This Australian YA vampire thriller begins in the year 1629; the ship Batavia was going down by the Australian west coast. Lives were lost but quite a few survived and were transferred to an island nearby the wreck site. A part of the crew did mutiny and head mutineer was the apothecary Corneliz, he was a man with a cruel plan. It all culminated in a bloodbath with only four survivors, they had one goal; immortality. Now the mutineers are back in 21st century Australia to finish what they started long ago. An evil plan will be executed on a rock festival in a small town named Rocky Head.
15 year old Jamie Mackie lives in Rocky Head, not long ago Jamie and one of his best mates, Dale, were in a terrible boat accident. Dale was badly hurt and everyone, including Jamie himself, thinks Jamie is to blame for what happened. Guilt has made Jamie into an insomniac and one night Jamie decides to go surfing, the water is the only place that brings him peace. Just too bad for Jamie that something horrible is out there on the water with him; he ends up fighting for his life. When Jamie finally gets out of the water there are almost no signs of the struggle he was just in; just two bleeding puncture marks on his neck...
“Saltwater Vampires is a distinctly Australian vampire thriller.” now that was a great sales pitch, it really grabbed my attention. I've never read any vampires novels set in Australia, it sounded like an original idea and I loved the fact that these vampires had a story connected to a real historical event. When I read a review of the novel over at The Book Nerd Club I knew that I had to buy myself a copy. However that was not all that easy, I soon discovered that the novel was only released in Australia, author Kirsty Eager kindly helped me finding an Australian online bookstore, Abbey's Bookshop, which shipped to Norway. So a few short weeks after I first discovered Saltwater Vampires; a copy showed up in my mailbox (yaaay).
Saltwater Vampires is the first vampire novel I've read with a male main character so that alone for me was like was like a breath of fresh air. Almost all the vampire novels I have read contains at least one girl falling in love with a vampire(or at becoming one). Be warned there are no kind and sparkling vampires in this story. The pace in Saltwater Vampires is somewhat slow building up towards a climax, still the story never bored me. Eagar knows how to keep her readers interested in the story even without non stop action.
There is no doubt that Eagar has created an original Australian vampire novel, a nice addition to the vampire genre. The story ends in a way that opens up for the possibility of a sequel but it's no cliffhanger and it works just fine as a standalone novel. I have only one minor complaint I would have loved for the vampire organization, Piravem that Eagar has invented to be explored a bit further (so I'm kind of hoping of more in a sequel).
Nice and dark, beautiful and captivating with the moon mirroring on the water on the back of the cover.
My rating of this book:
4 stars out of 5. It's not easy writing an original vampire novel these days but Eager has managed to pull it off.
Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews written by some of my book blogging friends:
mummazappa's review over at The Book Nerd Club.
Want to know more?
Visit Kirsty Eagar's homepage
Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar
Published: August 2010(Australia)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Full disclosure: Purchased