Welcome to my blog. I often think I was born with a book in my hand. I have always enjoyed reading, but more importantly, talking about books. This blog is partially about reviews, but is really a forum to talk about what I'm reading, and express all of the thoughts and feelings that there simply isn't room for in a professional review. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on your favourite books as you follow my reading journey.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vampirates: Vampires & Pirates=A Winning Combination

The series begins in the year 2505. Most of the world has been flooded, and a new era of pirates are rising.
Grace and Connor Tempest (love the symbolism there) are fourteen-year-old twins, being raised by their simple lighthouse keeper father. When their father suddenly dies, the twins are forced to take their boat and flee, but are soon separated by a vicious storm. Connor is quickly rescued by a ship of Pirates, while Grace lands on a far more mysterious ship. The ship's crew is made up of highly evolved vampire pirates (Vampirates) who take blood weekly from willing donors instead of hunting as most vampires do.  Will they find a way to build new lives for themselves aboard their respective ships, or like so many before them, will they meet a brutal and watery fate....

I have to admit- when I first saw the concept for this series back in 2005, I was fully prepared to hate it. Not being a particular fan of "Vampire Fiction", I was fully expecting it to be poorly-written fluff that might take off, but would be overall pretty stupid. Boy was I wrong! Not only did I devour the first book, I was actually angry when I reached the last page because I want it to end. Thank goodness author Justin Somper wasn't done either, or he might have found himself locked in a cabin a la Paul Sheldon from Misery.

What makes this series so appealing (other than the ample sword-fighting and action scenes) is the strong character development. Nothing about these characters is black and white, and throughout the series, Grace and Connor (as well as the reader) have their perceptions and their ideals challenged. It is always a challenge in a series to let the characters grow and change, and Somper handles this quite masterfully. Loyalty, friendship and love all come into play as the series progresses, and part of the twins' journey is trying to make sense of the complications they bring.

There is a definite arc to this series, and it is meant to be read in order. The books build on one another, and each book ends on a cliffhanger that will have you anxiously awaiting the next. The plot also takes a number of twists and turns, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, something else happens to keep you off balance.

Whether you like Vampires, Pirates or both, this mystery, horror and adventure series will get you hooked.

Due to some violent content, this series is recommended for readers 11yrs+.