No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Sunday, October 29, 2006

#97: Vampirates 2: Tide of Terror -- Justin Somper

Second in the series, aimed (I think) at juvenile / young adult readers. This is perfect reading for the morning after the night before: fascinating characters, good pacing, adventure. And pirates. And vampires. And .. vampirates.

Grace and Conor Tempest, orphaned twins, were reunited at the end of the first book. Following a shipwreck, Grace had been rescued by the Vampirates: Conor, meanwhile, had ended up on a more traditional pirate ship. ('Traditional' is perhaps not the right word: this is the 26th century, when the waters have risen and the world has a different shape. Also, there is a Pirate Academy.)

This volume explores and explains some of the moral issues. Vampirates aren't inherently bad: pirates not inherently good. Conor learns about loyalty (and spends a lot of time at the Academy: in some respects this is mostly a school story). Grace begins to learn about love. There are quite a few new plot threads, some of which might have been better introduced in the previous book. And the ending, again, feels rushed -- though perhaps that's just because of the frantic pacing.

I like Somper's sense of humour, his slight tongue-in-cheek voice, and his ability to write a good seafaring story. A modicum of Australian slang, a definite Antipodean feel to it: I want to find out more about the wider world. A fun read.

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