Book Review: Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising, by Jason Henderson

Alex Van Helsing is only fourteen, but has already been kicked out of his previous school for fighting. And not long after arriving at Switzerland’s Glenarvon Academy, he has made enemies of his roommates and is attacked by a vampire while walking alone near school grounds. Still, Alex has no clue he is a descendant of Bram Stoker’s famous Van Helsing vampire slayer. After all, Alex’s father has told him time and time again that there are no such things.

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.


Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising will release from HarperTeen Books on May 4, 2010.

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