Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar

Title:  Saltwater Vampires
Author:  Kirsty Eagar 
Genre:  Young Adult 
Publisher:  Penguin 
Publication Date:  30 August 2010 (Australia)
ISBN:  978-0-14-301146-0
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Pages:  372
Book Received from:  Penguin Group (Penguin Books)
First Lines:  A fresh line of surf approached the wreck of the Batavia, swelling as it drew closer.


He looked to the sky, praying for rain, a downpour, some sign from the heavens that he should refuse the abomination contained in that flask. But all he saw was the bloated white face of the moon smiling down on him …
And the sky around it was cold and clear and black …
They made their circle of blood. And only the moon witnessed the slaughter that followed.

For Jamie Mackie, summer holidays in the coastal town of Rocky Head mean surfing, making money, and good times at the local music festival. But this year, vampires are on the festival's line-up … fulfilling a pact made on the wreck of the Batavia, four hundred years ago. If their plans succeed, nobody in Rocky Head will survive to see out the new year.

My Thoughts
Majority of the books I read are Young Adult books from Authors overseas.  I was stoked when I was sent Saltwater Vampires and found it was written by an Aussie Author.  It was an absolutely brilliant read.  Overseas seems to have majority of the Authors that publish in the Young Adult genre and I'm glad to see that Australian authors are finally getting a foot in there and beginning to make an impact.  We have a long way to go yet though. 

For those of you that like your vampires to be the traditional, evil beings that they are.  This ones for you.

The Prologue opens up with four characters shipwrecked on the Batavia.  We get to learn a little of the backstory here but not enough to give too much away.

Jumping forward to the present day we are introduced to Jamie a 15 year old surfing local of Rocky Head who earns cash with his mate Tanner through vending machines.  Surfing isn't quite the same since the night of the accident where his mate Dale is injured and no longer able to surf.  Dale and Jamie aren't on speaking terms anymore and it tears Jamie up knowing that he should have tried to do more for his friend.

While I found the prologue to be quite a bit longer than I'm used to, Saltwater Vampires is definitely action packed.  Within the first few pages of Chapter one I was getting that nervous feeling in my stomach for the characters.  Eagar has done a brilliant job in creating realistic and complex characters who I think we can all relate to in some form or another.

Another thing I noticed throughout the novel is the vivid descriptions of the Australian scenery.  It's quite beautiful and when you live here it's so easy to visualize the sun setting with the vast array of colours or the bush with the wallabies bouncing through.

Saltwater Vampires takes us on a journey of surfing, sun, rockin' music festivals and freaking scary vampires.  Well done Kirsty.  I'd love to see what you got for us next.  Your on my list of Authors to watch out for!


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