Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper

When I first saw Vampirates, I doubted the literary merit of the book. To me, vampire pirates seemed to be too different to get a strong, working plot from, as well as just being too silly. However, by reading the book, I have learned that the author was able to get a good plot from combining vampires and pirates, or vampirates. Along with the plot, the rest of the story was well written, with the author being very descriptive at times to help describe the setting or a character, and the author also being able to get character traits across to the reader by having them learn it from the character’s actions, for example, instead of stating it directly.

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean is about a set of twins, Grace and Connor Tempest. They were effectively orphans, because their father, the keeper of the Crescent Moon Bay lighthouse, had recently passed away, and they didn’t know if their mother was alive. They had planned to live in the lighthouse, doing their father’s job, but their father had left debts, so the lighthouse and their boat were being repossessed by the bank. This had left them with two options: they could live at the orphanage or they could accept the offer of the bank manager Mr. Busby and live with his wife and him, because they were unable to have children of their own. On the last day before the lighthouse and boat were repossessed, they packed their things and left. However, instead of taking one of the two options available to them, they chose a third and left in their boat, throwing the sign that said “Property of the Crescent Moon Cooperative Bank” into the water during the process. As they were headed up the coast, a violent storm seemingly came out of nowhere and caught them by surprise. They were worried it might destroy their ship, and barely a minute later it did, sending them into the water. Both were able to stay above the surface of the water long enough to be rescued, but each was rescued by a different group and wasn’t certain the other survived. Connor was rescued by pirates, and Grace was rescued by vampirates. Both then try to find the other while also trying to stay alive.

In Vampirates, Justin Somper is sometimes very descriptive, whether to describe the setting or to let you know traits of a character. An example for describing character is this passage about the captain of the pirate ship: “Following in their wake, staggering slightly, was a man of indeterminate age with long tousled hair and small, circular blue glasses. He wore a velvet coat over two holsters containing daggers, and his tall leather boots, as pointed as knives, jangled with silver spurs. The captain was laughing and engaged in quick-fire repartee with various pirates. He was firing insults over his shoulder, but with a broad smile that caused his skin to crinkle on either side of his glasses. Leaving waves of laughter behind him, the captain finally swaggered toward him.” This passage from pages 62 and 63 tells you that he is good natured and liked by his crew, and he dresses in a way similar to that of a stereotypical pirate captain, but it tells you in a way that makes you think about what you read. Another example is from pages 40 and 41, which describes the setting. “Filled with a strange calm, Connor watched pieces of the boat sink past him down into the darker water below. A strange catalog of cups and cutlery and books twirled past him. He reached a hand out toward them and watched them dance away. He smiled. Beneath the surface of the water, it was calm, a safe haven to stay here, and drift with the other pieces of his world.” This section, which is slightly more direct than the other section, says that boat wreckage is all around him, but the water is placid compared to that at the surface.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book, despite my original assumptions. It just goes to show that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This book was well written, having a good plot, being very descriptive, and showing traits instead of telling them. I would recommend this book.





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*KJB* said...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 12:41 am
I completely love this book because it's interesting and mysterious. When I read the first page, I was intrigued at what was happening and curious of what Grace and Connor were going to do next. I'm definitely reading the next book and if you've already read this book, I hope you do too.
 
bokworm said...
May 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm
i love this book goos reviw
 
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