“its cool just like his great great granpa van helsing”Diablo wrote this review Friday, November 19, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“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 friends with Sid, Paul and Minhi (a girl who kicks ass, literally), and he is trying to help defeat an evil vampire, Icemaker.
This book was a page turner, and an interesting read but I can't say that I really liked this book. In some parts of the book the writing was choppy and didn't flow very well. It also wasn't the type of book that you HAD to keep reading or you'd pull out all your hair and beat up anyone who comes between you and your book. It was an average, ok, book. Nothing special, but nothing really terrible about it. (Although I have to applaud the author for putting so much detail into the action scenes.)I would recommend Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising to anyone who is looking for a quick and interesting read, but not a book that would blow their minds.
“A cute story of modern day Vampires and the descendants of the origional Van Helsing who fought Dracula. I enjoyed this book alot it was a really fun read and i can't wait to read more about our main character an unknowing descendant of Van Helsing named Alex who after going to a new private school gets more monsters that he thought to not exist than he bargained for. ”Bridie B wrote this review Monday, September 27, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good boy book. Lots of action and humor and the story moves very quickly. The characters are likeable and people that teens are likely to identify with. Nice start to the series.”Dolores S wrote this review Tuesday, August 24, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Fantastic! Book 1 of a planned trilogy, the well-researched text has a great connection to _Dracula_. The adventure is fast-paced with excellent characterizations. Star-reviewed in "School Library Journal," and I agree that young adults will love it! You will enjoy the author's website: www.jasonhenderson.com
Congratulations to Jason Henderson for having this book named to the newTexas Lone Star list!”
“haha, funny. ”Jinx Lirin *Summer!!!!* wrote this review Wednesday, July 21, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“so far it rocks!!!!”October I wrote this review Monday, July 19, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“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 last boarding school. There are a few interesting people at Glenarvon, my favorite being Mr. Sangster - a no nonsense literature teacher who loves Shelley's
"Frankenstein." But before he has a chance to settle in at his new school, Alex is embroiled in a deadly mess of secret organizations, vampires, demons, and life-or-death situations.
There's a lot to like about "Vampire Rising." It's a book aimed at teenage boys, and one I think is good for fans of "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" or "Harry Potter." And while intended for boys, girls will like this too, especially the strong female character Minhi. As I said before, the author keeps the action very thick and fast, with Alex rushing from one perilous situation to the next. There are a few things I found unrealistic, but then I'm above the intended age for the book.
However, there were enough things I really liked that kept me glued to the pages, from the vampire school Scholomance, to Mr. Sangster, to the inclusion of "Frankenstein." I enjoyed how Henderson used history and literature as an integral part of the story; hopefully this will encourage readers to try some classics. I personally plan on doing some research into the Haunted Summer that led to the writing of "Frankenstein." The Polidorium (vampire hunting organization) was well thought out, and I'm eager to learn more about it and the Van Helsing Foundation. I laughed when I thought of vampires looking for non-smoking roommates; I would have liked to see more of Scholomance - hopefully it will show up in later books?
I'm between 3 and 4 stars for "Vampire Rising," but I'll go with 4 since I have thought about it a few times since reading. I'll be looking for more adventures of Alex Van Helsing.
“ Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for TeensReadToo.com
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 catches his English professor sneaking out on a motorcycle late at night, just as another one of those things - things that don't exist, according to his father - nearly kills him, he decides to investigate. More of those things wait in the woods, on motorcycles just like his teacher. Alex barely escapes death again...until his teacher takes him into a secret base known as the Polidorium, where he finds out the truth about vampires - and his last name's legacy.
Characters are important. Characters are half the reason I read a book, period. If I don't like them, then there is an issue. Especially because I like most characters. But the ones in Alex Van Helsing....They don't work well for older teens. Alex is funny and fairly smart for a male protagonist, and I like that. His friends are, of course, the nerds with cool ideas and quirks. One is also bigger than the average boy, the other is lankier and slightly more intelligent. And he meets a girl - Minhi - Minnie, but with an 'h'. And she kicks major ass. Not the most original characters, they have an air of immaturity about them that makes them more for a late-middle school crowd than an older YA, which is partially why I never warmed up to them.
I did like Minhi, though - her knowledge of a form of martial arts combined with a love of shojo Manga and an Indian (country, not the politically incorrect term Americans use for Native Americans) heritage makes for a fun read. Too bad she is kidnapped and not around for much of the action. The main villain gave me issues, too...mostly because I had an image of him before the book, and it didn't meld well with how he was pictured as a vampire. Even if vampirism changes the people, it just didn't work for me.
The premise is one thing that is great about this book, despite my qualms with action-oriented plot. I can't read action. And really, the action part isn't the most well thought out. Though I enjoyed how Alex has contact troubles and the resulting flub-ups with them. As someone with contacts, I felt his pain. The really enjoyable side of the premise is the mythos. The school's location at Lake Geneva has a brilliant, and for me, great purpose.
Vampires in this world have a deep history, but the ones centering in this book connect to the party of writers at the villa alongside Lake Geneva. If that doesn't ring a bell, think of a contest involving Mary Shelley, John Polidori, and Lord Byron, with two others, including Shelley's half-sister, Claire. As a fan of random facts, I loved this connection, and the clues involving Frankenstein were fabulous and creative, and more than made up for the slower parts.
The writing is standard fare. Nothing bad, nothing that I would scream about. Though it goes by pretty fast. I actually liked the ending as well, at least in terms of the cliffhanger. I actually want to keep reading despite my action-novel reservations. And the little romance going on between Minhi and someone else was surprising. I'm always up for a pairing like that; the hero doesn't always get the amazing girl. Especially if she's the only one around a group of testosterone-flooded teenage males.
While I wouldn't say this is a great book for me, if you're a middle grade reader or more of an action-adventure lover, then this will work out better for you. Me, I love characters and premise, so it just didn't flow. If I had known this was more intended towards the younger part of YA, I would have came in with different expectations, and possibly a better outlook. It rates an average for me, but I will be on the lookout for the coming books, if only because the cliffhanger involving the villain was just good enough to make me want more.”