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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Department 19 book 2,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Hardcover)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
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Department 19,
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and a horror gore fest with a wonderful balance of heart and personal struggles,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Hardcover)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
5.0 out of 5 stars A compulsive page turner,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Kindle Edition)Caroline: [..]
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars great,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Kindle Edition)the second book in will hill's series department 19 was brilliant, it offered action, drama and a series of cruel cliffhangers.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent value,
5.0 out of 5 stars :D,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Kindle Edition)I loved this book so much that i immediately bought the next one. I havent finsihed that one yet but it isnt dissapointing. Definitely worth it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book,
5.0 out of 5 stars fab book,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Kindle Edition)great books good for grown up as well as children looking forward for next book. lots of action and very bloody
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST SEQUEL EVER!!,
This review is from: Department 19: The Rising (Kindle Edition)When ever a writer composes a book as awesome as department 19 then it is hard to follow up but will hill has created a new book even better than ever. This is a must-read
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Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill