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Literature / Vampirates

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Series of children's horror novels by Justin Somper. Tells the story of Grace and Connor Tempest, whose father has just passed away. Two families in their hometown of Crescent Moon Bay want to adopt them, but for selfish reasons. They run (well, sail) away, but are separated during a storm at sea, and are picked up by two very different ships - Connor by normal pirates, Grace by the titular vampire pirates. The first book chronicles their separation and reuniting, while the others detail their adventures together among both mortal buccaneers and vampirates.

There are currently six books in the series, all of which are available in the United States:

  • Demons of the Ocean (2005)
  • Tide of Terror (2006)
  • Blood Captain (2007)
  • Black Heart (2007)
  • Empire of Night (2010)
  • Immortal War (2012)

There has yet to be a "rival" series with werewolf ninjas. ...Or is there?


It has no relation to a webcomic by the same name, other than containing vampire pirates.

This series contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Cheng Li and Cutlass Cate.
  • Apocalypse How: The setting for the story is that global warming and melting ice caps have caused much of the world to be covered with water, hence the age of anachronistic piracy.
  • Big "NO!":Stukeley utters one near the end of Tide of Terror.
  • World of Badass:
    • Most of the pirates Connor hangs out with have been Academy trained—trained in Piratical arts such as sailing and fencing since they were younger than ten years old. Given the short average life expectancy of an untrained pirate (it takes much less than ten years to become a skilled veteran), this amounts to graduates, who usually serve as officers but are numerous enough not to, having the competence and experience of pirates twice their age, coupled with military discipline. The lack of real-life experience seems to be more than offset by the disproportionate rigorous training.
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    • Almost every named pirate is naturally competent, experienced, or both.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Lola's marriage to Sidorio is announced Jez is worried about their position with Sidorio getting usurped. Johnny is worried about what he'll wear to the wedding.
  • Cool Mask: The Vampirate captain.
  • Cosmic Deadline: The sixth book is noticeably faster pasted and more event packed than all the other books.
  • Crapsack World: First of all, there's the flood, which would've decreased the amount of livable land mass and useable resources. Pirates are clearly the dominate force in the mortal realm, there isn't even a formal Navy to fight back the pirates, only privately hired security forces. And vampires like Lola Lockwood can hunt down any mortals they want for centuries without anyone to stop them. Oh, and just about every civilian town that is shown is described as a "dead-end town", like Crescent Moon Bay. And most donors decided to give their blood to Vampires out of destitution.
  • Dead Sidekick: Jez Stukeley in Tide of Terror, which prompts Connor to question the contract he signed with Captain Wrathe. Jez doesn't stay dead, though.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Johnny Desperado has no problemo with killing people and drinking their blood. But he couldn't bring himself to kill Lola's Baby Evil like Jez ordered him to, so he instead brings him to Grace for her to raise.
    • Also, Lola saying "Who would do such a thing!?" when her blood-wine cellar is wrecked.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Sort of; it's on the back of the book and sung in-story by characters.
  • Extranormal Institute: Pirate Academy.
  • Heroic BSoD: The Nocturne Captain when a number of his crew abandons him to join Sidorio.
  • Hidden Depths: Sidorio, surprisingly enough. He's more or less a doting father and husband, and seems to be a natural father figure, especially for Vampires. Near the beginning of the series, he's Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life by way of murder and pillage, and he's pulled out of his mindless funk by The Power of Love.
  • Idiot Ball: Grace, despite being repeatedly described as the smart twin, is dumb as rocks.
  • Informed Ability: Grace's intelligence.
    • The same thing happens in Tide of Terror. Connor calls her the stronger of the two, when she spends a good chunk of the book locked in her room at the Academy moping about the Vampirate ship.
  • Instant Expert: Connor's skill with piracy in general. After around three months of on-the-job training, he's about as good with swords as people with a decade of experience, starting from youth. To the writer's credit, despite the massive hype in-story about his skills, he's still apparently inferior to his peers. His skill is implied to be supernatural in origin.
    • Applies rather more Egregiously to Grace as of the fifth book.
  • Kill It with Fire: Attempted by Connor early on. It's pretty successful, except for Jez and Sidorio, who somehow just get stronger for it.
  • Love Triangle: Between Grace, Lorcan and Johnny. There's one between Connor, Jasmine and Jacoby as well.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Played with. Random vampires don't seem to be that hard to kill. However, older vampires, and those they sire seem to be immune to certain weaknesses.
    • Case in point is Lola. After testing Hawthorne stakes, silver, and garlic/wolfsbane on Vampires and finding them lethal, the pirates try to kill Lola with a sword infused with all three elements. Stabbing her once doesn't work. Stabbing her twice doesn't work either. so they decapitate her. No-Sell.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: They're vampires and pirates!
    • And lets not forget Johnny who is a Cowoboy-Pirate-Vampire!
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: While The Feast is usually quite peaceful, Sidorio's part has elements of this.
  • Punny Name: Darcy Flotsam eventually falls in love with and marries a man named Jet Jetsam
  • Red Right Hand: Sidorio's golden fangs.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Jez Stukeley is never even mentioned in the first book, yet in the second book, Connor considers him one of his best friends.
  • Schizo Tech: As mentioned above, there are cars, but no ranged weapons at all, which is just stupid considering the degree to piracy is formalized, and the resources that prominent pirates should have. Additionally, no boats use motors even though they exist. Electric technology seem to exist, but is very rarely used. Melee combat is the preferred method of naval battle—cannons are mentioned but apparently never used. Current fashion also seems to be all over the place.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Extremely idealistic, despite being rather dark at times and rather cavalier about violence. The villains are capable of love and tend to be reasonable and even compassionate towards the protagonists later on in the series, despite being murderous sociopaths who have murdered the heroes' loved ones. The pirates, for their part, are ridiculously willing to give the pirates the benefit of the doubt or chat them up, even in the middle of pitched battles.
    • The view of piracy becomes gradually more cynical as the series progresses, because almost all of them end up being legitimately murderous, unlawful, or backstabbing. However, the pirates themselves get teary eyed over how honorable their profession is, so its a bit of an odd example.
  • Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness: On the friendly end of the spectrum. The vampirates can live off of willing donors and use a scheduled feeding ritual. Sidorio, on the other hand...
    • It's implied that some or most of the Vampires have naturally diminished intellect, which makes them fairly easy to fool and/or befriend.
  • The Starscream: Jez and Johnny (mostly the former) become this when Lola starts getting into Sidorio's life.
  • Spaceship Girl: Variant: the ship's figurehead is animate at night.
  • Taking You with Me: In the 6th book Cheng Li exposes Johnny to sunlight, but with his dying strength, Johnny manages to grab Cheng Li and take them both out a window, hoping to drown her, as he dies from the sunlight. However, they both end up surviving this encounter.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Mankind apparently accomplishes very little in the next half-millennium.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Between Lola and Sidorio.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lola Lockwood, when her "wine" cellar is vandalized.