Book Review - Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson

Tuesday June 1, 2010

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising
by Jason Henderson
May 1, 2010
Goodreads Summary: 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.

Review: As the summary states Alex Van Helsing is the paranormal version of Alex Rider. A talented kid who is part spy and part Buffy the vampire slayer (except that he is a guy and not a cheerleader :)

Although Alex knows he is a distant relative of the legendary Van Helsing, his father has always rebuffed the somewhat clouded history of the family name saying  "Those types of things just don't happen." So, Alex has always just assumed his father was right...until he gets kicked out of his prep school under mysterious circumstances and sent to Glenarvon Academy. Weird things start happening almost immediately and Alex isn't sure what to think.

Alex is dealing with a lot at his new school including two bullying brothers, a teacher who is hiding a pretty big secret and the fact that he is pretty sure vampires are following him. When two of his friends are kidnapped Alex knows that it might be up to him to save them from the sinister "Icemaker."

With the history of how Mary Shelly came to write the story of Frankenstein and a few other historical figures embedded into the story, I found this read very interesting and action-packed. A secret society of vampire hunters and a school for vampires to learn about, well, being vampires...makes the story even better!

Another read I am excited to recommend to boy readers! Girls will like this story too because there is a possibility of romance to come with Minhi, a friend of Alex's from the neighboring all girls school who happens to be one of the students kidnapped by Icemaker and his evil vampire followers.

A super fun read for 7th grade and up!


Ashley Ziemer said...

Nice review! What an interesting take on the Van Helsing story. I've never heard of this book until your review. It sounds like a perfect read for boys!

SariJ said...

Sounds like a good summer read. I started Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer. It is actually quite entertaining. You may like this as well