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Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
He looked to the sky, praying for rain, a downpour, some sign from the heavens that he should refuse the abomination contained in that flask. But all he saw was the bloated white face of the moon smiling down on him …
And the sky around it was cold and clear and black …
They made their circle of blood. And only the moon witnessed the slaughter that followed.
For Jamie Mackie, summer holidays in the coastal town of Rocky Head mean surfing, making money, and good times at the local music festival. But this year, vampires are on the festival’s line-up … fulfilling a pact made on the wreck of the Batavia, four hundred years ago. If their plans succeed, nobody in Rocky Head will survive to see out the new year.
Page-turning and suspenseful, Saltwater Vampires is a distinctly Australian vampire thriller.
Salwater Vampires inspired a new shelf–“just genuinely good”! There’s no guarantee it will have any company, though. (I’ll take another look at my rated books so far and see, but…) Anyway, that’s how I feel about this book. It was just plain awesome. I mean, nothing went wrong here. And I did that thing again where I get really excited about a book towards the end and can’t bear to read the last like 15 pages or so for fear of leaving behind something I love so much forever haha.
There’s something to be said for an author who can alternately pull off an elderly scholar’s viewpoint and a teenaged surfer’s like it’s part of their own personality. As a matter of fact, aside from the voice, the writing style was on-point, on both fronts, and without coming off as stiff or jejune, respectively. The Aussie slang never alienated me, either; though, at a point or two, it did halt the moment.
Sometimes he’s all right, Jamie though. A bit of a dag, really.
[W]hat Jeronimus feared was the void: the cold, indifferent eye of the ocean, something so ancient it rendered him meaningless.
I mean, really. I’m half tempted to add all other books by Eagar to my to-read shelf based on the writing alone.
And the story! Wow! I love the depth of involvement we get out of Jamie and his friends in this adventure they go on to free themselves from their fates and, essentially, “save the world” while everyone else is indisposed (through no real fault of their own). The concept is by no means original, but in its execution is where it shines. There’s heavy–such as his best friend Dale’s tragic accident, being abandoned by two of his pals, coming to terms with the reality of his perilous situation, etc.–and there’s also light–a new girl who he and Tanner fall over their faces trying to impress on the waves, “Willem” and “Jamieson” as opposed to “Will” and “Jamie,” the end-of-the-year festival and the music and the good times–and then there’s heavy—the mutineers’ plan to become black holes of blood-sucking force, Jamie’s physical pain as he turns, the threat of trusting a total stranger to deal with the vampires…
It’s a lot, and at the same time it’s really not. It’s fun but in the dire kind of way that teenagers coming of age is perilous entertainment.
Each aspect has its realness and rawness, and I cheered Jamie and his friends on the whole way, being as brave and resourceful as they were. Great, full characters to fill a demanding story line satisfied a huge potential void Saltwater Vampires didn’t dare fall victim to.
“They’re under the sea,” Jamie said, looking around at the others. “Don’t you get it? They come out of the ocean. They’re saltwater vampires.”