Read Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson Online

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The Van Helsing name rebornFourteen-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 ScThe Van Helsing name rebornFourteen-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 Scholomance. And the deadly vampire clan lord known as Icemaker? You might say he's a visiting professor.When two of Alex's friends are kidnapped by Icemaker, it's up to Alex to infiltrate the Scholomance and get them back--alive. Assisted by the Polidorium, a top-secret vampire-hunting organization with buried ties to the Van Helsings, Alex dodges zombies, bullets, and lots--and lots--of fangs on his way to thwarting Icemaker's plans and fulfilling his family destiny....

Title : Vampire Rising
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061950995
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 249 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Vampire Rising Reviews

  • Leeanna
    2019-04-04 18:04

    Alex Van Helsing #1: Vampire Rising, by Jason HendersonReaders 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. 4/5.

  • Monica
    2019-04-20 10:28

    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 young adults might not understand. The plot also moves a bit slow in the beginning and then speeds to hyper-speed the rest of the book, it moves just a tad too fast to for the story line. The idea of the character is great as is Alex, I think he is very cool, I would be his friend.I like this new thing among authors, whether intentional or not, to include references to some of the world's classics. I think that if teens see some of these books in their modern favorites it will inspire them to give them a try outside the classroom. I just read an article about the impact from the mentioning of Wuthering Heights in Twilight has had on sales of Wuthering Heights. It makes me want to clap and cheer. I hope the trend continues. Pretty good, quick read.

  • Kristen
    2019-04-07 14:06

    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 enough room for friendly introductions to Alex's human friends and enemies and then throws you right back into the action.This is a book for when you really need something that moves quickly and involves paranormal elements. It was a quick read and definitely more of a middle grade audience - just like the Alex Rider series.

  • Stacy
    2019-03-23 15:34

    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 the world of vampires.I like reading stories that are based on historical events and especially ones that add supernatural twists to them. This story is rooted on the infamous party at Villa Diodati, where Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and John William Polidori (among others I assume) passed the time by scaring each other with spooky tales and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Though Dracula was not born out of that well-known party, it adds the flare to the story.Alex is an extremely likable character, with cool survival skills. I mean, at fourteen he can kill a vampire, single-handedly, with only crude weapons. He is also extremely instinctual; he can come up with plans within seconds after a problem arises. I think of him as the Macgyver of vampire hunters. Though, I would have liked to see/hear more of his emotions, his internal struggles. The other characters in the book seemed like major secondary characters, with the exception of Sangster. Sangster was one of his professors from his school, who used his position at the school as a front for his real job. We don’t learn much about him, but enough to know that he is tough and there is more to him than meets the eye.The book is well equipped with witty one-liners, down to earth yet nerdy friends and a girl that could possible be a love interest…for someone.I like the cover, though the green light at the bottom reminds me more of aliens and science fiction than a vampire fantasy book. I give this book 3.5 out of STACKSclick here to see my interview with Jason!

  • Sarah W
    2019-04-11 13:34

    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 finds himself under attack by a female creature that might be a vampire.Shaken by what happened, Alex goes back to school. He soon finds himself a date for fight with the Merrill brothers in the nearby village of Secheron. He moves out of their room before the fight and into that of his two new friends Sid and Paul. At the fight, Alex is saved from a thorough beating by Minhi, who goes to the all girls' school across the lake. Even with new friends and a new room, Alex's life doesn't settle down to where his only concerns are battling his painful contacts, dealing with headaches and reading Frankenstein for class. Instead, he's finding out about an organization known as the Polidorium, an organization to which his teacher Mr. Sangers belongs. It seems that unlike what Alex's father says "such things do happen" and there is more to the family surname than a coincidental sharing with a Dracula character. The tension escalates with the kidnapping of Paul and Minha.This was an action-packed adventure book. At times witty, the story and characters were a diverting read. The sequel is due out in 2011.

  • Whimsical Fox Story Teller
    2019-03-30 17:32

    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, hidden deep underground an ancient University for vampires called the Scholomance. And the deadly vampire clan lord known as Icemaker. When two of his friends are kidnapped by Icemaker, it’s up to Alex to infiltrate the Schoolmance and get them back- alive.. Assisted by the Polidorium, a top secret vampire hunting organization with buried ties to the Van Helsings. Alex dodges zombies, bullets, and lots and lots of fangs, on his way to thwarting Icemaker’s plans and fulfilling his family’s destiny...... My Thoughts: -I love how Henderson created a fascinating world of vampires, and used the legendary vampires we know and love and ties it with the classic literature stories, such as Stoker's Dracula, Shelley's Frankenstein and the poet Lord Byron. -I also enjoyed Alex’s curious and brave character, but most of all.. I love the mysterious and creepy vampire school Scholomance, that was full with deadly vampire enemies, and around every corner was a secret to uncover. This book definitely caught my curiosity level, and I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series and more.. So was this a enjoyable book? YES! And should you go pick up a copy and read it? YES! So there you go.. -I definitely recommended this book to any Van Helsing and vampire fans will enjoy this book...-And I give this book 5/5 stars...

  • P.J.
    2019-04-17 17:18

    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 night, there is non-stop action, adventure, and a huge dose of vampire mythology. I can already see the movie in my mind.Five reasons you (or your kid) should read ALEX VAN HELSING:1) You like young adult books, but you prefer those on the younger end of the scale where heavy romance, bad words, and sexual innuendos have not yet taken over. ALEX VAN HELSING was totally appropriate for 5th grade boys.2) You love a hero that doesn't automatically know everything. Alex learns along with the rest of us, and I adore his innocent nature.3) You liked Percy Jackson and are looking for other great books for boys. That said, girls will equally enjoy this series!4) You think Jason Henderson is cool and enjoy listening to his wacky podcast. Wait, you don't listen? What better time to start than now?5) You like edge-of-your-seat action and heroes that take big chances with big consequences.So what are you waiting for? Seriously! Highly recommended!Source of book: Purchased

  • Heather
    2019-03-25 11:20

    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 continue reading or to want to read more.I'm a huge fan of SciFi-fantasy. In this book, I can't help thinking some of the content was a bit ridiculous. I sort of had to roll my eyes at a few parts. Plus, I've never had this happen before, but I seriously heard "dundundun" when a certain part came up in the book, like one of those old mystery movies and that music comes on. I had to crack up...In my opinion, Jason Henderson really tried to make the dialogue sound like Buffy the Vampire Slayer (you know, when she would get all snarky when slaying vampires), but come on, there was only one Buffy and I loved her. So, sorry Henderson, your attempt failed. At least, if that was who you were really trying to emulate. This book did have a few action sequences that teen-boys would probably love though. I liked the action parts better than anything else in this book. At least I had that...

  • David
    2019-03-22 16:32

    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't delve as deeply into Alex and his friends as it could, but readers are given enough tantalizing hints at their complexities to make the prospect of exploring their personalities in future books a major selling point. I'm particularly interested in learning more about (and meeting) the Van Helsing family and discovering what Sangster's big secret might be. The only downside to the brisk pacing and shorter length is that the behavior of Minhi and Paul during the rescue scene occasionally strains credulity, but seeds have been laid earlier that help the reader swallow the idea that they'd keep their composure to that extent. And frankly this is a minor issue. Overall, this title is more respectful of lore, tradition and geekdom than most other YA vampire novels I've read, and my hat goes off to Henderson for a job well done.On to book 2!

  • Callie
    2019-03-22 16:29

    If you like the Alex Ryder novels you'll probably like this action-packed thriller with vampire villains in place of international criminals.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-25 12:28

    3 1/2 starsGood 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.

  • Natalie
    2019-04-15 14:06

    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 must charge into the lair of vampires and save his friends.An interesting premise and story. The story waivers a little, but the action is solid and pretty believable. No romance here, just vampire hunting and plenty of it.

  • Angela
    2019-03-30 11:31

    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 looks into Alex's mind as, in the midst of a crisis, he assesses himself and the situation. When trapped in a vampire's grip he asks himself "What do I have? What can I use?" I found this analysis and the fact that Alex's mental skills and his abilities (such as knowing archery) saved him rather than luck or guns. I appreciated that he wasn't just a cartoon agent using karate or other mad fighting skills to defeat vampires. He's cool and badass but not unbelievable. He hooks up with a great secret organization and a sort of mentor, all behind his Van Helsing father's back. Dad may be out of the family business, but Alex is all in. But the story isn't all Alex's. He has some great friends who are smart and have skills of their own. One very interesting thing about the story is how so much of it comes from clues in the preface of one of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein editions. I won't spoil any of it here, but it was very neat and inventive of the author. I'm now dying to read the next one but my library and local used bookstore (where I picked this one up) doesn't have it. Never fear, this is what interlibrary loan and Amazon are for, because I've got to have it. Alex is now an addiction.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-03-23 15:16

    Reviewed by John Jacobson aka "R.J. Jacobs" for TeensReadToo.comAlex 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.

  • Alyssa
    2019-04-17 16:31

    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 about it. It takes place in modern-day England in the suburbs at Glenarvon Academy, a boarding school. This book also takes place in a forest, where vampires start to appear. These parts of the setting were typical because a lot of other books have settings like it. Some examples are Harry Potter and Twilight. Those books both have a forest and a school as part of the setting. In my opinion, the most interesting part of the setting is the Scholomance, a school for new vampires. This was quite unique. I have never read a book that has a vampire school like it. The characters of Alex Van Helsing were very interesting. Each of them had their own unique personalities and interests. Most of the characters also seemed very realistic because of their personal traits and interests.The most important characters in the story are Alex and Mr. Sangster. Alex is very brave and without knowing it, has been trained to fight vampires all his life. I really like that Alex is the hero of the story. His traits of being brave and strong fit him well and I could imagine doing the same things he did throughout the story. Mr. Sangster, on the other hand, seems very cool and understanding. He probably has these traits because of the line of work he’s in. Mr. Sangster is a teacher during the day and a vampire hunter at night. Also I would love to have Mr. Sangster as a teacher because of all the neat things he could teach me. Alex’s friends add to the story a lot, they are so understanding and loyal to Alex. One of Alex’s friends is Sid. He’s obsessed with vampires. That's pretty much all he talks and reads about. Another one of Alex’s friends is Minhi. She knows Kung Fu and is really good at it. Finally Paul is connected with Alex and Sid at school. His personality is really hard to figure out, but he’s a good friend to Alex. I feel all these character besides Paul are good friends to Alex. They seem like they’ll stick by his side no matter what. Icemaker, the leader of all vampires, was introduced to Alex: “That was the arriving caravan of a clan lord, a big boss, that we call Icemaker.” He seems very smart and alert, qualities necessary as the leader of vampires, so when he senses attacks from vampire hunters he can easily make a plan to divert the attack. Icemaker is definitely the villain of this story. Whenever he was about to do something it was like I just wanted to know what he was going to do next. I’m so glad that Alex didn’t end up being captured by him. Parts of the story had so much action that you could visualize the scenes and feel what the characters were going through. This comes to life at the climax of the story, when Alex infiltrates the Scholomance to save Paul and Mihni from Icemaker, who was planning to use them for a ceremony as sacrifices. It is also true when Alex gets caught in a vampire fight and learns of his destiny when Mr. Sangster tells him that Alex’s father has been preparing him his entire life to be a vampire hunter by saying, “He’s been preparing you. All your life. Self-Defense. Mountain rescue. Whether he likes it or not, he knows what you’re going to be.”Even though the setting wasn’t the greatest, the characters had a lot of spunk in them and the plot was full of action. Overall, I definitely enjoyed it. I thought this book was a good fiction story that showed a different angle on vampires, since vampire books are usually focused on vampires themselves instead of vampire hunters. Also, since this book is a trilogy, it’s safe to say that that I would read more books in the series.

  • Leigh Collazo
    2019-03-23 16:28

    More MG/YA fiction reviews at http://readerpants.blogspot.com RECOMMENDED FOR: MSGIVE IT TO: boys ages 11-13 OVERALL RATING: RecommendedSUMMARY: 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. WHAT I LIKED: What is it about Lord Bryon? Vampire Rising is the second book I've read IN A ROW that features Lord Byron (yes THAT Lord Byron) as an immortal vampire interacting with modern-day teenagers. What are the odds? (The other book was Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.) What The DaVinci Code does for The Last Supper, Vampire Rising does for Frankenstein and Dracula. While studying Frankenstein in college, I heard the story of the night that Mary Shelley and her friends (including Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron) sat around one night making up ghost stories. Henderson uses this introduction to Frankenstein as a basis for the story of how Dracula slayer Abraham Van Helsing's great-great-great grandson continues the vampire-hunting legacy. I kept wondering where the lines of history and fantasy meet--what is true and what is fabricated? Really, such a cool concept.With all his contact-lens trouble, bully woes, and unintended troubles in school, Alex Van Helsing is a character that many young readers will relate to. Uninformed about his family's vampire-hunting legacy, Alex must figure out this vampire stuff right along with the reader. Bullies Merrill & Merrill get progressively worse, and young readers who are encountering the same problem will identify with Alex's attempts to avoid them. And can I just say, thank you, thank you, thank you to Jason Henderson for making a literature teacher a motorcycle-riding, kick-ass vampire slayer. You have just upped the cool factor of book nerds everywhere.WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Action-packed with plenty of fighting scenes, Vampire Rising will appeal to boys easily, but I think girls will be a little harder to sell. It's refreshing to read about bloodthirsty, non-sparkly vampires, but many of my girls still want steamy vampire romances. Also, what Vampire Rising has in its action scenes, it lacks in character development. Readers know virtually nothing about Sangster, Sid, Paul, and Minho. The sequel Voice of the Undead was just released this week, so maybe these characters will gain some personality in the next book.CONTENT:Language: noneSexuality: noneViolence: medium; lots of vampire fighting scenes; vampires drinking bloodDrugs/Alcohol: noneSTATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have it, and since it is on the Texas Lone Star list for 2011-2012, it will be popular in the library this school year.

  • Cornerofmadness
    2019-03-20 13:18

    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 dusts her by accident.Another appears at his school the next night but Alex is half refusing to believe it’s real because his father insists stuff like that is only in the movies. He has more immediate concerns. He’s been housed with Steve and Bill Merrill who are out to make his life miserable up to and including setting up a time for a schoolyard fight. Alex does have friends, Paul a larger British boy and Sid, the vampire aficionado. They’re even studying vampires and Frankenstein in their literature class ran by Mr. Sangster. Also plaguing Alex is the fact that he can’t get used to his new contacts (a point that gets rather belabored).At the scheduled beat down, Alex is helped by Minhi, a Hindu girl who has studied Martial Arts. Later he gets invited with Paul and Sid to a performance at her all-girl school but before that can happen, more vampires attack and it turns out one of the teachers is actually a member of the Polidorium, a secret society of vampire hunters and that he is stunned that Alex, while heavily trained in sports, mountain climbing and rescue, is completely unaware of the society in spite of his parents former involvement. Alex is caught between wanting in on the monster hunting and not upsetting his parents but when things go badly at the performance and the Icemaker, a vampire lord, seems to be winning, Alex has to make a choice.Over all, the story is fun. Alex and his friends are likeable enough though a bit of a trope at this point. There can certainly be many parallels drawn between this and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I did like that Henderson obviously knows a lot about vampire literature and creates a slightly AU history for John Polidori (and one I hope gets readers to do their own exploring in this area). Polidori was, as far as modern literature teachers are concerned, was a bit of a hanger on of Lord Byron and Shelley. He was present at the Haunted Summer where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. A few years later he was ostracized from their group, destitute and did write one of the very first vampire stories, which is considered a scathing look at Lord Byron’s user personality. In this story, Polidori allowed himself to be bowdlerized, faked his own death and became a monster hunter. I’d read the next one in the series.

  • Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
    2019-04-07 15:15

    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 getting to know. He's smart, he's instinctive, and when he's faced with the unthinkable he doesn't show fear or back down. Plus he has some made skills and can kill a vampire by himself. There's also some great supporting characters around Alex who play some big roles in the story and I liked how they developed over the course of the book. Aside from Alex, I really liked his professor Mr. Sangster. I enjoyed the twist on his character and loved the bigger role he plays in Alex's life. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Alex's friends Paul, Sid and Minhi and seeing what will happen with them as the series progresses. There's also some great paranormal characters that include the vampires, a unique kind of zombies which play a very minor rule in the story, and there's the mention of werewolves.One of favorite things about the story is the historical mentions. I absolutely love it when authors add historical references to their books and then give them a creative spin to add something unique to their story. Jason did just that with his mentions of the Villa Diodati group, which consisted of few well known writers like Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Byron's doctor friend John William Polidori, whom are all apart the story's history. One of the most intriguing aspects of the story is the way Jason integrated Mary Shelley's famous story Frankenstein in Alex Van Helsing. This not only created a rich back story, but it provided the story with some key elements and a great historical setting.I really enjoyed this book. It was an engaging, fun, quick read. There's humor, classical references, down to earth and enjoyable characters and of course some great vampire hunting, butt kicking scenes. Now I can see why Alex Van Helsing made the Texas Lone Star List. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Voice of the Undead. This is a clean cut book I'd recommend to older middle grade and YA readers.

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-08 11:17

    Product Details * Pub. Date: May 2010 * Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers * Format: Hardcover, 256pp * Sales Rank: 141,189 * Age Range: 12 * ISBN-13: 9780061950995 * ISBN: 0061950998Alex 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 hovering over the body of a man. Much to Alex's surprise, this woman has fangs. In a twist of fate, Alex ends up accidentally killing this woman (let's be honest, vampire) in order to save himself from being her next victim. This starts him on a road of discovering his family's legacy and about what really happened during the summer in Geneva at the Villa Diodati. With a Van Helsing, you know there is going to be more vampire slaying and adventure, but how does a young Alex handle things when a very old vampire kidnaps two of his friends? Read to find out what perilous feats this young Van Helsing will go through to establish himself and save his friends.This was a surprisingly quick read. There is a lot of action, which I think helps move the story along. As a fan of classic literature, I enjoyed the many references to Mary Shelley. It's always fun to mix some historical facts in with the action and adventure of vampire slaying. I think that children as young as 10 would enjoy this novel. It has some violence, but for the most part is pretty clean of language and adult content. My favorite part of the novel is when Alex is driving the armored vehicle to attempt a getaway. It's hilarious and gets your heart racing as well. I really enjoyed this book and am going to try to get a few copies because my students were immediately interested as well. I think the cover art attracts a lot of attention because it reminds students of the cirque du freak titles.5/5 stars

  • JG (The Introverted Reader)
    2019-03-20 17:11

    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 own. I know more is coming, I have one or two questions, but I'm happy with the way things ended. Alex is the most fully fleshed-out character and I liked him. He's had some trouble in the past and he's still having trouble in the present but he's doing his best. His whole world has just shifted but he's dealing with it.The other characters were fun, but they weren't developed all that well. I am curious about Minhi, Mr. Sangster, and Sid. I hope I'll learn more about them in other books. As an older reader, I appreciated the way the classics like Dracula and the background story to Frankenstein were worked in. For younger readers who might not have been exposed to these books yet, the necessary references were explained well and the unnecessary ones were just bonuses for those in the know. There wasn't really anything new added to the vampire myth, but it was still fun. Kids who haven't read quite so much will probably love this. There were some gadgets that I even thought were very cool, and I'm not into gadgets!These vampires are not the seductive, tormented vampires that we've seen so much of lately. These guys are baddies through and through. There was nothing too graphic, but it is what it is, so parents of younger children might want to check it out first. I imagine all teens would be fine with it.I had a lot of fun reading this one and I'll be looking forward to the next in the series. This is one of those hard-to-find books that would be good for teen boys, but the tougher girls will like it too.

  • Lucia
    2019-04-20 11:23

    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 Paul and Sid were amusing. Loved Alex. He seems like a good guy. He's funny, and I would like to be his friend. At least, I definitely don't want to be his enemy. He can kill things pretty well. Also really liked Sangster. He's just, you know, your typical literature teacher that also hunts vampires and is a secret agent for a top-secret monster hunting organization. While the book started off fast, it kind of slowed down after that, but near the end it rushed by so fast. Sadly, I never read any of the classics mentioned in this book, so half the time I got a little confused by all the authors and books mentioned. I'm sure older readers would enjoy all the classical references in this one. What I really liked about this book was how the vamps weren't sexy, attractive, sparkling, inhuman beings that you fell in love with. They were actually what they were originally written as. Monsters. I also really liked the secret agent stuff. I've always been into James Bond type things. I compared this book right from the beginning to the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, another of my favorites. Percy Jackson and Ranger's Apprentice lovers will like this book, just like I did. It was a fun, adventurous read that I ate up and made me want more.

  • Sapphyria
    2019-03-31 10:25

    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 room. There isn't anyway his last name is synonymous with vampires....right? Wrong, actually.This is a family trait that Alex's father has conveniently denied throughout Alex's whole upbringing.When one of Alex's friends, and Mihni, the girl who "saves" Alex from a fight initiated by his roommates, get kidnapped by Icemaker, head vampire of the underwater lair of Scholomance, Alex and his teacher Mr. Sangster jump into rescue mode. Sangster is an agent in secret group that hunts vampires and not just a teacher at the boarding school. And, to Alex's surprise, this is the organization that Alex's father is a former member of. This YA novel was full of action, whether it was Alex avoiding his roommates and their bullying ways, or trying to rescue his friends from the head Vamp, Icemaker. There were literary references to Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," and Lord Byron, a poet that gave the novel a unique twist on vampires; the undead man, the myth, the legend. The book flowed well through most parts and will definitely keep the interest of lovers of young adult novels about vampires. I enjoyed reading the book from start to finish.(Borrowed from the library)

  • nicole
    2019-04-10 16:04

    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 sense. Will Alex be able to fulfill his family destiny and take on the deadly vampire, Icemaker?I couldn't tell you. I only made it a little further than the Cybils-requested 50 page requirement.It's not that the book is bad. I've inherited a school library collection that could do with some updated adventure stories for my middle grade boys and would probably add this to our book request list. And sure, I don't mind reading paragraphs devoted to Alex fiddling with his contacts and being completely ignorant of the fact he is one of those Van Helsings after repeatedly running into things that go bump in the night.In the end, what made me realize it would never make my shortlist was the villian. Or rather, this exchange with the villian:They were gone.Alex fell to his knees.Sangster reached Alex's side. "Minhi and Paul?""Yes," Alex groaned. "What about Sid?""He's safe. He's inside." Sangster stepped back, surveyed the wall of ice. "Look!"Alex rose and staggered back to read the words carved into the icy wall.WELCOME TO THE COLD.Really?! You're going to kidnap the girl on the first interaction between good guy and bad guy and all that's all the villian has to say?! Book closed.

  • Mark
    2019-03-24 10:19

    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, Abraham Van Helsing. When Alex’s two friends were kidnapped by “Icemaker”, the chief vampire, it is up to Alex and the Polidorium (vampire hunting agency) to find the Scholomance, rescue Alex’s friends, and stop Icemaker’s monstrous plans.Henderson has delivered a “fun” and good read in Alex Van Helsing. This was a very fast past book which I prefer, but I felt that it was a little rushed at times which made the story structure feel kind of awkward. The plot was good, but it felt a little corny at times. I would say that this book is more geared to guys, but girls can kinda relate to it. This book had surprised me at times and had kept me wondering what would happen next and motivated me to push forward.My rating of Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising would be 3 out of 5 stars because the book was fun to read, but was kind of cliché. I wouldn’t say that this book is bad, but its not great. Its adequate. The genre of this book is an action/adventure book. It has some mystery and suspense in the plot but thats about it. I would recommend this book if you prefer this genre and you have an interest in vampire books, otherwise this book may not be for you.

  • Miyong
    2019-03-26 11:21

    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. And the rest of the casts have fluctuating personalities too, except for perhaps a handful.The book started out great, really. It got me hooked so quickly it felt nice. But it did disappoint me, though very little compared to other books I've read.Besides the characters' personality defects, Jason Henderson's narration sometimes confuses me, especially during action and descriptive moments. It's either I end up not imagining the place, human, creature, whatever (in short just almost skipping through the sentences) or I keep rereading but barely manage to get the details in my head. And one more thing. He italicizes words too much. Sometimes I think it's not even needed, but he does anyway.This series, currently, is not on my "worth-buying" list. I'll have to check the second book and see if the writing improves. Though it's not completely worth buying (except for the handsome boy on the cover), it's worth a read. Not the best, but still worth a try.

  • Max
    2019-03-22 17:16

    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 best vampire book I've ever read, it was fun, especially because the vampires are the bad guys. Alex Van Helsing is related to the Van Helsings, except he doesn't know it. One of favorite things about the story is the historical mentions. I absolutely love it when authors add historical references to their books and then give them a creative spin to add something unique to their story. Jason did just that with his mentions of the Villa Diodati group, which consisted of few well known writers like Lord Byron, Mary Shelley and Byron's doctor friend John William Polidori, whom are all apart the story's history. One of the most intriguing aspects of the story is the way Jason integrated Mary Shelley's famous story Frankenstein in Alex Van Helsing. This not only created a rich back story, but it provided the story with some key elements and a great historical setting. What I really liked about this book was how the vamps weren't sexy, attractive, sparkling, inhuman beings that you fell in love with. They were actually what they were originally written as. Monsters.

  • Tasha
    2019-03-21 14:06

    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 this doesn't happen or this did happen ten times either. Another thing, they never explained what was so special about being a Van Helsing. Yeah, so he's related to the Vampire hunter from Dracula and he gets a feeling anytime he's near a monster, but he never did feel that special.Alex, as a character, wasn't anything special, either. He just felt like a typical fourteen-year-old. The supporting characters were just that, supporting characters. They never took the spotlight and they never really got my interest. The best thig I can say about the characters is that they fit what the story is. It's about Alex fighting Vampires and even though Alex wasn't great, he was the main character. The book wasn't bad and it has potenal. Will I read the next one? Yeah, if the library has it. Like I said before, I had a lot higher hopes for this than I got and I just wish it got a little closer to my hopes then it did.Originally posted at http://paranormalsisters.blogspot.com/

  • Kevin
    2019-04-04 12:18

    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 learnWRITING STYLE: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. PACE:The chapters are short ad go by fast, but the plot is not in sync with the chapters. I think what Mr. Henderson is trying to do is to not make his readers bored. And I say it works. CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:Simple. Nothing much happens here, but Mr. Henderson will give you bits of the character to help you understand what is going on. PLOT:Very simple. It's like a Disney movie where you will see everything coming, but I will give it to the author that the ending is very nice. MY VERDICT:If you feel like exploring the paranormal genre, try this. Very basic and you might like it, especially that the mythology is very easy to learn. RATING BREAKDOWN:WRITING STYLE: +1 STAR(S) PACE: NO STAR(S) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: NO STAR(S)PLOT: +1 STAR(S) MY VERDICT: +1 STAR(S)

  • Cheree Smith
    2019-04-09 12:13

    Jason Henderson has created a unique twist on a legendary character. Alex Van Helsing is a descendant of the legendary Van Helsing, but doesn't know it. All that he knows is that his dad sent him to boarding school because of a fight. Now, he's sharing a room with the resident twin bullies who would rather make his life a living hell. After a series of attacks occur just outside of the school and he chases one of the attackers (something that resembles a vampire), Alex stumbles upon a secret organisation which his father was apparently a member of. He gets drawn into the centre of the action when a dangerous vampire shows up with frightening plans. It's up to Alex along with his friends and Special Agent Sangster to stop these plans and save the world... as long as Alex's father doesn't find out.Henderson has breathed life into unique characters that jump off the page and Alex has a genuine and interesting voice. There is plenty of action in the pages that will keep you turning to the next, with lots of twists and turns as the story progresses. Some of the action was a bit unrealistic, like how Alex is able to kill a vampire so easily without even training for it, but that can easily be forgiven because it is just a fun story and it really draws the reader in amongst the action

  • Megan Burback
    2019-03-29 12:29

    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