Asghar Abbas's Reviews > Demons of the Ocean

Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
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it was ok


The premise alone is worth the price of admission. I mean, come on look at the title! How can I not read this ? Or. So I thought, so I thought. And. So he spoke, and so he spoke, that lord of Castamere. Sigh. Why won't life just be a very long composition by the ever sublime Sigur Rós?

This book though is not as deep as this song I am listening to, is making it out to be. But at its core, it is about a pair of twin siblings. I can't seem to escape my fascination with this concept. For, what is more tragic than an idea of twins? Is it not a tragedy to have another you that is just as fallible as you? Your reflection. Only better while you feel like a cracked mirror?

At the beginning, this story made me nostalgic for Song of the Sea. Probably because it shared similar themes; a melancholic lighthouse attendant taking care of his motherless children. And mostly because I saw that movie back in the June of last year. One of the reasons why I read this book around this June.

I've missed the Song of the Sea. Of course, in the Cartoon Saloon's animated feature, the not children of the forest's mother was a selkie ( can't help imagining Colin Farrell's character saying, What's a selkie in his Irish Brogue in the excellent movie Ondine ) and here, it is hinted the twins' mother might have been a Vampirate. That's a combination of a vampire and a pirate. Or rather a vampire who is also a pirate. You can laugh now. The thing is, the concept was unique but the execution very poor indeed.

Anyhow, that was the vibe I was getting before the book delved into the smorgasbord mess of things it just possibly couldn't be. It tried though. But the pacing was really terrible, the characters were all cardboard, cookie-cutter, one-dimensional nonpeople types. With the possible exception of the lovelorn Irish vampy. And like all the fellow victims, others who have suffered this book had pointed out, the vampires and the pirates were a little too friendly and not fiendish enough.

There was a LOT of telling, not enough showing in this one, lemme tell you. Look, I get it.
This is geared toward kids, it wasn't even a young adult novel, just a children's book, I understand that.

But honestly tell me, whatever happened to the charming children's books that educated the young as well the adults? The ones that enthralled the wee ones and helped grow up the grown-ups? The awesomeness likes of Stuart Little, The Iron Giant, Bridge to Terabithia (one of my favorite, favorite things in this Circle of the World), Secret Garden, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Alice in freaking Wonderland. Whatever happened to those kinds of Books that were just, um, books?

I was reading this, vampires on a boat even though they didn't act like vampires, couldn't help but think of Fevre Dream, which all of my friends here on gr seem to be reading right now, haha. Then I came across a character named Nathaniel and of course that reminded me of Only Human, another fine novel.

I did however like the little skull logo at the head of each chapter, and all the skulls and crossbones did assuage my sudden bout of homesickness.

For one of the main reasons I picked this up in the first place was, I got it in '13. And partly because gleefully stuck in this sweet sticky stasis, it reminded me of my not old but erstwhile room.

Oh, how I love what's to come. I do.

Do you?
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 24, 2016 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Mir (new)

Mir Hahaha, Vampirates! A friend and I had a running joke about this book: we had a friend who always ostentatiously carried around thick theoretical books like The Arcades Project, and we kept meaning to buy this and carry it next time we were meeting him.


Asghar Abbas That's so brilliant ! lol haha. You should totally do that. I ugh myself don't like pretense. Liking something just for the sake of it, or to show off, never made sense to me. I mean, I already can't keep up with the things I actually like, you know.


message 3: by Mir (new)

Mir I do know! My to-read list out of control. I try once in a while to something because I "should" rather than for fun, but that's because I want to stretch my mind or learn something new, not to impress people.


Asghar Abbas Exactly that :) to learn new things and to broaden horizons. That's why I am always open to new books and people.


message 5: by Mir (new)

Mir I read so many books that I would not have heard of otherwise, due to people on goodreads. It's great.


Asghar Abbas Oh absolutely , I think half the new titles on my shelf is due to others reading them first or talking about them here . :)


message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne Vampirates... AWESOME!


Asghar Abbas Anne wrote: "Vampirates... AWESOME!"

Hahahaha yeah


message 9: by Anne (new)

Anne I think I'd read it just for the title, too.


Asghar Abbas Yeah , same reason I did and it was sort of fun .


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