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Title: Department 19
Series: Department 19 #1
Authors: Will Hill
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
From the inside cover
Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.
Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond – from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.
I went into this hoping for a rollicking good ride of monster killing. Instead, I get the following:
- there was no profanity EXCEPT taking God or Jesus’ name in vain. It was a constant barrage of breaking the 4th Commandment. It had me close to dnf’ing on that alone
- whiny 16 year old boy “knows things” (not even psychically, but just because he said so) so they must be right and everybody acts on it, even when they say they won’t
- He’s never fired a gun in his life and has been physically bullied by other teens, but once he’s had 24hrs of training, he’s a vampire killing machine that sets a new record in the “simulation”
- a vampire girl is supposed to kill him and then lies and deceives him for her own purposes, but she really loves him and they make out, so she’s all ok
- a 200 year old super secret military organization just lets him requisition troops, guns, helicopters, whatever and ignores him instead of locking him up whenever he throws a teenage tempter tantrum “because of his mom”
I think that’s enough. I knew this was Young Adult (definitely not middle grade due to the graphic nature of some of the violence) but I was kind of hoping it would be Monster Hunters International for teens. Nope. What I got was Anakin Skywalker (mommy issues and all) hunting vampires. The final nail in the coffin (because a book this bad needs at least one good/bad joke) was how Jamie kills the boss vampire in the end. Now, you have to remember that vampires have been shown, IN THIS BOOK, to have super hearing, are super fast and strong and can survive being dropped from an airplane and crashing headfirst into the ground. So Jamie uses a crossbow to pull a big cross onto the most powerful vampire in the world and the vampire doesn’t realize what he’s doing, doesn’t hear the cross creaking and falling, nor does he move out of the way and once it brains him, he just lies there, dead. It was the most ridiculous thing I had (almost) ever read.
I don’t recommend this for Christians because of the blasphemy, I don’t recommend this for teens because of the graphic violence and I don’t recommend it for adults because of how stupid it is.
So much for this series!