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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed vampire fantasy for teens
Fourteen year old Jamie's life changes irrevocably as he is plunged into the secret world of Department 19, a.k.a. Blacklight and finds out his family's connection to it. Plenty of drama and slayings. Although another book based on the eternally (!) popular vampire theme, I felt that this book will appeal equally to boys and girls for a change because it incorporates...
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Discerning

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Violent vampire action.
This is a fun bit of teenage wish fulfilment. The idea of being taken in by the S.A.S./X-Files like D19 organisation to fight vampires I am sure is very appealing to teenage boys and a fair few adults too.

D19 is a bit like the Jack Davenport Ultraviolet show that was on Channel 4 a few years back.

The main character Jamie is a very typical troubled...
Published on 19 Feb 2011 by Mr. Gareth I. Davies


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed vampire fantasy for teens, 4 Feb 2011
By 
Discerning - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Fourteen year old Jamie's life changes irrevocably as he is plunged into the secret world of Department 19, a.k.a. Blacklight and finds out his family's connection to it. Plenty of drama and slayings. Although another book based on the eternally (!) popular vampire theme, I felt that this book will appeal equally to boys and girls for a change because it incorporates high-tech gadgetry, lots of action, has just a touch of romance and is written from a male point of view. I am not sure that the Frankenstein element helped draw the reader into the story but overall it was very readable considering the age group that it is aimed at. I would recommend this for older teens due to the graphic description of some killings and the horror.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book lovers treat, 8 April 2011
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
For a lover of books this was an absolute treat! Department 19 has everything you could possibly want in it from the creatures of nightmares to the bravest of souls and adventure.

Will Hill has done a fantastic job of giving readers the opportunity to associate with the main character on a personal level and has given the reader the detail to feel as though they're in the middle of every heart stopping situation.

I would highly recommend getting your hands on this book as it's a pleasure to read and will have you hooked from beginning to end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book! Totally hooked., 26 July 2014
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
I saw a copy of this in my local book shop ages ago and decided I would buy it. It was on sale and sounded like the sort of thing I would enjoy, but it has sat on my shelf ever since. Until I knew Will Hill was going to be at YALC, then I decided I had to try to read it so I could meet him.

I only started it the day before the convention as I had to finish the book I was already reading and I only got 100 pages into it, but in that first 100 pages I was hooked, the characters seemed to come to life off the page and I immediately felt connected and wanted to know more.

I met Will Hill and he was very nice, friendly and we had a brief chat. He signed my book and I got a picture with him. It was awesome, and I knew I wanted to read the rest.

Unfortuantely I have had a bit of a block lately, I just haven't been able to concentrate on reading, and it's not this book. I even tried re-reading some of my favourite books, and books from series I know I love, but nothing was working.

However I had a break through yesterday and seem to be getting back into my reading swing, so I sat down tonight (as I had an evening in) and finished this book. I have also read 100 pages of book 2 already. :)

Department 19 is a secret organisation that trains operatives to hunt down supernatural beings, mostly vampires. Jamie thought he was an ordinary boy but when his dad is killed and his mum goes missing he starts to question everything and then he meets a large man named Frankenstein who introduces him to the Department and all it involves. His life changes for ever.

This book mixes fantasy with history and folklore. Dracula and Van Helsing appear in the story and play a vital part in the events. I liked the mix of old legends and new, it works really well and makes you feel like there is more to the story, more to discover. That the characters actually have a history. It somehow made it feel more realistic and believable.

I think my favourite character is Larissa though, she is a vampire but also way more than that and she plays an important role in Jamie's life. She has a no nonsense attitude and puts on a tough front, but you do see her moments of weakness and doubts and how she fights through them, which just makes her all the more kick ass.

There is quite a lot of violence in the book and also a fair bit of gore - descriptions of blood and guts. So younger readers should be aware. But although I am a bit of a wimp, I didn't find it too bad, in fact I was kind of captivated, totally hooked into the story, so it didn't bother me as much.

I am glad I picked up this book, and I can't wait to find out what happens to Jamie and the others.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blacklight, 27 Dec 2010
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An urban fantasy/horror novel for younger readers. Although in this case the ideal age is probably fifteen and up because this is all about very nasty vampires.

And it doesn't pull any punches in depicting that. Be warned it can be very gruesome and gory on occasions. Although it's never gratuitious.

The premise of Department nineteen is that everything Bram Stoker wrote was true. Aside from a few minor embellishments. And as a result of the defeat of Dracula by Professor Van Helsing and cohorts the British Government set up a secret department designed to deal with them.

That was in victorian times. Flash forward to the present day and a short prologue tells us of how young Jamie Carpenter loses his father on one horrible night, a night when he sees strange things in the shadows.

Years later he's a convincingly disaffected and aimless and angry teenager looking for direction in a convincingly portrayed modern britain. Then his mother goes missing. He has a strange encounter with a strange girl. And then he encounters the department. Via an operative who is a bit of a household name.

We follow Jamie as he learns more about the Department, but all the time he's desperate to find his mother and rescue her. He's an angry young man because of this, but that doesn't make him unsympathetic because you can feel for him and what he is going through.

The occasional flashback chapter tells us of a few keys events from the history of the department.

When Jamie is finally able to try to find his mother, a fair few twists and turns courtesy of some cunning vampires await....

This is a well developed plot, leading to more gruesome vampire attacks and some epic confrontations. But it remains very readable throughout and has a great depth of invention also. Managing to provide a few new takes on the whole vampire thing this is a fine piece of work that manages to make a good impression in a crowded genre.

And like most first novels of this kind it's largely self contained but a couple of epilogues set up future plot developments so presumably Jamie and the department will be back for more. It should be worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars department19, 3 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Department 19 (Kindle Edition)
It is a very good begining for a series. This auther has a good future largly appealing for teens even from the very begining the point where many good books in the past have been let down it still kept you in suspence. I look forward to Will Hill's next exciting book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 25 Jan 2012
This review is from: Department 19 (Paperback)
A fantastic book that is going to be huge. This is kind of a cross between 'Stormbreaker' and 'Twilight' but with less of the mushy stuff. The characters are very well-written & believable, and the back-stories really make this novel. It has plenty of action and is a bit blood-thirsty, but has a really unique twist on other vampire-esque novels and series. I found it really gripping and couldn't put it down- I'm really looking forward to the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Department 19, 8 Dec 2011
This review is from: Department 19 (Paperback)
I wanted something for for my 12 year old grandson to read whilst staying with me. The assistant in the book dept of a well know store recommended Department 19. My grand son loved this book and he read it in two days, he said it was wonderful and that Will Hill was now his best author. I know what to get him for Christimas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for teens who avoid reading!, 9 July 2011
By 
David A. Garvey (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Department 19 (Kindle Edition)
I have been reading this with my 14 year old since he broke his leg a couple of months ago, he is not a big reader so I had to choose something that was interesting enough to keep his attention while appealing to his teenage boy sensibilities. This is perfect. It is well written, so I've enjoyed reading it as much as he enjoys hearing it, and I've had to avoid sneaking it away to finish it myself! The story line is strong enough to carry the bit of gore and colourful language contained within so even though I tend to be pretty strict when it comes to what my kids read, watch and play, I'm not bothered about letting my son read this. I hate buying books new, but this is well worth the money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome book for boys, 1 April 2011
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
If I had to sum up Department 19 in a few words they would be these: fast paced action adventure story for boys (and non wussy girls!!) with MI5 style vampire hunters who quite frankly kickass.

I don't often read YA books aimed more at boys than girls but this book has made me think that I should do more often.

The story revolves around Jamie Carpenter, an ordinary book who has just found out that vampires exist, his late father was a vampire hunter working for a MI5 style organisation and that his mother has been taken captive by the second oldest vampire in the world. Jamie is an awesome lead character. He steps up to the challenges thrown at him, is brave and courageous (and loves his mum). I loved following his story and watching him grow within Department 19 despite the obstacles he was facing. I can't wait to see more of him in future books and can definitely see him turning into a bit of a heartbreaker.

I really enjoyed being introduced to Department 19 through Jamie's eyes and via the flashback chapters. Seeing through Jamie was brilliant as things started to become clearly and untangle themselves the deeper he got into the organisation. I enjoyed sharing in his fascination in this new world and following him as he found his place in it. I loved how the story then used flashbacks to tell more of the background to the story of Department 19. The historian in me went mad for the bits set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I liked how the author used stories from that time like Dracula and Frankenstein and tied them into the history of his own story.

One thing this book delivers well is its action. The scenes in which things kicked off were gripping. the gadgets the team had were very cool in a James Bondesque way and certainly something that I think would draw the boys in. Even wimpy old girly me wanted to go out in a department 19 issue suit and kill some vampires with a T-Bone after reading this

All in all a stunning debut novel which was thoroughly engaging throughout. I am already looking forward to the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic waiting to happen?, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: Department 19 (Hardcover)
When you've been hearing a huge buzz about a book for months before publication, it's a scary moment when you open the Amazon package. Will it live up to your expectations? Can it? I'm v. glad to be able to tell you that Will Hill's debut does. In spades. Not only is there absolutely incredible attention to detail, but it's also got amazingly realistic characters and a completely gripping plot. I'm still reliving every moment of Jamie's story! I also think it's a story that will appeal to adults just as much to younger readers - as long as you're not afraid of a little bit of violence, that is :) Honestly one of my books of the year - and has the potential to become a classic. Bring on the next one, that's all I can say.
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Department 19
Department 19 by Will Hill (Hardcover - 31 Mar 2011)
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