Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson: Book Review

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Cover of Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson

4 Stars

Alex Van Helsing has heard it thousands of times before. Yes, his last name is really Van Helsing. No, not like that Van Helsing. No, he doesn’t kill monsters. To paraphrase his father, that kind of thing doesn’t happen. Except when it does.

What a fun, action-packed story! It begins with Alex running toward a scream in the woods and ends on a very brooding scene that feels like a pause. Which isn’t to say that this book feels incomplete; for the first in the series, it stands very well on its own. I know more is coming, I have one or two questions, but I’m happy with the way things ended.

Alex is the most fully fleshed-out character and I liked him. He’s had some trouble in the past and he’s still having trouble in the present but he’s doing his best. His whole world has just shifted but he’s dealing with it.

The other characters were fun, but they weren’t developed all that well. I am curious about Minhi, Mr. Sangster, and Sid. I hope I’ll learn more about them in other books.

As an older reader, I appreciated the way the classics like Dracula and the background story to Frankenstein were worked in. For younger readers who might not have been exposed to these books yet, the necessary references were explained well and the unnecessary ones were just bonuses for those in the know. There wasn’t really anything new added to the vampire myth, but it was still fun. Kids who haven’t read quite so much will probably love this. There were some gadgets that I even thought were very cool, and I’m not into gadgets!

These vampires are not the seductive, tormented vampires that we’ve seen so much of lately. These guys are baddies through and through. There was nothing too graphic, but it is what it is, so parents of younger children might want to check it out first. I imagine all teens would be fine with it.

I had a lot of fun reading this one and I’ll be looking forward to the next in the series. This is one of those hard-to-find books that would be good for teen boys, but the tougher girls will like it too.

This is being released today!

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  1. I'm reviewing this on tour soon and I can't wait! You review was great! I'm really interested in seeing a new take on vampires and it sounds like this may fit the bill. Great review!

  2. I think this sounds like a fantastic read for everyone! What a fun way to incorporate "older" lore with new lore!

  3. I am sure this book will appeal to guys but girls too love this kind of stuff 🙂 I am sure to pick it up . Douglas Rees too incorporated Dracula in to Vampire High in a similar way..It made the story more fascinating 🙂

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