Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing, #1)” as Want to Read:
Vampire Rising (Alex Van Helsing, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vampire Rising

(Alex Van Helsing #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,660 ratings  ·  170 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,660 ratings  ·  170 reviews

Sort order
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Mar 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sarah W
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, vampires
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
Whimsical Fox Story Teller
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
On this subject of the 5th grade boys' book club I run, my favorite part is finding books that I love and that the boys love. Like this one that I picked for our next book meeting.

ALEX VAN HELSING: VAMPIRE RISING by Jason Henderson (Harper, May 4th, 2010)

What is this book? Well, the best thing I can come up with is ALEX VAN HELSING is what happens when Vladimir Tod meets Percy Jackson. Yes, there are vampires in the books. But from the very first sentence until you set the book down late in the
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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'
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
If you like the Alex Ryder novels you'll probably like this action-packed thriller with vampire villains in place of international criminals.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Bookish Devil
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fast paced adventure which would appeal to the Vampire story lovers

Since it was fact paced, the story took a hit when it came to the nitty gritty details of the narration. I felt that the final few chapters of the book rather looked rushed and had the action sequences been a bit more detailed, it would've registered on my mind quite well. But this minor let down certainly won't tarnish your reading experience. The unexpected twist at the end would certainly leave you wanting for more. Also,
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it

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
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alex Van Helsing is Alex Rider with supernatural creatures instead of spies. It's fast moving with tons of suspense and danger. Alex doesn't realize this family's background and never questioned why his Dad made sure he and all his siblings were trained in so many survival and self-defensive skills. While Alex brings this impressive physical skill set to bear on the problem of the vampires and the kidnapping, he also uses the mental skills he has learned and they are equally as cool. We get look ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Alex has been sent to another boarding school after an incident at the last one. Then, as he's walking through the woods one night (yeah, he breaks the rules sometimes) he hears a scream. He finds a dead body and what appears to be a vampire. Not sure how, he stakes her and watches as she turns to dust. Now Alex starts to wonder if the stories about Van Helsing are true. And if there really are vampires, is he destined to fight them? His friends are kidnapped and he knows he has no choice, he mu ...more
Kim Sheibley
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good book, but there are some things that are not done well. Alex wears contacts, and it must be important at some point in the series, because it is so blatantly inserted into this first book (and not in a good way). Also, it's a little TOO unbelievable that a boy who only a few days ago didn't know that vampires existed would willingly enter a den with hundreds or thousands of vampires. Alex as a main character isn't developed nearly enough.

However, all that said, I still really liked it. I'
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great character development and a suspenseful plot makes this a wonderful read! I was very impressed with this fast and fun read. Our brave hero comes into his own destiny in this book.
Candra Hodge
Ok read

A descendant of abraham van helsing who didn't know he was a descendant. An ok version of a vampire hunter story.
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
Leigh Collazo
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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.

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
May 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2010 added it
Shelves: 2010, cybils
Alex Van Helsing - yes those Van Helsings, athough he does not yet know it - is having a hard time transitioning to life at Glenarvon Academy. His roommates are jerks, he's terribly homesick and, oh, there are vampires chasing him around at night. In no time, he learns that his teacher, Mr. Sangster, works for the Polidorium - a top-secret vampire hunting organization that Alex's father once worked with. Suddenly, his family's philanthropic work and focus on survival skills suddenly makes a lot ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it

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,
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ghost of a Hanged Man
  • Stuck on Earth
  • Little Blog on the Prairie
  • Second Skin
  • First Kill (The Slayer Chronicles, #1)
  • Hurricane
  • Still Sucks to Be Me: More All-True Confessions of Mina Hamilton Smith, Teen Vampire (Sucks to Be Me, #2)
  • Wolf Rider
  • Vanishing Acts
  • Blue Fire (Healing Wars, #2)
  • Payback Time
  • Wolven (Wolven, #1)
  • How to Survive Middle School (How to Survive)
  • Masters of Disaster
  • Stumptown Kid
  • Blood Ninja (Blood Ninja, #1)
  • Double Eagle
  • Cold Case
I've been writing for a long time-- comics, games (like Destiny 2), books-- there's always *something.* But lately I've gotten into modern-day YA novels with the Alex Van Helsing series and now middle grade with the new Young Captain Nemo series.

Other books in the series

Alex Van Helsing (3 books)
  • Voice of the Undead (Alex Van Helsing #2)
  • The Triumph of Death (Alex Van Helsing, #3)