Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Futuristic Pirates???

Somper, Justin. 2006. Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean.

Drawing from two of the trendiest trends in young adult literature, vampires and pirates, VAMPIRATES is an exciting adventure set five hundred years in the future. Yes, in 2505, apparently, children will have more than one reason to be 'afraid' of pirates.

Twins Connor and Grace are raised by their father, the lightkeeper on a small island. Their favorite lullaby is none other than a popular shanty about Vampirates. (Lyrics found throughout, but printed for convenience, I suppose, on the end papers of the book).

I'll tell you a tale of Vampirates,
A tale as old as true.
Yea, I'll sing you a song of an ancient ship,
And its mighty fearsome crew.
Yea, I'll sing you a song of an ancient ship,
That sails the ocean blue...
That haunts the ocean blue.

Seven years later (2012), the twins find themselves orphans. After their father's death, they risk a fate worse than death: going to live in an orphanage with a strange village woman OR being adopted by one of the richer couples in town who are childless. Connor and Grace find reasons to dislike--and distrust--them both and the reader agrees with them after an odd scene or two. "Good riddance to them both! Let the sharks get them" (38).

The two opt to steal their father's boat and head to sea. Unfortunately under mysterious circumstances, a storm appears out of the blue and threatens to kill them both. Grace, unbeknownst to her brother, is rescued by a mystery ship. And Connor, unbeknownst to his sister, is rescued by another ship--a pirate ship. Yet in dreams and visions, Connor sees his sister alive and on the most dangerous ship there is--the Vampirate ship. But can he convince the sailors and captain? Will he risk his life to save his sister? Told from alternating perspectives, Grace finds herself treated like a princess. True she's not allowed to mingle with the crew, but she is in the nicest room, fed the most delicious food, and finds herself in the charming companionship of a young man, Lorcan. Yet despite how 'nicely' she is treated by Lorcan and the captain, she is forbidden to even be seen by the crew. Could her life still be in danger? And how far will Lorcan go to protect her if she is?


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