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.
The spoiler free gush:
This isn't another romantic, sparkly Twilight vampire book. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a sparkly vampire tale as much as the next girl, but this book is more your traditional vamp.
It blends classic tales like Dracula (a history lesson, not fiction, according to the book), Frankenstein and a variety of historical figures with a scientific approach to the mythology. Vampires in Department 19 have fangs. They can be killed by a stake and sunlight. And some of them are out for world domination.
The world-building and back story is brilliant. Not only do we get the story of Jamie trying to save his mother, but we also go back in time to learn about the history of Department 19. Mix in characters that you truly come to care for, and this is 540 pages of wonderful reading.
A warning -- there is also gore. Vampires die, people die. They get blown up and the blood splatters over people, but don't let that put you off reading it. Will Hill writes in the funny too.
Now I just have to wait for book 2 next year.