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London (Vampire Plagues #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,119 ratings  ·  93 reviews
London, 1850. An enormous ship has just reached port. From its hull, a flock of bats ascends and disappears into the streets. Jack Harkett intends to board the ship, in search of food or money. Instead, he encounters a boy his own age—running for his life! The boy recounts horrific tales about a vampire plague that's killed the entire crew. With no one to turn to but each ...more
240 pages
Published 2004 by Scholastic
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,458)
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Kimmy Yates
A very enjoyable and unique start to a YA-Vampire series.
In this, book one, twelve year old Jack, street urchin living on the London docks watches one night as a merchant ship sails into port. The ship is surrounded above by huge flying bats. Only one living soul on board and that is Ben. A young stowaway. Jack and Ben meet up and you learn just what small Ben has been through before boarding the "ghost ship" and what occurred while being stowed away.

Through part of the story you see Ben's exp
...more
Connerknudson
This Book takes place in London/Mexico. Ben, the dark haired leader of the group, ran off the ship and was chased down by Jack, a poor, homeless, dark haired, messy kid from the docks. He asked him what was wrong and he told him his dad was killed and his godfather was killed and Sir Donald was possessed by Camazotz. So Jack finds Ben some scraps and the go to Ben’s house, a huge mansion in London. They sneak inside and tell Ben’s sister, blonde haired Emily Cole, what has happened. Then they ha ...more
J.M.
Sep 14, 2010 J.M. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tweens who like vampire stories
Shelves: young-adult, horror
The cover (I dig sailing ships) and premise (I dig vampires) attracted me to LONDON, 1850, but once I was about 50 pages into it I realized that, well, this book was just sorta ho-hum. It dragged throughout, with just one scene that stayed with me well after I had turned the next page (which I won't reveal for spoiler reasons). The characters of Jack, Ben, and Emily are all lacking complexity and, Sir Donald, the antagonist is unimposing and predictable. In fact, the entire story is formulaic. I ...more
Laurel
Ah! Finally a book with vampires that aren't girly! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, regardless of the lower-level read that it was. If I were a sixth grader, this book would be my new favorite. Rook offers a fresh take on vampires WITHOUT DESTROYING ALL VAMPIRE LORE. Yes, the characters were about as deep as an elementary school kid could handle, but that doesn't stop you from saying, "Crap!" aloud when the Mayan-Vampire-God-possessed Sir Donald shows up on their doorstep unexpectedly. The plot ...more
stitchnsnitch
I happened upon this book in the juvenile fiction section, and I was really pleased with it. There's strong character development, great pacing, and an informative and imaginative plot.

It was also a very quick, tame read, and this would be perfect for young elementary school readers who like a little "creep" in their reading.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series. :)
Sara
Wow! This book was super creepy for a kids book. I was pleasantly surprised to realize this is actually the first book of a six book series. I've put Doug on finding out if he can get the other five cheaper online or if B&N will be the best route. The second book takes place in Paris, that's all I know. The epilogue makes me wish I had the second book already. *sigh*
GeekChic
This story is about Jack finding a scrawny, hungry looking boy at an English port. It turns out his name is Ben and he just came from an expedition from Mexico. The author told Ben's story in diary format which I found really great because it allows us to immerse ourselves in the experience. There was some mild Mayan history that was from my knowledge accurate and interesting. And when Ben was done with his story, he takes Jack to his wealthy home and to his sister Emily. They then work on defea ...more
Jake Hamaker
This book is called The Vampire Plagues, London 1850 by Sebastian Rook. This is a fictional adventure book and i would recommend this to anyone who wants a good adventure book to read. The main character is Benedict Cole and he is the son of an explorer who is traveling to a foreign country with his father and a team of other explorers. Along the way Cole and his father find an old ruin that has a cave that leads deep inside of the ruins. The team decides to explore the cave and they find giant ...more
Jake
A little homeless thief, named Jack lives an adventure everyday. His choice is steal or die. But one night a boat comes in the docks of London a bit later than usual...and there's no crew! Only one man, and a boy who tells Jack about his trip to Mexico. The next couple days will be his biggest adventures yet, when he is running from vampires!

December 10

3/8/09
Vampire Plagues: London is an adventurous novel by Sebastian Rook. It is the first of a three book series. It is set in London and flashba
...more
Sean
I started this book because it was taking up space on my bookshelf and I needed space for others. (I have several large stacks beside my bookshelves). Anyways, The book was well worth the day and a half it took me to read it.
There was a great amount of depth to the characters which suprised me because it isn't the most talked about book I have ever read. The setting is in 1850 London for the most part...that can be seen as a "DUH" statement. (if confused see title ^_^).
What really excited m
...more
Talyn
This was a series consisting of vampires that I read and loved years before Twilight. I can't really say those who have not read this before Twilight can take from it the same entertainment and enjoyment I did because of current pop culture being flooded with vampires and other monsters, but if you're willing to take an alternative route and read this, then by all means do so.

This book is about an orphan named Jack in London during the mid 1800s. He sees a ship in the harbor at night, and a swar
...more
Amanda Harris
Benedict Cole (Ben) travels to the Yucatan jungle with his dad-an archaeologist to uncover the secrets of the Mayan civilization. Along with Ben and his father are two of his father's colleagues. One of which is Donald Finlay. They discover a mysterious cave so Prof. Finlay and Ben go in to do some exploring. Out of the cave creeps more than Ben had ever bargained for. The vampire bats have been released!

As Ben escapes Mexico and heads back to London, he meets up with a street dwelling kid, Jac
...more
Rebecca
The year is 1850, and twelve-year-old Jack Harkett has always lived on his own on the London docks, picking pockets in order to survive. He has no memories of a home or a family. One dark night, a ship sails into port. Jack hopes to steal some money from the rich passengers. But this ship is nearly deserted, and a swarm of bats emerges from it and flies off into the night. The only living human is a young boy named Benedict Cole. Ben is around Jack's age, but from a wealthy family. Ben has just ...more
Bix
I would have given this book 2 1/2 stars if that were an option; while the writing could be a bit less clunky in spots (and there is some negative stereotyping of the Mayan culture that I found off-putting), this vampire thriller is a pretty good page turner, and gets very positive reviews from readers. This popular series is appropriate for grades 5 and up, and would be a good addition to a school library collection."

KCLS Summary: "London, 1850. An enormous ship has just reached port. From its
...more
Januario
Jun 10, 2009 Januario added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young readers
Shelves: 2008-2009
As a twelve-year-old, Jack Harkett lives on his own in the docks of London. He took every opportunity he was given in order to survive on his own. But when he took the chance to work at a merchant ship, there was more than just labor at stake. The only person in the ship was another young man named Benedict Cole. Unlike Jack, Benedict was rich and kept his feelings to himself. Despite their differences, Benedict accepts Jack as a member of his ship. The two of them travel to London and in there ...more
Dylan Lewis
This book takes place in 1850 in London England. It is about a rich boy Named Ben, his sister Emily, and a homeless boy named Jack. Ben and his father, who is an archeologist go to Mexico to study the ancient Mayan temples. The find a rare kind of bat that turns out to be a vampire. One of Ben's father's co-workers ends up getting bit and becomes a vampire. He bites a bunch of the workers with them and ends up getting a vampire army. They travel back to London where Ben mets up with his sister a ...more
Edward
Dec 25, 2008 Edward rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grade 5 and up
The plot is good. Ben and his father's expedition brings the Maya's bat god Camazotz (In Kenneth Oppel's "Sunwing," "Silverwing," and "Firewing," there is a character called Cama Zotz, whose name, I'm sure, came from Camazotz.) into London of 1850, and the three friends' actions to stop him was extremely creative.
However, the writing was a little chunky at some places.
I read some reviwer's comments and noticed that one person thought the book stereotyped the Mayan culture. However, I don't th
...more
Emma
I think it's a pretty good book but there are a few things that annoyed me with how it was written.

First you have the flashback/timejump in the beginning of the book. Sure, it does give you a good background and all the information you need to get on with the story BUT I think that, at this point, you just want to get on with the story, at least I did. Maybe it had been better if Sebastian Rook had just begun the story at the beginning of *SPOILER* Bens trip to Mexico *END OF SPOILER*. I think t
...more
Billy C.
Jan 03, 2008 Billy C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like mystery and adventure
This book is an exciting book with alot of adventure and mystery in it. I liked this book because I couldnt stop reading it.
this book is about a boy named Jack who finds a young stowaway named Benedict Cole coming off a strange ship at night. Ben had just arrived to London from Mexico where him, his father, his uncle, the ships crew and a man named Sir Donald who is a vampire and wants to take over London and other parts of the world. Jack, Ben and Ben sister named Emily are now on a quest to st
...more
Carissa
The Vampire Plagues, Book 1, (London, 1850) is a truly unique book. Sebastian Rook takes the vampire stereotype and twists it...even more!
Jack, a common street urchin, lets his curiosity get the better of him when he boards the mysterious 'ghost' ship. Jack meets Ben, a traumatized rich kid whom Jack found on board the ship. Ben tells this crazy story of killer vampires. Impossible, right? Anyway, the unlikely pair become friends. Can they stop the Vampire Plague in time and protect the heart
...more
Beth
It's my favorite childhood book, the age at which I read this (around 12) is important considering how I rated this book. If I were reading it now I probably would still like it, although not as much.
Audrey
Jack, a young boy living on the streets of Victorian London, watches as a mysterious ghost ship docks on the Thames. Only two people exit the ship: a tall, well-dressed aristocrat and a starving, frightened boy the same age as Jack. Jack befriends the boy, Ben, and learns that he has just come back from an expedition in Mexico where they unwittingly released Camazotz, the Mayan vampire god of the underworld. Together with Ben’s sister Emily, the children are in a race against time to stop the fo ...more
Tara Frye
This book was really boring.
Kat
I read this series (up to the third book) when I was in, like, fourth grade. So maybe you shouldn't trust the 5 star rating, but I remember this book being amazing. I thought it was so unique and clever and creative, but I'm afraid to try reading it now since I've obviously grown up and my tastes (while they are still similar) have changed. If you know a late elementary school/middle school student who enjoys vampires and history, have them read this book.
Christie
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. There were some parts that tended to drag a little, but not too badly. The characters were described well and the storyline was pretty good. My favorite part of the book was everything about the Mayan lore on the bat god. I've always loved bats and this story caters to my love of both bats and Mayan lore. I recommend this read and look forward to reading the other two books of the trilogy.
Wendy
for a kids book, this was pretty intense at times. Two boys and a girl come face to face with the Mayan God of the night who happens to be a vampire. He even kills some people close to them. It is a fast paced game of cat and mouse that begins in the new world and continues across the Atlantic to the old country. Good fun and a terrific cliff hanger tease at the end for the next book.
Steph
Technically, I skimmed the second half of the book. It started off strong, and I thought I was in for a good vampire story, but the author's style and the simplistic characters bothered and eventually bored me. I won't be reading any of the other "Plague" books... I do own this, if anyone wants to give it a look, you might like it better than I did. I will pass it on...
Liam C
Dec 04, 2007 Liam C rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
I read this book because it was primarily a very easy book to read. It was a simple fill in the blanks book because any person can switch out characters and places and make a book that has the same plot. It was a pretty boring read. The only reason I was able to read this book was because I read the book in about two hours. Easy read but I don't exactly recommend this book.
Shayley
I read this is Grade 6 when a friend of mine told me he was surprised that I hadn't read it yet. So I picked it up and read it. and I enjoyed it, I don't remember most of it anymore, but I do remember being happy reading it, and feeling it was a good read, when I was eleven. I found it would be a great read for either a male or female youth because it's very good :)
Ladiibbug
Nov 11, 2008 Ladiibbug added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Younger Readers
#1 Vampire Plagues series (Scholastic)

This is a good book - however, I quit reading at page 50. These days I've gotta be *really* into a book to keep going.

This book is actually geared to much younger readers, maybe even grade schoolers (5th or 6th grade?). I can see where it would be popular and exciting for that age, or even tweens.
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Sebastian Rook is a pseudonym used for the Vampire Plagues series.

The first three novels in the series were written by Ben Jeapes. On his website, Jeapes says, "The writing is my own, the plot is someone else's, hence the nom de plume."

The other three novels in the series were written under the same pseudonym by Helen Hart.

More about Sebastian Rook...

Other Books in the Series

Vampire Plagues (6 books)
  • Paris, 1850 (Vampire Plagues, #2)
  • Mexico, 1850 (Vampire Plagues, #3)
  • Outbreak (Vampire Plagues, #4)
  • Epidemic (Vampire Plagues, #5)
  • Extermination (Vampire Plagues, #6)
Paris, 1850 (Vampire Plagues, #2) Mexico, 1850 (Vampire Plagues, #3) Outbreak (Vampire Plagues, #4) Epidemic (Vampire Plagues, #5) Extermination (Vampire Plagues, #6)

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