Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Book Review: Department 19 by Will Hill

When Jamie Carpenter's mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government's most secret agency. Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately something much older is stirring.

My Review:
This was one of these books that I felt had the potential to be something really good but I just didn't like the way the author chose to present the plot or develop the characters.

Jamie witnessed his dad being attacked in his garden and watches the police shoot him dead, claiming he is a terrorist traitor. A life of moving from school to school and being bullied about his dad ends when the creatures who attacked his dad come back for Jamie and his mother. It is only the intervention of Frankenstein that saves him. I liked the idea of this story with the secret department and the evil monsters and things but I had a few big issues with this book which stopped me from finishing it.

Firstly there is too much jumping around in the timeline for my liking. We get an incident, go forward 2 years, then 56 minutes back, back to the present then back to 1892. As well as being confusing and incoherant, some of the time jumps were full of very long winded descriptions that further disrupted the flow of the story. It was difficult to get into the story when you had to stop and work out where we were each time.

Secondly, I hated Jamie. I have no time for teenage brats who pick on their mother until she cries. He yells and stamps his foot like a five year old when he doesn't get his own way, and is rude to everyone who manages to save his life. He calls Frankenstein a monster which is highly rude, then calls the doctor a fat idiot when the doctor gives him safety advice. Obnoxious little runt. He is meant to be sixteen! I was more mature when I was still in nappies than this idiot. Even at the compound he happily breaks the rules, nearly gets killed and again gives no word of thanks to his rescuers. I just wanted him to die. He continues to be rude-sneering at anything he doesn't agree with, interrupting all the time and generally behaving like a spoiled brat. Seriously just die you little arse.

I did like the Van Helsing flashbacks which were a godsend after the childish tantrums of our hero. These were exciting and well written and I wish the whole book could have been following these characters along with the wonderful Victor Frankenstein. Victor is like a psycho version of Hagrid and has the patience of a saint in dealing with snotnose boy. Sadly even these wonderful interludes could not keep me reading about sulky Jamie and his issues with authority. I grew very tired of him and his behaviour and I failed to find one redeeming quality in him. When I'm rooting for someone to kill the MC from the very beginning, there is no way I'm going to enjoy the book.

The only way I would read something else by the author is if the books were based on Victor and Van Helsing's adventures. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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