Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: May 2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Format: Hardcover, 256pp
  • Sales Rank: 141,189
  • Age Range: 12
Alex Van Helsing has just been moved to a new private boarding school after getting kicked out of his old one.  His new roommates are bullies and he tries very hard not to stay in his room, so he wanders around outside at night.  However, he happens upon a murder in progress.  He catches a woman dressed all in white hovering over the body of a man.  Much to Alex’s surprise, this woman has fangs.  In a twist of fate, Alex ends up accidentally killing this woman (let’s be honest, vampire) in order to save himself from being her next victim.  This starts him on a road of discovering his family’s legacy and about what really happened during the summer in Geneva at the Villa Diodati.  With a Van Helsing, you know there is going to be more vampire slaying and adventure, but how does a young Alex handle things when a very old vampire kidnaps two of his friends?  Read to find out what perilous feats this young Van Helsing will go through to establish himself and save his friends.
This was a surprisingly quick read.  There is a lot of action, which I think helps move the story along.  As a fan of classic literature, I enjoyed the many references to Mary Shelley.  It’s always fun to mix some historical facts in with the action and adventure of vampire slaying.  I think that children as young as 10 would enjoy this novel.  It has some violence, but for the most part is pretty clean of language and adult content.  My favorite part of the novel is when Alex is driving the armored vehicle to attempt a getaway.  It’s hilarious and gets your heart racing as well.  I really enjoyed this book and am going to try to get a few copies because my students were immediately interested as well.  I think the cover art attracts a lot of attention because it reminds students of the cirque du freak titles.
5/5 stars
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  1. I really like the cover too! This sounds like a fun fantasy read – I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks for the great, well-written review!

  2. I reviewed this as well today. I thought the character development needed some work but was an over all enjoyable book.

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