Demons of the Ocean: Vampirates, Book 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Demons of the Ocean: Vampirates, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Vamp/pirate mashup is intermittently exciting.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Piracy and theft are portrayed positively, though Connor is reluctant to hurt others and take the spoils for himself.


Fighting with swords, several people are knocked out with a frying pan. A man is killed by a vampire (not described) and his body is thrown overboard.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens and adults smoke and drink beer and rum.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is some violence here, though mild by the standards of a pirate story. Piracy and pirates are portrayed positively, and though the hero displays some reluctance, he participates in a pirate raid.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBetz August 12, 2010
As a parent, I read this book for myself, not to the kids. Though I would have no problem letting my nine year old read this book, for some parents who might h... Continue reading
Parent of a 11 and 15-year-old Written byresar September 25, 2009

Quirky Story with a lot of familiar tropes stuck in

This strange mash up reads part classic adventure tale like "Shipwrecked" or "Treasure Island" and part modern vampire tale-- the kind where... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byVenomisagoodfilm May 20, 2020

I think Justin Somper is a maniac

I have just finished the fourth book of this series and am feeling conflicted. I went into this expecting easy, mindless reading but I am disappointed to say th... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysnakeyes13 April 19, 2017

So Good!!!

It is so good! I have read the whole series and it is all appropriate. There are some parts with violence, but it not much. I recommend this for kids who like... Continue reading

What's the story?

After their father dies, twins Connor and Grace, faced with a choice between an orphanage or adoption by an odious banker, instead steal their father's sailboat and put to sea. Caught in a storm, their boat is wrecked and they are separated. Connor is picked up by a pirate ship, while Grace is rescued by a ship full of vampires. Determined to find his sister again, Connor joins the pirates, while Grace tries to avoid becoming a \"donor\" to the vampires.

Is it any good?

Combining pirates and vampires is an interesting, if peculiar, idea, and one that holds some promise. But that promise is not fulfilled here. The story is entertaining in a pleasant sort of way (perhaps not what you'd expect when you hear it's about vampires and pirates), but there's a notable lack of action, given the subject matter: one brief battle scene where the pirates grab the loot from a slower, poorly manned ship. Mostly everyone, pirates and vampires, is ... nice. Though the series is called VAMPIRATES, in this first book the vampires don't do any pirating -- they just float around in a sort of vampire cruise ship with weekly feasts. And the ending, rather than the cliffhanger you'd expect in a series opener, is rather anticlimactic.

If there's not much action, there is a lot of confusion. The book reads like something about the 18th century, but the novel is actually set some 500 years in our future. And though there's nothing futuristic other than the date, it does yield some surprising anachronisms, such as Connor responding to the offer of a cigarette with, "No, that's cool." By the end there are many unanswered questions: Why does the vampire captain protect Grace? Why does the food keep putting her to sleep if it's not drugged? How do they get the food when they don't seem to put in to shore? These questions may be answered in future volumes, but from the way the author seems to drop plot threads, it's just as likely they won't be.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the author's portrayal of pirates. Why are they portrayed as kind and caring, whereas the townspeople are cruel? Why are even the vampires portrayed more sympathetically than normal people? Why do pirates and vampires fascinate us? Is piracy acceptable if they prey only on the rich, and try not to hurt more than they have to?

Book details

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