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Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,419 ratings  ·  157 reviews
The Van Helsing name reborn

Fourteen-year-old Alex has no idea that he's descended from the world's most famous vampire hunter, but that changes fast when he arrives at Glenarvon Academy and confronts two vampires in his first three days. Turns out Glenarvon isn't the only school near Lake Geneva. Hidden deep underground lies an ancient university for vampires called the Sc
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Harper Teen (first published April 20th 2010)
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Alex Van Helsing #1: Vampire Rising, by Jason Henderson

Readers first meet Alex when he's running through the woods, having heard a scream in the night air. Seconds later he's fighting a vampire, guided by both the instincts of his heritage (yes, his name does mean what you think it does!) and his survival/rescue training. In "Vampire Rising," the action is fast from the start, and never lets up.

Fourteen year old Alex is a newcomer at Glenarvon Academy; he was sent there after an incident at his
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The writing and references are very clever, there are frequent mentions of classic writers and novelists throughout the book and incorporated in the plot, which is to be expected with a name like Van Helsing. The copy that is going around for review has comments from the author in the margins, which is very cool. I loved reading the fun little facts that the author included. There are a lot of references and cultural facts that not everyone, especially yo ...more
I was hooked from the first sentence!

From the very beginning Alex Van Helsing is destined to be a great vampire hunter. Only problem is he doesn’t know it. That changes when he arrives at a private boarding school in Switzerland and weird things begin to happen, like encountering and killing vampires. Things that his father would say, “just don’t happen.” Through a series of events he learns of his ancestral heritage, that of famous vampire hunters and joins forces with the Polidorium to rid th
Jammed packed with adventure and intrigue, Alex Van Helsing is an upcoming series that can be compared to the popular Alex Rider series. My librarian mind went straight to that thought when about halfway through the novel. Only - add in a few vampires and some wooden weaponry.

I must say, I love how this novel throws you right into the action. The first day Alex arrives at his new boarding school, he finds himself in danger and staking his first vampire. It only escalates from there, leaving enou
I thought this book had lots of potential to be pretty good, but it fell a little short for me. I've never been a big fan of third-person narration and this book confirmed why. There was an emotional disconnect with the characters and the story. I hate to write "emotional," because I don't want it to sound like I get all weepy or anything like that every time I read. Nevertheless, I feel that the reader needs to attach themselves to something towards the characters or the story in order to conti ...more
This YA book is more on the level of the Percy Jackson books (i.e. good for the younger crowd). The plot is simple but someone really did their homework with it. Young Alex Van Helsing (no, not THAT Van Helsing according to his father) has been sent to an exclusive all boys boarding school in Geneva Switzerland after something bad happened at his last school but we don’t learn that immediately. The book opens in media res with Alex finding a dead man in the woods and is attacked by a vampire. He ...more
Bitten By Books
My Review:
Fourteen- year old Alex has had weird things happen to him, and has been kicked out of schools with no idea why these things happened to him. His father sends him to Glenarvoun Academy hoping that Alex will not know the truth about himself, that Alex is a descended from the world’s famous vampire hunter, Van Helsing. But that all changes fast when he arrives at Glenarvon, and confronts two vampires in his first three days there. Turns out that there is another school near Lake Geneva,
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. This school doesn't appear to be much better for him since his two roommates harass and bully him. To top that off, Alex begins to get suspicious of the area when he chases a pale person in a white robe into the woods one evening and, with mad skills, kills her. Soon after, he chases another pale person that he finds staring into his dorm ...more
Sarah W
Alex's life is beset by problems. First, he's starting at Glenvaron Academy a few weeks into the school year because he was expelled from his previous school. Second, the Merrill brothers, his brutish roommates, are doing everything in their power to get Alex out of their room. This includes putting a dead mouse in his bead. Third, Alex finds a dead painter lying in the woods when he flees his dormitory for a middle of the night walk. Fourth, he is not alone in the woods with the dead body; he f ...more
Megan Burback
Alex Van Helsing by Jason Henderson was filled with action and a bit of horror. The book centered around a 14 year old boy, Alex Van Helsing, who doesn't know about the `family business'- slaying vampires. He soon learns quickly though, that something strange is going on after getting attacked twice by vampires near his school, Glenarvon. Meanwhile, Alex is trying to figure out why his literature teacher, Mr. Sangster is going out late at night, how to avoid his two roommates, trying to make fri ...more
Vampire Rising is a great supernatural adventure with the sort of protagonist that young adults can look up to and an extremely clever, breathlessly paced plot line that mines existing lore and literature in inventive, startling ways. The identity of the 'big bad' is an awesome reveal, as is his end-game for this volume. Horror geeks and literature buffs will be rewarded by the references and other tidbits that Henderson includes.

Of course, as the first volume in a series, Vampire Rising doesn'
Sarah Miles
Okay, coming back and adding this a few days after reading the book, so it's going to be fairly general. I'd personally rate the book a 3/5, because it didn't really have that grip I look for in stories. But even with not feeling totally in the world, I lost track of time reading it. I think it was just a little too much difference from my age to have the same draw, but it was good. So, I gave it 4/5 stars. It's got a great plot, and there's a lot of stuff that happens during the book. Very acti ...more
3 1/2 stars
Good action and a good story. I like how this book went back to vampires being vampires, and people slaying them to keep the normal population safe.
If you like the Alex Ryder novels you'll probably like this action-packed thriller with vampire villains in place of international criminals.
Jessica B

Vampire Rising sounded like it could have been Maximum Ride - the wings + vampires and a male main character, which sounds great to me since I'm very obviously an action (and Maximum Ride) junkee. But Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising fell flat for me.

The plot was...decent. I followed it, but action scenes would pop out of nowhere along with some new supernatural creature that didn't get a good entry at all and then I'd feel lost. I think this may be a problem wit
From the very beginning Alex Van Helsing is destined to be a great vampire hunter. Only problem is he doesn’t know it. That changes when he arrives at a private boarding school in Switzerland and weird things begin to happen, like encountering and killing vampires. Things that his father would say, “just don’t happen.” Through a series of events he learns of his ancestral heritage, that of famous vampire hunters and joins forces with the Polidorium to rid the world of vampires. Though not the be ...more
Stormi (Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!)
Vampire Rising is the first book in the Alex Van Helsing series and its a good read. I haven't came across a lot of books for boy, though I am sure girls will like this book as well.

It starts off with a bit of action as Alex Van Helsing is in the woods and sees a man being attacked. He doesn't believe in vampires but all of a sudden he finds himself face to face with one and instinct automaticly kick in and tells him what to do.

Alex then has to face fact with the reality and vampires. He is a
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Alex Van Helsing isn't your average teenager. He hails from a strong family of vampire killers and lucky for him, he's carried on his family's unique skills. The only problem is Alex doesn't know any of this until he's sent to a prestigious boarding school in Switzerland where he's not only attacked by a vampire, but he comes to learn about his family's heritage. The things he thought were only found in books, like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, really do exist.

Alex is a character I really enjoyed

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson is a supernatural tale about friendship, bravery, and most importantly, vampires. Alex Van Helsing is a 14 year old teenager who was kicked from his old school in Wisconsin and was sent to Glenarvon academy in Switzerland. By the time Alex was confronted by a few vampires on his first at Glenarvon, he not only realized that there is a huge vampire colony called the Scholomance near his school, but he is an offspring of the great vampire hunter,
I can see kids really liking this one. And I'm sure I'll at least try out book two.

But ... it failed to deliver. Maybe it's just because I finished both The Passage and The Dead-Tossed Waves--within the past two weeks that I was disappointed. They were both REALLY good books. This one ... has potential. But it's not good yet. Didn't really care about Alex (except for, after a confrontation with some bullies, he manages to loop a backpack strap around a door handle and cause the bully to smack hi
Product Details

* Pub. Date: May 2010
* Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
* Format: Hardcover, 256pp
* Sales Rank: 141,189
* Age Range: 12

* ISBN-13: 9780061950995
* ISBN: 0061950998

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 h
This is one of those books that you hope for more than you expect. But expect more than you actually got.
The plot was very simple and straight forward. There wasn't any big twist or turn. The action scenes were decent. Though, Alex kept asking those questions and that got really annoying after awhile.

What's going on? A vampire is trying to kill me. What do you have? Nothing. What do you have? I have me.

Really? Did we really have to read that, like, four times. And we didn't need Alex to say
Leigh Collazo
More MG/YA fiction reviews at


GIVE IT TO: boys ages 11-13


SUMMARY: Alex Van Helsing is not your typical 14-year old boy; as the great-great-great grandson of Abraham Van Helsing, who killed Dracula centuries ago, Alex is destined to follow the family legacy as a vampire hunter. When a powerful vampire kidnaps two of his friends, Alex must venture into Scholomance, a hidden vampire school, to get them back.

I really enjoyed this book. I was a little skeptical at first, because vampire hunters just didn't seem that interesting to me. Right in the beginning, it starts off with action. Alex is attacked twice by vampires - things he were told "don't happen." Next thing he knows, his own teacher seems to be some kind of agent for some kind of organization. And his two new friends are kidnapped by a super powerful vampire.

Loved the characters in this book. Minhi was really cool (plus she's tough), and P
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for

Alex Van Helsing is a normal thirteen-year-old boy, who just so happens to have been shipped off to a school in Switzerland. He also gets a strange itch behind his eyes at the oddest of hours. Not to mention the strange being that he kills outside in the woods surrounding the private school and Lake Geneva on his first night there. Or how it blew up in a cloud of fire and ash when he stabbed it in the chest. Yeah, normal.

When Alex c

Do you enjoy books that are paranormal? If you do then the book Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising is for you. Alex Van Helsing isn’t my favorite book in the world, but it was enjoyable. This book has great action and it’s an easy read, even though the beginning is a little slow. This book is enjoyable because of the action in the plot and the interesting characters; the setting, on the other hand, wasn’t the best.

The setting of the story is very average because there isn’t anything special abou
Two point five stars.

It was pretty good. The plot, the introduction...all good. But, well, it didn't reach my expectations much. It's a good read, vampires and all. And for once, it's not the romance head-over-heels type of vampire fiction.

I like Alex, though he didn't make it on my "crush" list. He's a good protagonist--brave, adrenaline-powered, smart in a battling kind of way, cares for his friends--but honestly, his character's so plain and flat. And sometimes, the opposite: very unstable. A
Vampire Novel 101.
Every novel, whether paranormal or just fantasy, it has its own unique mythology.
The most important role of every author is to make their readers learn the whole mythology of the novel.
This novel has the easiest mythology to learn

It is so simple that you'll think that it is for young readers (Do not misunderstand me, because I love children's books). Everything is basic; no complexity. Very reader friendly.

The chapters are short ad go by fast, but the plo
JG (The Introverted Reader)
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 ow
Erin Forson
Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising
by Jason Henderson
When students at Glenarvan Academy near Lake Geneva begin their study of the Villa Diodati Group of writers they have no idea how much their studies will impact the future. Writers in this group included: Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Godwin,Claire Godwin, and a writer named Polidori, the famous group that made a bet which produced the epic novel, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. But what seems like just another English assig
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I've been writing comics for a long time, and games, and-- well, I write, so there's always *something.* But now I've gotten into modern-day YA novels with the Alex Van Helsing series.
More about Jason Henderson...

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