Saturday, August 14, 2010

Review: Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing #1)

Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing) by Jason Henderson
Synopsis (From Goodreads): A descendant of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, fourteen-year-old Alex is stuck at boarding school near Lake Geneva, Switzerland, when he finds himself drawn into a web of paranormal intrigue. It turns out that Lake Geneva is also home to a secret school for vampires called the Scholomance—and now to a dangerous vampire clan lord known only as Icemaker, who’s using the Scholomance for his own dangerous endgame. With the help of his friends and of special agent Sangster, it’s up to Alex to fulfill his family destiny and stop Icemaker’s frightening plans once and for all.

Alex Van Helsing is a showstopping hero set to leap off the page—stake, naturally, in hand. Drawing from centuries of actual vampire lore and literature (and with a nod to zombies, too!), Jason Henderson delivers a breathlessly paced thriller that will captivate vampire fans as well as readers who loved Alex Rider.

Jason Henderson has created a unique twist on a legendary character. Alex Van Helsing is a descendant of the legendary Van Helsing, but doesn't know it. All that he knows is that his dad sent him to boarding school because of a fight. Now, he's sharing a room with the resident twin bullies who would rather make his life a living hell. After a series of attacks occur just outside of the school and he chases one of the attackers (something that resembles a vampire), Alex stumbles upon a secret organisation which his father was apparently a member of. He gets drawn into the centre of the action when a dangerous vampire shows up with frightening plans. It's up to Alex along with his friends and Special Agent Sangster to stop these plans and save the world... as long as Alex's father doesn't find out.

Henderson has breathed life into unique characters that jump off the page and Alex has a genuine and interesting voice. There is plenty of action in the pages that will keep you turning to the next, with lots of twists and turns as the story progresses. Some of the action was a bit unrealistic, like how Alex is able to kill a vampire so easily without even training for it, but that can easily be forgiven because it is just a fun story and it really draws the reader in amongst the action

Cover: The cover is interesting. It offers a hint of mystery and introduces the reader to the main character.

Plot: 4/5 stars
Ending: 4/5 stars
Cover: 4/5 stars
Overall: 4/5 stars
Recommend: Alex Rider novels
Debut Author Challenge: #8 of 12


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