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Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising Hardcover – May 4, 2010
An Action-Packed Retelling of a Classic
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. Hardcover | Kindle book
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From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
But there are such things. Henderson has created a fascinating world of legendary vampires with ties to classic literature, such as Stoker's Dracula, Shelley's Frankenstein and the poet Lord Byron. Alex is a curious and brave kid with a good heart. And young readers will like that his friends have such popular interests as vampires and manga. But the highlight for me was the vampire school Scholomance, which is a mysterious and creepy place full of deadly enemies without a conscience.
It's fresh and fun; and I was completely hooked from the start. A non-stop action and adventure fantasy for young adults, this new series doesn't disappoint. And the secret vampire hunting organization that gives the feeling of a young James Bond novel... with killer vampires. It's a fantastic vampire-slayer series debut for readers of all ages.
Now he's penning a new Alex Van Helsing series for young readers, and it starts off with a bang in Vampire Rising. Admittedly, the Van Helsing name is what initially drew me in. When you think of vampire hunters, Van Helsing has gotta be near the top. Of course, the younger generation is going to think of Buffy first.
But they're also going to think of Alex Rider, the 14 year old 007 created by Anthony Horrowitz that has revitalized the spy genre for young readers. Rider and Van Helsing both have techware that would make any red-blooded young male sit up and take notes.
Interestingly enough, Henderson not only ties the vampire legend to Dracula, but also to Frankenstein, and he's set the series near Lake Geneva, where Mary Shelley first wrote the famous short story that would later become a book that will live on in the annals of horror - oh yeah, literature too.
The literary history captivated me. The story of that weekend where Mary Shelley (then 18 years old), Lord Byron, John Polidori, and Percy Shelley has been mined by several writers, but this is a new twist. The two literary histories, vampirism and Frankenstein, are inextricably bound in this book, and it looks like that's going to be a staple of the series.
Young male readers are going to be entranced by the cornucopia of action Henderson throws into the story.Read more ›
Of course it's not "just a name," and Alex is soon dealing with villains that leave school bullies in the dust. What raises this book above many other YA hero books is the depth of the characters. Alex's friends are real, three-dimensional kids--not stock sidekicks like "geek" or "jock" or "airhead." The adults aren't buffoons or mustache-twirling community theater characters--they're resourceful humans who know how to use their brains. And the vampires live up to the narcissistic amoral mythos begun by Polidori and Stoker.
Whether or not you know vampire fact and fiction from the last few centuries, this book won't disappoint. It takes the vampire and hunter lore and makes it believable for today. I was rooting for Alex before the end of the first chapter. Henderson's imagery and dialogue make the story zip along. He ties up the loose ends of the plot (hooray!) yet gives just enough hints to make me wish the sequel was available RIGHT NOW. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an interesting story. Very good any teen to read. A really different take on Frankenstein and Mary Shelley.Published 17 months ago by Haggielady
Great start to a series. I finished this in one sitting over the fourth. can't wait to read the next in linePublished 22 months ago by R. Araujo
Fast and action packed start to a so far (3) very entertaining series for young male readers. My son is devouring these like he's reading the Percy Jackson novels.Published on January 10, 2013 by WyoDave
Alex Van Helsing has just been transferred from one boarding school in the states to another one in Switzerland because of a fight he had with another student. Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by Sapphyria
On this subject of the 5th grade boys' book club I run, my favorite part is finding books that I love and that the boys love. Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by P. J. Hoover
Jammed packed with adventure and intrigue, Alex Van Helsing is an upcoming series that can be compared to the popular Alex Rider series. Read morePublished on August 8, 2011 by Kristen M. Harvey