HarperCollins, p/b, £7.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
Book two of Hill’s excellent Department 19 series follows the adventures of Jamie Carpenter. At the age of 16, Jamie became Department 19’s youngest commissioned operator, proudly following in his father’s footsteps protectingEnglandfrom vampires and werewolves.
Together with his vampire girlfriend, Larissa and their good friend Kate, they hunt down vampires across the country, trying to find a way to prevent the oldest vampire of all – Vlad Dracula – from regaining his full strength and laying waste to the world with his vampire armies.
Hill has done an excellent job of combining traditional vampire mythology with modern day warfare, while avoiding the whole “Twilight” teen vampire love story. Some vampires, like Dracula and his lieutenant Valeri Rusmanov are vicious and evil – they view humans as cattle, no more. Others, mainly those turned against their will, are pacifists – living off animal blood sourced from friendly butchers, unwilling to take human lives.
While the back cover states that this is suitable for ages 13+, this is a gripping read for lovers of vampire fiction young and old. Hill keeps the reader on the edge of their seats throughout, with action-packed scenes and tender moments sharing page space well.