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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 April 2013
This book is deep and fast paced, with an all round view of Dracula's uprising. With suspense, conflicting romance and a tinge of horror, this is the perfect book for teenagers and young readers. This easily meets the expectation placed on it by the other novels in this series, and I must say, after reading this, I can't wait for the next one!
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When you start reading a series of novels by a debut author, book one is about that wonderful sense of discovery. You have no idea what you're going to get. The author's writing is very much an unknown quantity but you're willing to take a chance. As long as there is a compelling hook, you'll happily read the book to completion. Book two is more about recognition. You've read and enjoyed book one and are hungry for more. By book three, there is nothing but anticipation. You just can't wait to find out where the plot is going next. You have your favourite characters, the author has really found their stride and you trust them to deliver something just a little bit special. Put it this way, if you've reached book three and your still reading, then the author must be doing everything right.

Jamie Carpenter remains a compelling central character. He has changed quite considerably from the unsure teen that we met in the first Department 19 novel. As the series has continued, Jamie's character has continued to evolve along with it. He has now reached the point where he is a leader of men and is starting to get some insight into the responsibilities that come with that role. Lives are now at stake, excuse the pun, and in many cases it's Jamie that is responsible for them. I love the fact that here is a lead who is not infallible. Jamie makes mistakes and sometimes pays for them. The flawed hero is always the most interesting type of hero to read.

Frankenstein is also still suffering from the aftermath of events that occurred at the end of book two, The Rising. He is beset by doubts and seeking redemption for the failures he perceives within himself. Meanwhile Valentin Rusmanov, everyone's favourite wittily urbane vamp, is attempting to make himself indispensable at Department 19′s headquarters, The Loop. Valentin is swiftly becoming my favourite character in the entire series. Suave, snarky and more than a little aloof he is so much fun to read about.

I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again. Although this is packaged as a `young adult' novel, everyone should be reading this. Action, adventure, horror and great characters combine to form a memorable reading experience. There were moments while reading this novel where I was properly stunned, in the best ways imaginable. While I was reading Battle Lines, I kept looking for an extra five minutes whenever I could just so I could read a little bit more. Thinking about it, that's probably the highest compliment I could give any book. I was actively trying to avoid doing anything else just so I could fit in another couple of chapters. I'm beginning to appreciate a vampire's craving for blood; Hill's writing is addictive stuff.

Battlelines ends with a slight pause, like the calm before the inevitable storm. I suspect/hope that things are about to kick off in a most spectacular fashion. Everything is set up to ensure that the next book is going to be an absolute corker. Once again I find myself applauding and cursing Will Hill in the same breath. This book is a massive amount of fun, as are the two that precede it, but I need to know what happens next RIGHT NOW!
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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Department 19 series and the previous two books are both firm favourites so I had high expectations for Battle Lines. I'm happy to say that once again Will Hill hits the ball out of the park with an action packed story full of brilliant twists and shocking discoveries for our favourite characters.

We have really seen Jamie and his friends come such a long way since the beginning of the series. Jamie is now an experienced Operator who is in charge of training new recruits and keeping his team safe as they search for Dracula. Matt is desperately searching for a cure for vampirism and Kate has taken on the difficult task of trying to uncover the remaining spies in the Department who have been feeding information to Dracula and his followers. At the same time Larissa is on secondment to the American NS9 department helping them to train new recruits and it is there that she makes a very surprising discovery that could change everything. As well as catching up with old favourites this book also introduces new characters and it also ups the ante with some powerful new enemies for the short handed department to try and handle. Nothing is quite what it seems and in some ways I think this story was even more gory and shocking than the previous ones.

As with the earlier books in the series Battle Lines is quite a doorstop and comes in at just over 700 pages but for such a huge book I found it incredibly easy to whiz through and I finished reading it within a couple of days. This series is a complex one, there are multiple points of view and a lot of different plot threads but they are so masterfully written that I never seem to have any trouble keeping track of people or remembering what is going on even with a year long wait between book releases. That is probably one of the best compliments I can give these books, they are incredibly addictive and each chapter leaves you desperate for more. Thankfully because I ended up leaving it so late to read this book I already have a copy of Zero Hour and I'm excited that I won't have to wait to find out what happens next. The stakes are getting higher and Dracula is close to rising so things are going to get even more interesting from here onwards!
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Review: The book begins with a load of prisoners and mental patients becoming vampires and breaking free. Of these newly made vampires, Albert Harker, enlists the help of some journalists to expose the world of Vampires. Also, there is a traitor within the department, and Kate and Paul have the task of finding them. Also, there are 52 days to Zero Hour.
I love this series. There's so much happening, so many characters to take into account of. Also, the stakes (no pun intended) are always so so high that you can't stop reading. There's quite a few subplots woven into this that contribute to the panic of the Department.
The characters, both new and recurring, ware continually well developed. I liked meeting the new vampires, and seeing how their existence affects the Department. Albert and Mckenna were very interesting. I really liked seeing Larissa on her own, growing even more and finding new things and being independent and such. The splitting up of the main teens lets them develop really well.
It's really fast paced. Like in the Rising, the action changes settings and focus often, keeping you both engaged and on your toes and reminding you that the situation is crazy for everyone. The action doesn't stop for one moment, which is amazing for 700 pages of it and the action literally beginning on page one.
I love the length of this series. But I am thinking... how long is this series going to be? Somewhere it said four books, but I really can't see that happening. Not without skipping a whole load of stuff. Or letting book 4 qualify as a murder weapon.

Overall: Strength 4 tea to another great instalment in one of my favourite series.
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on 12 August 2014
OMG, book 3 is here! I couldn't wait to get stuck into this book, in fact I finished book 2 and went straight into this one, read 100 pages of it straight away. I seriously love this series, it has the ability to just sweep me away and carry me through the pages, totally losing track of time and awareness. I love it when a book can do that - utterly absorb me, it doesn't happen very often but when it does I know I have struck gold! Especially when the book is 700 pages long but flies by so fast because you are so invested!

I did have to leave this for a few days as I was signed up to a book club meeting and was assigned '1984' by Orwell to read so that interrupted this book. But to be honest the meeting has passed and I still haven't finished Orwell, maybe I was too swept up with wanting to get back to Jamie and his colleagues and friends, because I couldn't concentrate on anything else. And when I did pick this book up again I read 250 pages in one sitting without moving, emerged once more in the world of Department 19. And in a way it felt comforting, like I was returning home and meeting up with friends. I had to know what was happening to them and what might be coming next.

Dracula is coming back, but this time he is going to be bigger and more dangerous than ever, Department 19 has set up a special Task Force 'Zero Hour' to try and stop him from rising, but they may have underestimated just what they were dealing with. Jamie has to deal with a whole new type of vampire, family ties, new recruits and relationship problems. Life just got a whole lot harder.

I actually really like Kate in this book, she seems to develop more of a back bone and stands up for herself a bit more. Whereas Larissa became a bit more mopey and thoughtful, although thankfully still kick ass when needed.

This world has truly come to life for me, I can visualise it all, the training rooms, meeting rooms, corridors, labs, sleeping areas - everything, it's like I am fully there.

It's refreshing to find such an exciting, detailed, fun, scary and amazing world all rolled into one amazing series. I already have book 4 by my side ready to go and am pleased to see that there should be a book 5 too. I just can't get enough. Will Hill - you are a legend and I wish I had read more of your books before I had met you. I have so many things that I would have said to you if I had. But please, keep writing!!!
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on 6 February 2014
My 13 year old would rather play computer games than read. this is one of the very few novels to hold his attention in recent years. Will Hill has the right formula for keeping teenage boys engaged.
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on 21 August 2013
This book was an excellent read. The character development is good and from the previous books, you get the sense of the main protagonists "Growing Up" and becoming Battle Hardened. There's sufficient gore and adult language to keep even me (30 yrs old) reading without it being gratuitous or unnecessary..

I look forward to the next installment in the series!
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on 13 April 2013
completely gripping as usual!
I was slightly frustrated by some of the plot not being resolved froom the last book - I guess I'll have to wait for the next one to come out then!
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on 20 November 2013
Great and action packed as usual. Unlike the others this book still does not resolve any part of the party.Other than that immense.

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on 19 August 2013
I love this book its a great read and it kept me intrieged the whole time.
A lot happens and i could not predict what was gonna happen next in any part of the bbok
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