Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean
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Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean

by Justin Somper

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


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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in the 26th century on Australia's Crescent Moon Bay, Somper's portmanteau of two fiction favorites-pirates and vampires-is a gleefully quick read. When lighthouse keeper Dexter Tempest passes away, heavily laden with debt, his 14-year-old twin children, Connor and Grace, find themselves suddenly homeless. The teens cannot bear the offer of sanctuary from the town's wealthy bank manager ("I'd rather die," says Connor), so they steal their father's boat and cast out to sea. A storm quickly dashes their vessel, and Connor is rescued by a passing pirate ship. Grace has been rescued, too, but by the Vampirate ship, "a dark ship that has been sailing through all eternity," the topic of a beloved shanty the twins' father always sang to them. The narrative alternates between the two ships, painting a vivid picture of life on a pirate ship while simultaneously stretching and teasing out the mystery of the vampirates for much of the book. Grace eventually meets the captain of her ship, an elusive figure who lets slip that he may have known their father-and later learns that she is to be the ship's new "donor." Somper deftly draws parallels to the real world-its hungers, its sicknesses, its gluttony-with his fascinating vampire captain, who imposes a strict regimen of "take only the blood you need" on his crew, ensuring that the donors remain healthy, too. An enigmatic conclusion leaves the galley door wide open for sequels. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Eileen Kuhl
This winning fantasy features both pirates and vampires with adventure, bloodcurdling action, and sinister characters. Twins Connor and Grace are shipwrecked in a storm as they flee home after their father's death. Connor is rescued by pirates, but Grace is saved by the mythical Vampirate's ship about which her father had always sung. In alternating chapters, Grace and Connor face one dangerous adventure after another in their new lives. Connor becomes a master swordsman and adapts to the difficult life of a pirate ship. Grace is sequestered and guarded by an array of terrifying, eerie shipmates who only roam the vessel at night but are not typical bloodthirsty vampires. Each is convinced that the other sibling has survived and tries to coax their dubious new shipmates to launch a search. Connor questions the justice and principles of pirates, and readers will identify with the young man who wants to prove himself to Captain Wrathe and the rest of the crew. Grace uses her instincts and bravery to solve the mystery of the vampire crewmen who are both courteous and victims of their fate. The remaining characters are stereotypical but interesting, with detailed descriptions of the vampires' appearance but little of the ship and the pirate crew. In a satisfying and exciting conclusion the siblings are reunited. The novel provides the mandatory chills and suspense and ends with a teaser, setting up a possible book two. Diehard vampire fans who do not need the gore and those enthralled by the Pirates of the Caribbean movies will eagerly read this title. Readers who enjoyed Iain Lawrence's novels, The Wreckers (Delacorte, 1998/VOYA February 1999) and Buccaneers (Delacorte, 2001) will also beinterested.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Foucart
Grace and Connor have grown up in the town of Crescent Moon Bay where their father was the lighthouse keeper. Always outsiders, the twins decide to run away after their father's death, rather than live with the banker and his wife or go to the orphanage. But a sudden storm causes their boat to wreck, separating the twins. Connor is picked up by Cheng Li, the second-in-command on The Diablo, a pirate ship. But Grace is picked up by a very different ship--a ship their father sang a shanty about; the Vampirate ship. Slowly Grace and Connor learn about the new worlds that they have stumbled into. Connor learns piracy from Captain Wrathe and his crew, while Grace is kept safe by the Captain of the Vampirates and the man who pulled her from the ocean, Lorcan. But when Grace's safety is threatened by a rogue Vampirate, the Captain comes to her rescue in more ways than he might have realized. Thoroughly entertaining and wonderfully original, this title is a wonderful adventure. Set mainly in the year 2512, Somper uses a mix of modern language, old village life, and life after a ‘second flood' as the backdrop for his version of life on the high seas. Fans of piracy, vampires, and just plain entertaining stories will love to read about Grace and Connor's journey to find each other again, and will beg for more from this talented author.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Connor and Grace Tempest have grown up listening to their father's sea shanty about the Vampirates and their "ancient ship...that haunts the oceans blue," a song that predates the changes that left their future world largely flooded. After his death leaves them orphaned and penniless, the 14-year-old twins run away to sea and are separated by a storm. Connor is rescued by a pirate ship, where he soon finds a place among its crewmates. Grace, on the other hand, has been rescued by a mysterious ship, which readers won't be surprised to find is the home of the Vampirates. The siblings become involved with the internal politics of each vessel, meeting new friends-and new enemies, like the vampire Sidorio. Grace's sense of horror and wonder at the Vampirate lifestyle is clearly drawn, and her protector, Lorcan, and the living figurehead, Miss Flotsam, offer sympathy and clues to the ship's many mysteries. Swashbuckling Captain Wrathe and his crew feature a few stereotypes, but their adventure-filled lifestyle has a clear appeal to Connor and readers. This book is a good choice for reluctant readers, who will be drawn into the turns and twists of the twins' story, and the dramatic cover art will help catch their attention. This fantastic tale will find many fans, who will be left looking for answers to mysteries only begun to be answered here.-Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Vampirates Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 1.00(d)
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Justin Somper is a bestselling author in the UK. His Vampirates books have received international acclaim and have been published in over 20 languages. He lives in London.

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