Laura Lulu's Reviews > Department Nineteen

Department Nineteen by Will Hill
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Mar 15, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: dark, horror, young-adult, vampires
Read from May 01 to 05, 2011 — I own a copy

I think I'm just not the target audience for this book. I don't know who is, maybe a gawky teenage boy? What is the target audience who doesn't care about character development or an engaging story? Zombies, maybe?

This is one of those books that makes me kick myself in the ass for having a bit of the OCD. I can't not finish a book. What if it starts getting awesome in the next chapter, huh?

Yes, I have issues.

I should have known when I posted a status update at page 230, wondering when the story was going to kick it into gear. Yes, I was still wondering this at page 230, because I wasn't even at the halfway point yet. I hate when I don't like a book. But I really hate when I don't like a fatty book. That's like a double waste of my precious reading time.

So, why didn't I like it? Oh, let me count the ways...

* I didn't give a rat's ass about the main character. That's an automatic fail for me--I need to give a shit about this person I'm supposed to be rooting for.

* The characters were all two-dimensional. I need characters that have a bit more substance than a cardboard cutout. The only one with even a smidge of depth was Frankenstein. Yes, Frankenstein. No, not the doctor, the monster. Don't be silly.

* I'm not good at analyzing writing style, so don't ask me to be more specific. All I can say is this book was B-O-R-I-N-G. Yes, there was blood & guts & flying evil vampires all that good stuff. And don't get me wrong, I like blood & guts, but I also need an engaging story to fill in all the little nooks & crannies around the blood & guts. I can't tell you how many passages I had to reread because I processed absolutely nothing I had just read. The descriptive passages were especially prone to make me space out. This would have been a good time to decide to become a skimmer. Alas, the bit of OCD rears it's ugly head again.

* Badass-ery is not an inheritable trait. So you were a puss who got picked on by bullies all your life, but all of a sudden, you're a vampire killing machine? Just because your great-great grandpa was Van Helsing's ass-kicking valet? Whateva.

So if you're a gawky boy who gets picked on by bullies, you might enjoy living vicariously through this boy who learns at 16 that he comes from a long line of ass-kicking vampire hunters. And gets to hang with Frankenstein to boot. Otherwise, skip it.
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Reading Progress

05/04/2011 page 230
43.0% "Still waiting for this story to kick it into gear. Probably not a good sign at page 230. Ugh."

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited May 06, 2011 11:07PM) (new)

:blink: Van Helsing's ass-kicking valet? That is...odd.

P.S: I love the phrase 'fatty book'. Hehehe, SO gonna steal that one.

message 2: by Laura Lulu (last edited May 06, 2011 11:22PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Laura Lulu Lol. I'm just about to start another fatty. I picked it up from the library today, and then waved it in my son's face, saying "Check out this fatty!" Because he has an unnatural fear of books thicker than a pencil.

And my daughter pipes in, "Are you making fun of fat people?!?!?!?" No darling, just fat books. Well, actually, not books either. More your brother and his fear of reading. But I'm glad to see at 8 years old, that I've instilled in you such a good sense of outrage. :)

One of them came home from school one day singing some song they heard on the bus making fun of fat people, and I proceeded to shame them. But I'm happy to see it worked. ;)

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hehehe. She called you out, and she's 8! Woe betide you during the teenage years.

My 4 yr-old's at the innapropriate blurt stage: it all came to a head when he said one day one of his preschool teachers is 'always nice and warm'. Why? 'Because, mama, she's all fat and wrapped up.' Yikes.

Good to know your shaming still has an impact on them!

Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror) Lol, you always make me laugh, Moss.

How old are you, by the way? You've been decidedly secretive.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

@LL: It sounds like you've taught them well, if the fatty book comment got challenged :) Funny thing isn't it, how kids pick up on the fat/thin thing before just about anything else? Yet the most popular kid at my boy's preschool is a little girl who's very chubby (and, I should add, utterly GORGEOUS) but she radiates complete confidence and everyone's drawn to her. It gives me hope for the next generation of women.

@Shannon: I'll never tell! Age is relative, what really matters is how much sex I get a week.*


Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror) Moss wrote: "(*None)"

Booooo. I know the feeling though, since I want NO BABIES.

Laura Lulu Oh, come on Moss, spill the beans. I bet I'm older than you. ;)

Do you just have the 4 year old? That's a fun age, and you're right, it's the age of the unfiltered comment. Lots of good "write it down in the baby book" moments. Then we start developing our filter, and you don't get any of those good, unfiltered comments again until you start going senile. Just ask my dad, who has completely lost his filter. ;)

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Nah, I'll just have to stay an enigma ;) You can toss a coin on whether I'm an overweight Bangladeshi eunuch, or a senior citizen with a fetish for used condoms and cheese.

Yes, we have a lot of unfiltered comments floating around chez Moss. Most of them from significant other, who brings the inappropriate like a Borat tsunami.

message 10: by Matt (last edited Sep 10, 2013 07:40AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Matt You just managed to outline every problem I'm having with this book (I'm reading it now). It especially annoys me how naive Jamie is, not to mention how immature he is. I have no idea how this kid is supposedly suited to being a Department 19 agent.

Laura Lulu I know, right?

I was just checking out your faves shelf and I'm going to have to try a few of those, since I also loved Unwind & The Knife of Never Letting Go.

So see? I do like YA with teenage male protags--just not this one.

message 12: by Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror) (last edited Apr 19, 2012 04:35PM) (new)

Shannon (formerly The Holy Terror) Laura Lulu wrote: "So see? I do like YA with teenage male protags--just not this one."

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1) by Kendare Blake

^ you should check out that one.

(Oh, and hi! How come you commented on this new notification and nothing else ... ? Traitor!)

Laura Lulu I'm a fickle bitch. Duh.

message 15: by Alicia (new) - added it

Alicia Yay someone else who didn't like this book!

Kooby WowWWWWWWW seriously you just gotta persevere

message 17: by Kadi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kadi P Actualy I loved the book and being a teen girl I don't think I was the intended audience either. But the balance between between action and dialogue was just perfect. And I love it. It's okay everyone can have different opinions haha!

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