Nomes's Reviews > Saltwater Vampires

Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar
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's review
Aug 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie-ya, ya-male-pov, 2010, book-titles-that-rule-the-shelves, crushing-on-the-writing, paranormal-stuff, want-to-hang-out-with-the-gang
Read from August 26 to September 02, 2010

Saltwater Vampires has a hugely ambitious and sophisticated plot - there's three story-lines that blend together: the shipwreck and blood pact made on the Batavia (400 years earlier), a gathering of powerful freaky-guys in Amsterdam and Jamie and his mates kicking back surfing in Rocky Head, Australia.

What I loved about this book is it's unique blend of rich prose and suspense-filled plot. It's got this laid-back Aussie pace that manages to buzz with an exhilarating, suspense-filled plot. My reading experience was similar to Raw Blue: a contradiction - I was tearing through the pages and at the same time pausing at moments to re-read sentences and soak up the magic in the prose.

Jamie and his mates are not your usual heroes or vampire slayers. They're these loveable, freaked-out, wide-eyed and brave teens: flawed and crushed, hopeful and resilient. They're mates who watch each others back as well as let each other down and these contractions are so well drawn that the characters breathe on their own and worked their way into my heart. Eagar is a master of showing and readers are drawn into the richness of her characters and maybe have to work a little to see all the shades and complexities in the Aussie gang (consisting of three guys and two girls - whose history includes crushes, betrayals, guilt, relationship complications and a recent horrific accident in the ocean).

The vampires from the Batavia wreck are seriously freaky creatures of the night. Ugly and evil and the stuff made of nightmares. Powerful and relentless and their desire for blood and sadistic plans of mass feasting gave me chills. The horror factor clawed at my belly - in a wide-eyed, can't-look-away, creeped-out manner.

Just like the power of the outback setting in Lucy Christopher's Stolen, Eagar evokes similar sensations with the ocean. It's churning and powerful and compelling and lurking with hidden horrors. The ocean and the bush and music festival were used to advantage to add to the creepy undertones and Australian authenticity.

I haven't seen many thrillers of this outstanding calibre in the YA scene. Also, the male POV - spot on in a way that made me ache for it's authenticity.

It's a dark, spine-tingling read but not without it's moments of laid-back humour and some heart-felt relationship drama that added some levity. Also, how much did the last page just make me grin? It left me with a sense of loving these guys.

Two quotes I loved:

Aw, bugger it. Don't die wondering. 17.

Jamie's eyes met hers and recognition passed between them. He wondered if that was how it was going to be for the rest of their lives. They'd talk as if they were just two people who used to hang out, but all the time their eyes would be saying, I know you well and I miss you badly. 304.
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Quotes Nomes Liked

Kirsty Eagar
“Aw, bugger it. Don't die wondering.”
Kirsty Eagar, Saltwater Vampires

Kirsty Eagar
“Jamie's eyes met hers and recognition passed between them. He wondered if that was how it was going to be for the rest of their lives. They'd talk as if they were just two people who used to hang out, but all the time their eyes would be saying, I know you well and I miss you badly.”
Kirsty Eagar, Saltwater Vampires

Reading Progress

08/26/2010 page 58
16.0% "love the prose and the dialogue and the fact that this is going to get creepier..."
08/28/2010 page 188
51.0% "This has me FREAKING OUT."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Tara Looking forward to getting this book myself!

Rebecca James I just finished Raw Blue and LOVED it and am very much looking forward to reaiding this one too!

Rebecca James ... and then I'll probably read it when I've finished reaiding it! :)

Nomes Oh - isn't Raw Blue just brilliant? I loved this too - it had such a great vibe about it - you'll love it :)


message 5: by Flannery (new) - added it

Flannery I'm glad I came to read your review. I'm reading this now and not feeling it. But I'm going to finish it. I mean, you gave it 4 stars...

Nomes Flann ~ if you're not into it, give it a miss. i mostly loved the characters and writing in this (more so than the story itself)

it is a 3.5 star book for me(upgraded to 4 b/c i really love the Aussie setting ~ the coastal town/bush/ocean stuff feels like home ;)

message 7: by Arlene (last edited Aug 03, 2011 03:41PM) (new)

Arlene What do you think Nomes?? Should I read this? I liked Raw Blue, but I'm still not sure about this. Your review is great, but I'm wondering if you think I'll like this one.

Nomes I don't know Arlene. I don't normally read in the paranormal genre, so it's hard to say :/

I really liked the characters, the surfy scenes and the Aussie feel (with the bush, the music festival, the whole mate thing). But, it didn't have the awesome emotional impact of Raw Blue. You really cannot compare the two books. Writing style they are similar, but the stories are just incredibly, vastly different.

you can read an extract here:

if that helps you get a feel for the book.

I bought it on release date, after vowing to read everything she ever writes, LOL. Also, the trailer was awesome (which you can see at the above link).

(I sent my copy over to the US. I didn't think I would revisit it. But I would never part with Raw Blue)

message 9: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Okay, I'm going to give it a little bit more thought. Thank you for the extract. I'm going to check that out. LOL about Raw Blue. I feel the same way about my copy. :)

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