Review: Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper (2005)

Vampirates Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Publication: Little, Brown Young Readers (2006), Hardcover, 336 pages / ISBN 0316013730
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, YA
Rating: 3.5/5
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Challenge: 666 Horror/Paranormal Book Challenge (#2), Read Your Own Books 2009 (#4)

I know, I know. “Vampirates?” Vampire pirates? Sounds completely ridiculous, but actually this was a decent read.

Summary from Amazon:

Twins, Connor and Grace, never dreamed that there was any truth to the Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died, but that was before the two were shipwrecked and separated from each other. For Connor, who is taken aboard a pirate ship, there’s the chance to learn to swordfight, but for Grace, aboard a mysterious ship of vampire pirates, the danger is great. What will it take for them to find each other?

So, I actually can’t resist ridiculous-titled books like “Vampirates.” I did have a fun time reading it, however, and I want to read the next book or two in the series, so I suppose it went well. I liked the characters– although this is the second book I’ve read this month with psychic fraternal twins– and the action sequences were well-written and fun to read. It didn’t really bother me that it took place in the future because, well, why not. I can handle futuristic (vampire) pirates. Even if they do seem more like 17th century pirates.

There were a couple of things that kept me from enjoying Vampirates completely, however, and one of those things was Grace. I hated how absolutely stupid she was. Hello! She only sang the Vampirate song about a million times, and she can’t put together that the crew of the ship she’s on are vampire pirates? They don’t go out in the light! She saw one chase around another dude and try to bite him! The captain has freaky brain-powers! WAKE UP, GRACE. No way do I believe she’s the more intelligent twin.

That annoyed me so much I actually ranted about it to a coworker of mine for about ten minutes. Sheesh.

Anyway, I also didn’t like how things kept being repeated over and over again. The Vampirates song, for instance, was repeated about, oh, every other chapter. I think in one paragraph a character even said the same thing twice, only with different words. Conciseness, please! The writing really isn’t anything to get excited over, but it did the job well and was engaging enough to keep me reading.

Also, even though I had a huge problem with Grace, I did like Connor and his narrative. And Grace’s narrative, when it wasn’t annoying me to death, was fraught with danger and excitement and a bit of romance, so it wasn’t all bad. And I liked how the vampires were based more on the “traditional” vampire, with the fog and psychic abilities and strangely attractive even with fangs (but, er, maybe that last part’s just me).

I still don’t understand the point of a few things– like why piracy is now legal, and why there’s pirate academies– but, overall, Vampirates was a quick, decent read. The ending especially was good; happy emotional stuff, but enough left open for future books. Plus, you can’t beat vampire pirates.

Other reviews: The Trades | Tiny Little Reading Room | Cindy Vallar

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5 thoughts on “Review: Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper (2005)”

  1. Yr review was great, but let’s cut Grace some slack; she might’ve suffered a concussion during the shipwreck & lost some cognitive capabilities that she might’ve still had otherwise.

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