Monday 2 May 2011

Review: Blood Captain - Justin Somper

The terror is within . . .

For Connor, these are testing times aboard notorious pirate ship, The Diablo - not least when Captain Wrathe's obnoxious nephew Moonshine joins the crew.  And, as things reach breaking point, Connor finds himself crossing a line from which there is no return . . .

Meanwhile his twin sister, Grace, journeys with Lorcan to Sanctuary, a mountain retreat presided over by by Vampirate guru, Mosh Zu Kamal.  If anyone can heal Lorcan's blindness, he can - but he seems more interested in Grace.  Combating danger on all sides, Grace realises her fate is inextricably bound up with the Vampirates . . .

Vampirates Series:
Dead Deep (short story published in 2007 - doesn't have to be read to follow the series)
Blood Captain

For more information visit the Vampirates website

Connor took to life aboard the Diablo like a duck to water and loves being a pirate, well he did before Captain Wrathe's nephew Moonshine joined the crew.  Now he's not so sure, especially when Moonshine's actions cause problems for him and his friends, perhaps the pirate life isn't the best thing for him after all.  Meanwhile Grace travels to Sanctuary with Lorcan where they hope that the Vampirate guru Mosh Zu Kamal will be able to cure Lorcan's blindness.  But why is Mosh Zu so interested in Grace and what are the secrets that Lorcan is hiding?

The books in the Vampirates series are great action adventure stories about two of my favorite things - vampires and pirates.  How could I resist?  Even though the stories are aimed at a younger age range than I would usually read I've been thoroughly enjoying the series and I think Blood Captain was my favorite book so far.  Through alternating chapters we get to see what is happening with both Grace and her twin brother Connor, they have both chosen very different lives since being rescued by different ships back in the first book.  I really like the way the story is told from two different perspectives and it is interesting to see the differences between life on a normal pirate ship with Connor and Grace's life with the Vampirates.

In the first two books Connor was certain that the pirate life was perfect for him.  He enjoyed the sword training and the Captain was like a surrogate father to him but everything is different now that Moonshine is part of the crew.  As they set out on a raiding mission Connor is full of excitement but after he is forced to make a very difficult decision he suddenly realises that it isn't all fun being a pirate.  I can't say much more without giving spoilers so I'll just say I thought Justin Somper handled the outcome of this event very well.

Grace also has her own challenges to face, she feels incredibly guilty about Lorcan's injury as she believes it is all her fault.  She is determined to do whatever she can to help him recover and travels with him to Sanctuary where she meets Mosh Zu Kamal.  While at Sanctuary she learns more about the Vampirates but more importantly she has a discovery to make about her own abilities and I'm very interested to see how this develops throughout the series.  Lorcan's recovery isn't going to be easy, it isn't just about the physical injury and there is something blocking him from healing and Grace needs to try help him to work through whatever it is that is holding him back.  It soon becomes clear Lorcan has been keeping secrets from her but can Grace get him to open up so he can start to heal?

This is a great series that I think will appeal to boys and girls who are looking for a swashbuckling adventure story.  I would definitely recommend it to teens and young adults but I think it is the kind of story adults can read too, after all I'm not really in the target age range myself and that hasn't stopped me enjoying them!

Source: Received for review from publisher Simon & Schuster

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I love this series as well! it is definitely aimed at younger readers, but I do really enjoy them. Hope you like the rest of the series.

  2. I know this is popular with my students. I am going to give a random one of these a read and see how I get on. Ever since I read a really boring book about people on a ship I've steered clear of pirate related novels but this does sound fun!



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