Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Vampirates-- Demons of the Ocean" and "Tide of Terror" review

I was browsing the bookshelves for something new to read. You know, in between major book releases. I stumbled upon the Vampirates series by Justin Somper. It was originally published in the UK (this was a good sign, since it had to have done well enough over there for it to be published over here). It also got a good review from Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider series. Plus, there was more than one. A definate bonus. The question: is Vampirates any good?

The answer: Yes.

Demons of the Ocean: Twins Connor and Grace Tempest have just lost their father, the lighthouse keeper in the fairly distant future of Earth. (Apparently, there was a great flood that made the world turn a bit more... nautical. It also set everyone back a few hundred years, understandibly.) They sail off to escape the bad turn of events that would certainly befall them if they stayed at their home. The only problem: they sailed into a massive storm.

Their ship broke apart in the storm, and Connor and Grace are separated. Connor is pulled aboard the ship of the enigmatic Captain Molucco Wrathe, where he learns the finer arts of swordfighting and plundering. Grace is pulled aboard an entirely different kind of pirate ship, one that has been sailing the ocean for centuries...

Tide of Terror: Once reunited, Connor and Grace attempt to get used to life on Wrathe's ship-- not an easy thing to do. But when a close friend of theirs is killed in combat (not saying who), Cheng Li is able to convince them to temporarily join the Pirate Academy.

But Grace keeps getting messages from the Vampirate ship. She learns that something terrible could happen. And Connor begins to discover some mysteries of his own that need unraveling. The Pirate Academy isn't what it seems. And Sidorio is on the move...

These were both very enjoyable reads. Their interesting characters and settings set it apart from the rest of the pirate stories published these days. The author has some writing muscles, which he proudly flexes, and he isn't afraid to kill characters off at unpredictable moments. Recommended reading for anyone who likes vampires... or pirates... or a good sea shanty.

My ratings:

Demons of the Ocean: 8.5/10

Tide of Terror: 8/10

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