Demons of the Ocean: Vampirates, Book 1 Book Poster Image

Demons of the Ocean: Vampirates, Book 1

Vamp/pirate mashup is intermittently exciting.

What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens and adults smoke and drink beer and rum.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Author:Justin Somper
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:October 7, 2006
Number of pages:330
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

This review of Demons of the Ocean: Vampirates, Book 1 was written by

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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 have concerns about content, let's just start out by saying this is a book about pirates and vampires. The topic of blood comes up, but the way the good vampires get their blood is civilized and consensual. The bad vampires are the violent ones that typify the violent type of vampire, but there is nothing too graphic in this book. Pirates do engage in drinking and one of the main characters, Conner, who is about 14, does go to a tavern with his shipmates. As the books progress along, the good vampires are peaceful, but the violence and cruelty of the vampires does increase. But like the Harry Potter books, as the series goes along, the readers also grow and become older and so more mature subjects, like death, grieving and betrayal come up. It is a well written series with beautiful prose and novel storytelling. Future books in the series encourage applying yourself and the academics of piracy - yes, there is a pirate academy. So many things such as courage, determination, academics, honor, persistence, compassion and intelligence are highlighted in this book series.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bybibliophile April 9, 2008


This book was absolutely amazing! It incorporated vampires and pirates, some of my favorite fantasy topics. There is a teeny bit of violence, but nothing graphic, no sex, though a mild attraction between a boy and a girl, but nothing sexual. There might have been a kiss or two. Maybe a swear word or two. I recommend for 10+.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008

Read books 1 and 2!...

I must say I love this series and all I would talk all about it.I think it is a great book, but some scenes of violence are graphic.But the way the crew of the diablo and connor work together shows, well teamwork and I know that counts for something!Well peace out!