Monday, 15 February 2010
Review: Vampirates - Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Released: June 6th, 2005
Grade rating: B/B+
Connor and Grace are twins, recently orphaned after their widowed father's death. Rather than being adopted by the town's busy-bodies, they decide to set sail for new pastures in their father's last single possession, his sailing boat. But a vicious storm sees their boat capsize and the twins separated. Two mysterious ships sail to their rescue - each picking up one twin before disappearing into the mist. Connor wakes to find himself on a pirate ship and is soon being trained up with a cutlass. Meanwhile Grace finds herself locked in a darkened room, as the vampirates await nightfall... Determined to find each other, yet intrigued by their new shipmates, the twins are about to embark on the biggest adventure of their life...
"I'll tell you a tale of Vampirates,
A tale as old as true.
Yea, i'll sing you a song of an ancient ship,
And its mighty fearsome crew."
Yep, you've guessed it. The above shanty excerpt is what I've had swimming around in my head for the last week or so, ever since I finished Demons of the Ocean. Try explaining that one to parents and friends... I've had a lot of funny looks, let me tell you. It got worse when I said it was from a book about Vampirates: vampire pirates out at sea, sailing around as if they're not bloodsucking fiends with scary sharp teeth and an ancient song written about them... cool, eh?
I'm a vampire freak, as people like to tell me, and even I've never encountered vampire pirates before. It's a brilliant story, and I couldn't get enough of my favourite fanged fighter Lorcan who, let's face it, is like the Edward Cullen of the sea. With his chiselled features, long dark hair, chivalrous nature and deep glowing eyes... *sigh*... sorry, I'm back now.
As I was saying, this is a fun, inventive story, and will appeal to both boys and girls. There's a heroine for each gender in the form of twins Grace and Connor, two kick-ass teenagers who get separated and hauled onto two very different ships. Will they be reunited? Will Grace be eaten by evil vamp Sidorio? Or will Connor be cut to shreds by hardcore Jack Sparrow types? All will be revealed...
My only quibble with this book is that the majority of the story is supposed to be set in the year 2512. I expected things to be drastically different to how they are now, but I didn't get that impression. There are no hoverboards, no machines taking over the world and not a single little AI boy in sight, so I can't help but wonder why it's set so far in the future. Maybe it'll all become clear in later installments which, by the way, I can't wait to read. I can see this series getting better and better, and with book five due for release in a few weeks, I'm anticipating great things.