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London, 1850

(Vampire Plagues #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,493 ratings  ·  115 reviews
A thrilling new suspense trilogy with a twist. For a thousand years, an ancient and all-powerful vampire god has lain dormant in the Mayan jungle. In 1850, he awakes -- and sets out for Europe...

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 f
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Scholastic Inc. (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,493 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: tweens who like vampire stories
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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book #20 Read in 2017
Vampire Plagues: London by Sebastian Rook

This is the first book in a trilogy for young adults. In this book, Ben is with his father on an expedition to Mexico. They stumble across a cave full of vampire bats and that does not end well for Ben's father. Ben escapes back to his home in London but the vampire problem follows him there. Can Ben, his sister Emily and their new friend Jack win against a paranormal enemy? This book has lots of action to keep middle school and high
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
it was good, I enjoyed reading! its and it was minus the sex, which is a nice for once..
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: decluttered
This was alright. I know it's only the beginning of the series, but considering it's called vampire plagues I was expecting there to be more vampires and more problems than what was really there. I liked the concept of vampires in this book, and the fact that they were actually the bad guys, but aside from that I just feel kind of meh about the whole this. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing either. Unfortunately, I have so many other books I want to read, and this just didn't blow me away enou ...more
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
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. ...more
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* ...more
Apr 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. :)
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like historical fiction, vampires, teenage main characters, and action adventures, then this book series is for you!

Sebastian Rook takes us back to the year 1850. While the book title is London, our story starts off in Mexico. The main character is Ben Cole. He is an archaeologist's son and is accompanying him and two other scientists on a expedition to Mexico and a search for Mayan relics.

We get to see the journal entries Ben is making for his sister who could not accompany the group (
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an insanely cheesy book. It is definitely a book for grades 4-6, but probably too juvenile for grades higher than that unless they are really sheltered kids. Lots of the middle schoolers I work with are into the horror genre, and this isn't it. Vampire Plague is more a straight forward adventure novel that is at least entertaining enough to finish. It's not scary at all and completely rated G. There is no deeper meanings or hidden twists with this story. I could see it being a Disney Ch ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I didn't actually finish the book, I got a little over halfway through and ended up losing interest. Not because the story is predictable (it is once you get about halfway - you know what's gonna happen), but because I didn't see how the books could be drawn out for so long without it all being over - the bad guy getting defeated, the hero winning, etc. it's really a good book, but I guessed what would happen, read the epilogue, read the back of the 3rd book, found I was correct, and gave up rea ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I first read these books when I was about 12 and they stuck with me, not because the writing or characters were amazing, but because I really liked how they portrayed vampires and gave it a twist that was interesting and different. Even now, all these years later, I enjoyed re-reading this book because I still enjoyed the lack of romance and lack of romanticising vampires. While belief has to be suspended quite often in these books, especially given that these are Victorian upper-class children, ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
As an adult who has read her fair share of adult vampire stories, I really liked this one for the young readers. It had lots of the classic vampire lore but the story was simple enough to keep it at a readable length for a middle grader. Not sure how many hard core vampire fans there are in the middle grades ... but those who are there will like this series.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting tale that would definitely appeal to elementary age kids. Some interesting writing choices were made, but, overall, this is a twist on most vampire lore, pulling from typically untouched sources.
Geneva Wilson
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really good series for readers grade 5 and up. Enjoyed it a lot. Hope to read the next books in the series.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i really liked this books ideas and plot. i just think bc i wasn't the target age demo, that i didn't get as attached to it. anything like this more YA leaning... i am interested.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was very impressed with this book. The writing made sense. From Mayan ruins to giant bats. Vampires and the like. I gave this book 5 stars
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. I found it to be a fast read that accelerated in the end. I will read the other two parts of this trilogy.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read it to my kids. They liked it. Me? Not so much.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thought it was cool because it was kind of like the 1920s movie Nosferatu because there was a ship carrying vampire bats.
Dec 10, 2008 added it
Shelves: q32009
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

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
Feb 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amanda Harris
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 10, 2009 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
Jake Hamaker
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Loveliest Evaris
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
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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.


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)

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