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Department 19 by Will Hill: Book Review

IN THE July 2 ISSUE

FROM THE 2011 Articles,
andBooks & Tales,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andTeens
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by Amanda Hager

In Jamie Carpenter’s mind, he has always believed that his father died a traitor to his country, but the reality is significantly different from what Jamie could have ever imagined. And when Jamie’s mother is kidnapped by strange creatures (vampires), he finds himself placed in the government’s most secret agency: Department 19. The stakes are raised because his mother has been captured. In this supernatural battle that has been brewing for over a century, Jamie must trust in Department 19 to protect him and provide him with the tools he may need to save his mother and possibly get their lives back. Department 19’s administrators are strategically positioned to show and train Jamie to conquer the vampires in a way he never knew existed. They already rescued him from the close grip of a vampire, so Jamie knows they mean business.

Jamie, as the main character, shows minimal development as the story progresses. Jamie experiences things and deals with them in his own way, but it seems that there was no real thought process or second guessing his reactions, almost like it was written to be perfect with no ulterior results or decisions. But the great back story this book offers must have required great research by Hill and should be fully appreciated for the information it added to the plot. The drama and action scenes in Department 19 are by far better than what I’m used to and there are some points in this book where I found myself rushing through them just to find out what happens next. The plot is thrilling and keeps you guessing about what can happen next. The sub-characters are far more interesting and easier to follow than that of the character Jamie.

With this book being the first in a series, it kind of made me feel like a new Harry Potter world with a bit of Twilight mixed in, hence vampires are the main enemy in this story and Jamie is the hero. However, I’m curious to follow the series and unwind the plot, although I predict it will be a natural happy ending with Jamie finding his mother and defeating the vampires. It will all have to be left to Hill to unravel Jamie’s journey and keep readers interested.


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Amanda Hager is 17 years old & a senior at Reedley High School where she is a member of the Pirate Marching Band. She began writing in 5th grade & has always had a passion for it, winning some writing contests over the years.

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