Today, I am excited to be sharing my review of Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper with you all.
Connor and Grace are twins, orphaned after their widowed father’s death. Rather than being adopted by the town’s busy-bodies, they decide to set sail for new pastures in their father’s last possession – his sailing boat. When a vicious storm sees their boat capsize, the twins are separated until two mysterious ships sail to their rescue.
I want to start by saying that the Vampirates series is my favourite series from my childhood. I read it for the first time back when it was first published (I remember buying each book as it was released) and I absolutely adored it. I try to do fairly regular re-reads, but it has been quite a few years since the last one, so I decided that it was time. Demons of the Ocean is the first book of the series, and definitely the one that makes me most nostalgic too.
The story begins with Connor and Grace Tempest, in the lighthouse of Crescent Moon Bay which they call home, with their father, the lighthouse keeper. It’s late and the twins can’t sleep, so they find their father at the top, watching out over the bay. He sings them an old sea shanty which he has sung to them their entire lives, a shanty about Vampirates, and despite it’s gruesome nature, it has always settled Connor and Grace. The Vampirates shanty is a wonderful way for the story begin, as it already creates huge mystery and fear around them, and has you wondering if they really do exist.
We then quickly skip forward in time, to a time when the twins father has passed away, and Connor and Grace are orphans. Thinking that they had nothing more to lose, the twins take their fathers boat and row out to sea to escape the vulture like people of Crescent Moon Bay, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. A huge storm hits and the twins are separated and rescued by two very different ships, with no idea whether the other has even survived. You immediately feel so awful for Connor and Grace. The amount that they have to go through in such a short space of time is horrific, how much more can they take? But the two different ships are immediately intriguing, making you excited to continue reading to find out about the ships and their crews. As a reader, knowing that the twins are both alive, you are routing for them to find their way back to each other.
Connor and Grace are having VERY different experiences on the ships that they are now calling home. Connor is taking to pirate life aboard The Diablo as though he was made for it! He is making great friends, learning new skills, and having an incredible adventure. Grace however is not having as much fun. She is shut in her room, kept away from the ships crew, and to begin with the only interaction she is really getting is with the captain. But Grace is already working out that this is no normal ship, there is something strange happening around her, and although finding Connor is her top priority, she is also determined to find out this mysterious ships secrets.
There are a huge mix of characters throughout the story, all with big personalities, that make them stand out from the crowd. From The Diablo, my favourite is Cutlass Cate. She’s skilled, fearless, strong, ferocious, but she is loyal, and caring, and exactly what I imagine a true pirate should be. From the Vampirate ship, my favourite is OF COURSE the one and only Lorcan Furey. He is the complete opposite from what you expect a Vampirate to be, and I have loved him from the very first time I read this book. He’s such a sweetheart, a true gentleman, and I was completely sucked in by him (pardon the vampire pun). On a completely separate note to the book, Lorcan wears a ring which is described in the book as a Claddagh ring that is hands hold a skull instead of a heart, and I have searched for that ring online for like 15 years with no luck UNTIL I FOUND IT A COUPLE OF MONTHS BACK!!!! I can not explain how happy I am to officially own one of those rings now!
Anyway, back to the story. As the book progresses, the twins seem to get themselves into increasingly more dangerous situations, both risking their life, and on a few occasions actually coming close to losing their lives. This book will have you on an emotional rollercoaster, and keep you on the edge of your seat. Once you start reading, you just can’t stop! It all comes together in an exciting ending, with an unexpected outcome that sets you up perfectly for the next book in the series. As a child, waiting for the next book to be published was almost unbearable because I NEEDED to know what was coming next.
I can honestly say that I love this book just as much now as I did all those years ago when I first read it, if not more. It brings me so much happiness, and it is such an enjoyable escape from the real world. I could re-read this book over and over again forever! I can not wait to continue with my re-read of the whole series, and to immersive myself into this incredible world. I want to say a huge thank you to Justin Somper for creating something so special, that I will have a place for in my heart always!
I give Demons of the Ocean an extremely easy 5 star rating!
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