Friday, February 13, 2009


Somper, Justin. Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2006.
[Book cover credit:]

After the death of their father, twins Grace and Connor run away from life in an orphanage or as the pet children of a wealthy banker in their father's boat. They are caught in a storm, capsize, and are rescued separately, Connor by pirates and Grace by the mythical Vampirates.


This book has pirates, vampires, vampires who sail like pirates, and, just so no one feels left out, is set in the year 2505 with vampires who insist on living as if it's still 1920s or earlier. Put that way it sounds like Vampirates must read like a train wreck; to a certain extent, it does. There are so many different elements to the basic premise of this novel that some definitely fall by the wayside. For example, once you read past the page that tells you the year is 2505, it is impossible to tell that you are not being plunked down into another Caribbean pirate story (that still has about a million twists) set whenever our favorite bucchanears usually make an appearance.

Though the many angles of this book can cause some problems, they also allow for many, many entry points into this novel, making it a great choice for reluctant readers. The chapters are also short, and, because they switch back and forth between Connor and Grace's experiences, the reader doesn't have to slog through too much to get to the storyline s/he is really interested in. And, problems aside, these storylines suck you in. As Grace and Connor are distracted from their mirror goals of finding the other by their own circumstances, the reader cannot forget that Grace's special status as a twin is all that keeps her alive and that Connor must succeed in finding her for her to survive. The ending is satisfying on some levels and COMPLETELY UNFINISHED on others, causing me to rush out to find book two of the series (Tide of Terror) as I will most likely run out to find books three and four.

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