The widely anticipated second volume in the ‘Department 19’ series, this novel follows on directly from the action in the first book. The department of the title is the most secret part of the British security services and is part of a worldwide organization founded after the destruction of Count Dracula in order to fight the vampires in our midst.
This is an action packed and extremely gory story, very much in the vein of Darren Shan, but with touches of Cherub. It is a complex tale linking several parallel strands; the main character, Jamie Carpenter is coming to terms with the death of his mentor and the fact that his mother was ‘turned’ into a vampire at the end of the first book. It is also a book about relationships and the angst of being a teenager working in an adult and very dangerous environment. It is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing and the final pages have more than a few surprises in store, which will leave the reader eager for the next volume. This is very much for a teen audience, not just because of the continual violence, but also because of the complexity of the story and its length. A challenging read for many, but they will find it engaging enough to make the effort.