Department 19. Book Review

DEPARTMENT 19 by Will Hill

HarperCollins, s/b, £7.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Department 6 is the army. Department 13 is MI5. Department 19 is the reason you’re alive. Department 19 was formed by the legendary Abraham Van Helsing in 1892 at Prime Minister William Gladstone’s urging.

Since then, Department 19 has been protecting the British public and working with other, similar international agencies to protect the world from all manner of supernatural threats in absolute secrecy.

Jamie Carpenter thinks his dad is pretty boring – just a regular MOD civil servant, until one day he is executed outside his house by a group of armed soldiers in black uniforms. Jamie and his mother are informed that he had been selling information to terrorists, and have to move to escape from vindictive, patriotic neighbours.

Two years later, after his mother is kidnapped by a vampire, sixteen year old Jamie begins to realise that there was more to his father than met the eye. This is backed up when he is rescued by Victor Frankenstein – not the scientist, but the monster who has taken his creator’s name in tribute to him.

Jamie’s adventures are thrilling, and his friends and foes are well depicted – brave men and women serving their countries, fighting against sadistic vampires. Lives are lost, and friendships are made in the epic fight against some of the oldest vampires on earth.