to whom Jaime is unnervingly attracted. There is plenty of action and gore to hook even reluctant readers despite the 500-plus pages. The author skillfully blends history, classical fiction, and teen fantasy into a unique novel. There is some weak dialogue with characters abruptly switching emotional gears, but the plot more than makes up for it. Fans of Darren Shan and Marcus Sedgwick will eat this up.-Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.