8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
It's no secret that Department 19 was one of my favourite books of 2011 so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series The Rising. Although this was one of my most anticipated novels of the year I couldn't help feeling a little nervous when I picked it up to start reading - what if it didn't live up to my expectations? I'm glad to be able to say that I wasn't disappointed and if Department 19 was a 5 star read (which it was!) then The Rising is a 10 star one! I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review will have already read the first book so please be aware that this will contain spoilers for Department 19 - I will be careful not to give spoilers for The Rising though! If you haven't read the first book yet stop reading this review now and go out and buy it - I can't recommend this series highly enough!
The attack at Lindisfarne at the end of the first book has had huge ongoing consequences for all of the characters we know and love. Jamie may have built quite a reputation for himself amongst his colleagues by killing one of the oldest and strongest vampires in the world but he is devastated by the loss of his friend Frankenstein. He feels guilty that he wasn't able to save him and is also worried about the changes in his mother. Jamie is lucky to have strong bonds with Larissa and Kate though and they have been helping him cope. I love Jamie for how normal he is, despite the fact that he works for a secret organisation hunting down vampires for a living he is just a 17 year old boy and can be quite a moody one at that. His relationship with Larissa is going well but keeping things a secret is adding extra pressure on both of them and Larissa has her own issues to deal with.
I really enjoyed getting to see more of Kate and Matt too. Since Lindisfarne Kate has signed up to be an Operator and is working in a team alongside Jamie and Larissa. The three of them work really well together and it was good to see a friendship between them all that didn't include some kind of love triangle. Matt returned home after recovering from his attack in the first book but found it impossible to settle back into a normal life. He may be Jamie's opposite in a lot of ways but he is a great addition to their team and I can see him having an important role in the future.
All of the characters have some heart wrenching, emotional decisions to make throughout the story and it was good to see how much they have all grown since we first met them. There has been some serious character development but that doesn't mean there is less action though, in fact the plot progresses at breakneck speed and with more twists and turns than a roller coaster! Be prepared for some absolute shockers - I had to pick myself up off the floor a couple of times. The story takes you around the UK and Europe as well as on a road trip across the US as we follow the Department 19 crew and a few new characters. There will be betrayals from people we trust, surprising new allies and a couple of shock appearances as the Department prepares for the rise of Dracula. The countdown has begun but are you prepared for the consequences?
If you loved Department 19 then I guarantee that you'll love The Rising even more. Will Hill has managed to top the first book in every way and the only disappointment is that I don't have book 3 yet! This series is a must for anyone who wants a gruesome, action packed story full of old style terrifying vampires who in most cases will kill you as soon as look at you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2014
"The Rising: Department Nineteen" by Will Hill is second book in his series that introduce readers to secret British department responsible for solving supernatural cases.
In first part readers met Jamie Carpenter who was recruited by this unusual secret department, called Department 19, to take care of the supernatural creatures and events.
This department was established more than 100 years ago by Van Helsing and the other survivors from the group that haunted Dracula, and all these years they take care of vampires.
Jamie went through training to become soldier of that unusual department and started fighting against vampires...
In second installment Jamie Carpenter is completely different man than what he was at the beginning of the first book, becoming a seasoned soldier.
Due to his success in destroying the vampire Alexandru Rusmanov, he will be awarded in a way that he would be assigned to lead his own team of Blacklighters hunting vampires.
He will need to bring them in alive for the secret Lazarus project and eventually be recruited into the unit responsible for the elimination of the lately resurrected Count Dracula....
Still "Department Nineteen" is work with one of the most original premise, combining horror, thriller, SF and teen romance genres in a fun mix for readers of all ages.
As its prequel, the book's full of action, violence, gore and some teenage romance. And as I wrote in review for first part, although its plot sounds strange even weird, it brought some fresh air into the fantasy/fiction/horror genres combining famous motives with thrilling action that resulted in a fun and exciting book, not another teen soft horror title.
Also, the author's writing style has been improved compared to previous installment, so now he has no problem in connecting multiple stories into one coherent.
Additionally, the author introduced some new characters like Angela Darcy, Shaun Turner, Jack Williams and Matt Browning, that will play an important role in the unfolding drama, and most important, reader will be able to meet ultimate bad guy Count Dracula.
Due to all above-mentioned, "The Rising: Department Nineteen" is a good sequel to original novel, making it must-read for fantasy/horror fans, especially if you are of teen age.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Last year I read Will Hill's debut novel, Department 19, and I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun and a perfect introduction to the action/horror genre for a young adult audience. Vampires, werewolves and a secret organisation that keeps them all in check. I ask you, what's not to love? The second book is just out on paperback and it picks up the action shortly after the climatic events that ended book one.
It's nice to see the central character of Jamie Carpenter has continued to evolve. Still in his teens, he is starting to display flashes of the man that he's going to turn out to be. More confident and sure of himself than in book one, and more willing to take risks. The events on Lindisfarne have left their mark on him. Jamie is totally driven to hunt down the vampires that have caused his family and friends so much grief.
Interspersed throughout the main narrative, there are flashbacks that cover some of the more important historical events in the Department 19 universe. The readers get to learn some of the history of Jamie's grandfather, John, and his time in the Department. Also the origins of Dracula himself are finally revealed. It was great to discover the story of the blood thirsty warrior prince and how he became a monster with a thirst for blood. Dracula's first lieutenants, the Rusmanov brothers, are a highlight, and the urbane and sophisticated Valentin was a particular favourite.
When I reviewed Department 19 way back in February 2011, I specifically asked if there could be more werewolves in the sequel. I'm glad to say that the gods of young adult novels (or more likely Will Hill) were listening. As ever, I'll avoid any spoilers but let's just say that werewolves, well one in particular, play a key role in the plot.
The second novel is approximately two hundred pages longer than its predecessor, and Hill uses these extra pages to great effect. He takes time to explore more of the monster packed universe that he has created. There is an international feel as the plot moves all around the globe; from the UK, to France, and the United States. There is even a little insight into how Department 19′s counterparts function in other countries, which is a nice touch. The nickname for the US equivalent of made me smile.
This sequel is most definitely a case of bigger, better, faster, more. Hill has upped the stakes (excuse the terrible pun), and there is a genuine sense that things are hurtling towards an epic conclusion. I liked book one, but I loved book two. The final hundred pages alone are utterly bonkers. Lots more action, loads more exploding bloodsuckers (take it from me - this can only ever be a good thing) and more twists and turns in the plot than you can shake a pointy stick at. Bravo Mr Hill.
Department 19: The Rising is published by Harper Collins and is available now. The third installment, Department 19: Battle Lines, is due in April 2013. I'll be looking out for it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2012
This review is for the second book in the series by Will Hill so will have spoilers for book one Department 19 and therefore THIS IS A SPOILER WARNING. No spoilers for this book though ;)
So Will Hill holds no punches now does he. This book rocked my socks and then knocked them straight off. I'd been hearing lots of super positive reviews and comments about this sequel but if i'm honest when I got it in the post my eye exploded at the size of it. It's a brick of a book and I thought 'oh gosh that'll take forever!' Want my advice. JUST BUY AND READ IT! IT'S BIG BUT OH SO WORTH IT.
The start of The Rising sets up the impending doom on the way with the rising of the first and original vampire, Dracula. He's been raised from the dead and the horrors that are coming make the last book seem like a picnic in the park. This book is full of action packed gore and fighting that you'd come to expect after the battles faced in Department 19 but so much more too. We get a real insight into the key players on both sides of this war and their past lives. It's like finding the diaries of people and finding out what makes them really tick. Going back and forth between the life at The Loop with Jamie Carpenter trying to cope with his new life as an Operator, the special situation his mum is now in after Lindsefare and his growing relationship with Larissa, a vampire girl who's now on the side of good. Their relationship is as complex as they come but the way they lean on each other and have the uncanny ability to read each other was one of my favourite things to read. They may be one of my favourite couples I've come across in YA so far this year.
Kate had been a girl that was caught up in the nightmare of an ending to Department 19 and now she's like a stealth ninja kick ass girl warrior. She's awesome. She's the sort of girl you can imagine would just deal what was thrown at her and she does but she's not all hardcore warrior gal because she's just broken from what she saw and now is living her life fighting because it's how she can deal with it and fight back. Though my favourite character had to be one of the "bad guys" as such. Valentin, one of the first vampires created by Dracula himself. He's witty, charming and deadly and almost like a Bond villain mixed with a bit of The Joker from The Dark Knight. You know he's done horrifying things and has no issue with them but you can't help but see his appeal.
The book itself is about the Departments race against time to find where Dracula is lurking and hiding until he's at full strength to return because once that happens there's no way he can be defeated. The Department is full of secrets itself which as you'd expect get revealed at just the worst moment, though the secrets you'd never guess. I had more than a few heart stopping moments reading it.
The Rising is the kind of perfection of a sequel I wish some books could capture in their first novels. Action packed and a horror gore fest with a wonderful balance of heart and personal struggles that makes The Rising a book about real things that linger in the dark but not a book just for boys. Everyone should read this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2012
While the pink, fragile scar tissue acts as a visible testament to the horrors Jamie and his friends experienced that fateful night on Lindisfarne, the hidden physiological trauma is no less indelible. Having turned their backs on any semblance of normality and accepted a life of danger and responsibility in the pursuit of world safety, Jamie, Larissa and Kate are now feeling the impact of their decisions and experiences.
A slick three person unit within the super secret department, they work instinctively together, trusting each other with their lives, but not always their secrets and insecurities. The trio cannot help but have matured in the three months following their withdrawal from society and their absorption in to the classified government department; nevertheless they are teens dealing with the huge emotional fallout from book one, coping with anger, grief and the absence of any real parental supervision and support. Jamie particularly is struggling with balancing his recently commissioned leadership while maintaining his friendships with Larissa and Kate.
The only negative thing I can say about this book is its size! You can't fail to have noticed that with 700+ pages, this is a big book! I have to admit that while a gorgeous signed hardback graces my shelf I found the thought of starting the book a little intimidating not to mention difficult to manage with my preferred reading posture ( lying on my side if you must know). I found a really simple solution, I downloaded the kindle version!
Despite its length, the pacing of the book was spot on and I never felt bored. Will Hill cleverly manipulates multiple story threads, weaving together heart racing action with gut twisting emotional scenes and informative flashbacks to create a compulsive page turner. I particularly love how the author makes references to historical events and figures, grounding the fantasy world building with our own recognisable history.
After 13 years in the health service with up close and personal experience of most body fluids, I consider myself to have a strong constitution, but even I have my limit and Will Hill writes to it. In Department 19 it was the creative use of violin strings, in The Rising, a scene involving Dracula and a library had me swallowing excessive saliva and pushing my lunch to one side. (In retrospect the unpleasant sensation may be due to the first vampire's maltreatment of books!) However I don't believe that the bloodletting is gratuitous, this is after all, a war between vicious, carnivorous immortals (old school vamps) and fragile humans. Rather, Hill's imagery is so unapologetically vivid that it's Technicolor.
Verdict: This book should come with a health warning; it will cause your stomach to flip and leave you physically and emotionally exhausted, but I promise that you will love every minute of it! Now time to read something light and fluffy, preferably with unicorns, kittens and rainbows!
on 3 August 2014
After finishing book 1 I went straight into reading this book, i literally put the first book down then picked this one up and read 200 pages of this one before coming up for a break.
My reading slump is officially over thanks to Will Hill. I just can't get enough of these books and I find myself reaching for them at every opportunity, I have become invested in Jamie, Larissa and Kate's lives and all of those in Blacklight.
Things are getting serious, Dracula's remains have been stolen and there are rumours that he can be brought back. Department 19 figure they have 91 days before the experiment would be a total success, that's 91 days to stop Dracula from coming back. In the meantime they have other enemies to deal with, they may be classed as lower grade vampires but they mean as much business as anyone else. Jamie is thrown into the deep end, but he's still getting over the fact that Frankenstein was lost to him at the end of the last book. He still blames himself and carries the weight of that knowledge with him. With tension in the air he has to work to keep his team together and himself focused. There is a lot of work to do, not to mention a top secret project going on below the base.
This book seemed a lot faster pace than the first and I found myself rocketing through it. I suppose that the world had to be built up more in the first, so now it is established and we know who is who and what is going on Will Hill had more freedom with the story. Although there are still some new characters and some definite surprise plot twists. Seriously, I would just figure out what was happening or who was behind it all and something would happen that would make me totally second guess it all.
There is quite a bit of violence and gore again, so word of warning to younger readers, but it's never pointless, it is always used to advance the story and makes you appreciate just how dangerous the situations are.
These books will make your heart pound and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. YOu will laugh, cry and jump in shock but you will love every minute.
I can't wait to read book 3!
on 20 January 2013
As you will remember if you read the first book, Dracula's remains in Department 19's Russian counterpart was stolen, and the oldest Rusmanov brother and his cronies are trying to resurrect him. It will take about three months before he's fully restored to his former power (i.e. the Zero Hour), and the operatives of Department 19 have to find him and take him down before then, as otherwise he'll be near invincible.
Expectations were high for this book, as the first one was great. "Department 19: The Rising" does not disappoint. While the title is misleading - "The Rising" implies that Dracula's Zero Hour happens within this book ... and it doesn't. Sorry if that's a spoiler, but I think it's worthwhile pointing out. It's still over 80 days (84? 86?) to go by the very last page of the book, but I didn't mind. Not at all.
There are just so many things going on that you don't have time to stop and question it. Like before, there were flashbacks to the past. 1920s Paris, and way back when in Romania when Dracula was first turned. This was actually really interesting to find out about. I have no idea if it's general Dracula and/or vampire lore, but it's fascinating nonetheless.
The romantic struggles of teenagers get a little space, but not too much. They have enough issues as it is. There are also moral struggles to get through for Jamie, and they're handled really well. It's not always clear-cut what the right thing to do is, and he's still learning, but he's growing up to be a good man. Or so I hope. There's a bit near the end that definitely counts as a crowning moment of awesome. I really didn't expect it, and burst out in a "HAH!" when reading it. When you see it, you'll know the one I mean.
I could probably go on and on and on about how entertaining this series is proving to be, but I need to get going. If you like vampires, REAL vampires, you'll enjoy this. If you liked the first book, you'll definitely enjoy this. I didn't even mind the gore so much this time (there can't have been less of it). The writing style is still cinematic and I would freakin' LOVE to see a big-screen adaptation at some point.
Will Hill, sir, you've done it again. "The Rising" feels innovative, is full of action and the characters have flaws that make them all the more real. Can't wait for the next book, "Department 19: Battle Lines". This is great.
on 30 August 2012
A really good author, who writes a series of books, can draw you back into that world within a page. For Will Hill, and The Rising, the second book in the stunning Department 19 series, I was back into the world of shadows, vampires and secret, government organisations with a sentence.
Back into the world where not all is as it seems, and where nightmares become reality.
I want to say fairly early in this review that I physically cannot say much about the book at all. Not because I don't want to, because I freaking do! Oh I could talk about this book all day and all night, non stop. Trust me, ask my parents who I think I am driving nuts right now... Not because nothing happens - trust me, this book is jam-packed with action, it's unreal! But because if I say pretty much anything, it'll spoil the book! It's so tightly woven and so well paced, that everything fits together It's kind of like a line of domino's. Knock one and they all go.
What I can say though, is that Will's writing is on top form. Top class. It's fantastic. So engaging. I want to liken Will's writing to super glue, because once you start reading, you physically have to tear your eyes away from the page and the events unfolding within them.
There's just this voice to the book, to both books actually that is so vivid and so rich, you can't help but love them.
I'll be honest, I had worried about reading The Rising. I loved Department 19 so much, that I just didn't know how Will could top it, but as I sat down to read it, those worries melted away. For a starter, the first chapter is set about thirty minutes to three-quarters of an hour away from me, and somewhere that I have been many many times over the years! I read the start and kind of did a double take... Erm... Really... That's... near me, in this incredible book. It's set there? Wow!
But yes, it blew me away. The gore in this book - well don't even get me started - is on a completely new and, well... gory level. Will outdone himself this time, although I have to wonder what runs through his mind sometimes - can I say, twisted dude?! But in a good way! Haha.
So, to wrap this up because it's all just getting a bit gushy now, Will Hill is a genius. He's created something incredible in Department 19, something that is so well thought out and intricate. And he's continued it perfectly in The Rising. All I can say is that the next 12 months waiting for Book Three is going to be pure torture!
on 19 July 2012
Run, hide, pray, fight. Whatever you do, you must know: Dracula has risen and Department 19 have just nine days to track him down and kill him, before he grows too strong and wreaks his revenge upon the world...
It's been seventeen weeks since Lindisfarne and Jamie, Larissa and Kate are settling into life at Department 19. Jamie's made a name for himself, having killed one of the oldest vampires alive. Not, of course, that has made the other agents any fonder of him.
But something is stirring. Vampires are gathering, preparing.
Dracula is rising.
It's 91 days until Zero Hour.
Who knows what will happen...
I adored Department 19, so much so that once I'd finished if I simply had to read The Rising! And, boy, did it not let me down! Action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled and utterly addictive, I read the 700-something paged book in a blur, hooked to every single word, as the days until Zero Hour counted down. And oh my God, this was so, so much more awesome than the first book! I simply cannot wait until the next one in the series!
I loved all of the characters to pieces: Will Hill remains the master of making in-it-for-one-chapter characters that jump off the page. And his main characters are just so loveable it's untrue. Jamie is just the perfect hero: sweet, brave, strong, brainy and so, so real. He may have been a kickbutt boy agent, but he was also just that: a boy, only seventeen. While he struggled with his emotions at times and occasionally lost his temper, I adored the sweet, loving boy beneath the tough exterior. The fact he isn't perfect and makes mistakes just made me love him all the more: in fact, I have a serious book-boy-crush on him. As for Larissa: she is so awesome! Admittedly, super vamp powers and teen hormones weren't such a great mix, but she was so caring and loving; I just loved the vampire girl to pieces. Kate was brilliant: strong, determined, level-headed and so kind to everyone - especially the new vampires. I loved seeing how she's grown. And Matt, who you may remember from Book One as the boy who was attacked, woke up in the Loop and faked amnesia, was such an awesome character. He was super clever, like genius clever, as well as sweet, determined, enthusiastic and just darn adorable! Valentine Rusmanov just has to be mentioned, `cause his dark sense of humour just killed me. Plus, not an "immortal psychopath" like his brother Alexandru, so huge improvement there! I liked him - I'm not sure if I was meant to, but I did.
Will Hill isn't just amazing at characters, though. His writing, plot-designing and world-building is just as incredible. His writing is action-packed, addictive and full of flashbacks, letting us see into all the character's minds, both in the present and the past. When describing science-based scenes, lots of writers talk down to us, treating us like we can't understand. Will Hill did not: we were told in a simple way, but he didn't talk down to us, not even once. That particularly struck me about the writing. As for the action: just whoa. From the very first page to the very last, The Rising was action-packed, addictive, a non-stop adrenaline rush that lasted 703 pages. Bloody, violent and amazingly kickbutt, I found the action addictive, which obviously made the twisty, mysterious plot even more stunning and amazing. And this plot, quite literally, left me speechless. Multiple times. I've never found a plot as marvellously twisty and unpredictable as this: love it! The mythology is stunning: utterly new but traditional. I love that we now know more about Dracula's origins, but some parts are still left a total mystery. I wanna join Department 19 so I can know everything. It's a serious plan. `Cause I love this world. As in: "Please, please, PLEASE let me be a Department 19 agent!!" kinda love. I love the science, the department, the people, the weapons. My bags are packed. I'm moving in as soon as possible. Seriously.
With action, romance, suspense and bundles of awesomeness, The Rising just blew me away. I loved every single moment, unable to put the book down. Sure, this is a horror-action book, but it has such strong family and friendship themes, ones that are really sweet and believable and just make me smile. And the way Will Hill links all the different stories together, twisting and twining them is just amazing, beautiful, perfect and just so utterly unique. This is, without a doubt, one of my favourite series ever! Will Hill, I shall be anxiously awaiting your next book - I know it will be amazing!
James Bond with cooler weapons, kickbutt teens and vampires! Forget 007 and give me Department 19 any day!
on 12 April 2012
Department 19 was one of the best YA debut novels I've read in some time, so I was eagerly awaiting the release of D19: The Rising. This is one series that you can't pick up midway through - if you haven't read Department 19 then go and do that first. In fact, it may also help if you've read Bram Stoker's Dracula as well beforehand. If you have read D19, then will you like The Rising? The short answer is yes, but there's more to it than that.
It feels like a more leisurely book than D19 - whereas that was full of nonstop action, this takes some time out to develop characters. For the most part, that's not a bad thing, particularly where the trio of Jamie, Larissa and Kate are concerned. You get a real sense of their relationship growing, and the author sensibly avoids the love triangle plot line that seems almost a prerequisite of this genre at the moment. At times, however, the plot gets a bit convoluted and meandering. It's plain to see that Will Hill is broadening out the universe for this series, but there is perhaps one two many subplots, including a plot strand and character based in America that I found too implausible to swallow easily.
That brings me to some other things I found less satisfactory. Although it's quite a graphically violent book at times, the author tends to maddeningly pull his punches when it comes to the fate of certain characters. Once you've spotted the pattern the plot twists become, well, less twisty, if that makes sense. That may be personal taste, but I quite admire 'Hedwig dies' moments in books, even if its a character I really like.
However, these are minor niggles really. The Rising is a worthy successor to D19. It may not have quite as streamlined and coherent a narrative as the first book in the series, but when it comes to the big action scenes, Hill has raised the bar even further. The final battle scene is an absolute barnstormer, and had me thoroughly engrossed. If you liked the first D19 book, then you'll want to read the sequel, and you won't be disappointed. The only problem I have now is that while Zero Hour may be only 90 days away, the next D19 book is certain to take much longer to arrive...