Department 19 is a book about vampires, werewolves and all the supernatural creatures that live in the dark. These are no sparkly vampires though, they’re vicious, blood-suckers who you don’t want to bump into in the dark.
When Jamie Carpenter’s mother is kidnapped one night by strange creatures, he is suddenly dragged into a world he didn’t know existed. He’s recruited by Department 19, a secret government department that protects the world against the supernatural, including werewolves and some extremely dangerous and powerful vampires. Jamie is taken under the wing of one of Department 19’s top agents, Frankenstein, and helps introduce him to the skills and weapons that he’ll need to get his mother back and kill the vampires who want him dead.
Department 19 is the first book in a fantastically gory, action-packed new series. There is enough blood and guts throughout the book to keep you hooked and the ending leaves you craving for more. My favourite thing about Department 19 was that there were flash backs to other times and places that told you how and why the Department was formed, as well as giving you some background about the families involved. I loved all the characters, from Jamie who is coming to terms with his family’s past, to the teenage vampire girl, Larissa, and all of the vampires in between. My favourite character had to be Frankenstein because of his loyalty to Jamie’s family. I thought it was awesome to have a monster like him as part of a secret government agency. The next book will probably include both Frankenstein and Dracula so the series can only get better. If you like books by Derek Landy, Darren Shan and Joseph Delaney, you’ll love Department 19 by Will Hill. Recommended for 12 +
Some of my favourite stories are ones that are set in our world, but in the near future. Divergent by Veronica Roth is one of those stories. It is set in a society where everyone is separated into 5 different factions or groups; Erudite the Intelligent, Dauntless the Brave, Amity the Peaceful, Candor the Honest, and Abnegation the Selfless. The main character, Beatrice, belongs to Abnegation, the faction that focus on others rather than themselves. When you get to a certain age, you have to take a test to find out which faction is the best one for you to spend the rest of your life in. You have the choice of staying in the faction you were born into or changing to your best-suited faction. Beatrice’s results in her test means that she could choose from three different factions.
She chooses Dauntless, the faction of the daring and fearless, leaving behind her family and a faction that she can’t return to. To become Dauntless, Beatrice (Tris, as she now calls herself) must pass the 3 stages of initiation. She makes friends and enemies throughout the initiation, including Peter who will do anything to be the top initiate. As she goes through the stages of initiation, it becomes clear that Tris is able to manipulate the simulations within the challenges and cope better than anyone else. She discovers that she is Divergent, but what does that mean and why is it dangerous for anyone to find out that she is?
Divergent is full of suspense and I was on the edge of my seat right to the end. Tris is an incredibly strong character who gets put through some tough challenges. As I was reading Divergent I was thinking that I wouldn’t be strong enough to make it through the Dauntless initiation. Veronica Roth has created a society that, at first, seems like it is perfect, but you see cracks slowly start to appear. If you like stories like Hunger Games, you’ll love Divergent. Recommended for 12+ 10 out of 10