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Will Hill

Will HillWill Hill  spends a lot of his time in California but he grew up around the North East of England, moving from Skegness to Gateshead to Tynemouth. The area is steeped in vampire mythology, irresistible to the young Will. Mr. Hill is a former publishing professional who lives in England. Department 19 is his first novel. Learn more about it at the Department 19 website.


Department 19

Department 19 — (2011-2015) Young adult. Publisher: Jamie Carpenter’s life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein’s monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire. Department 19 takes us through history, across Europe, and beyond — from the cobbled streets of Victorian London to prohibition-era New York, from the icy wastes of Arctic Russia to the treacherous mountains of Transylvania. Part modern thriller, part classic horror, it’s packed with mystery, mayhem, and a level of suspense that makes a Darren Shan novel look like a romantic comedy.

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Department 19: Alex Rider meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Department 19 by Will Hill

Department Nineteen, by Will Hill, is the beginning to a new young adult series involving a top-secret organization dedicated to destroying the vampires that have infiltrated society, along with the rare but occasional monster. It’s a kind of James Bond/Alex Rider meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fast-paced, action-filled coming of age story with some flaws — a few implausible moments, some predictability — but a strong backstory, a likable main character, and its fast pace will more than make up for those flaws with its young adult audience.

The deep, historical premise of the book is that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was not an imaginative novel, but a mildly fictionalized true-life account (as was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but more on that later). The basic plot actuall... Read More

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane: Like a box of chocolates

Magic: An Anthology of the Esoteric and Arcane edited by Jonathan Oliver

Magic is, almost by definition, esoteric and arcane; something known only to a few, kept secret from the masses, practiced only by initiates. Still, the grandiose title of this themed anthology of original stories may oversell it slightly, since many of the tales here are quite conventional. Jonathan Oliver gathered a shining collection of talent, though, and with fifteen stories spanning fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy and horror, most readers will find something to enjoy.

The book has a lovely cover by Nicolas Delort. It’s a simulated woodcut. A Victorian-era woman holds an infant with horns, while a hooded demonic figure stands guard, and the cover is replete with lilies, skulls and ravens. Editor Jonathan Oliver opens the book with an introduction that talks a little bit about each story. I wish he had w... Read More