Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So, Saltwater vampires.... as opposed to freshwater vampires?
Kirsty Eagar's Raw Blue was probably one of the best YA fiction I read this year but this book is just a NO for me.
First of all, it is unclear to me what this book exactly wanted to be: did it want to be a dark, paranormal novel à la Anne Rice where some rebel bad-ass vampires try to become all-powerful?
Did it want to be YA fiction about some kids who love surfing but who end up in a big, messy trouble?
Or did it want to be a thriller where a secret society plots to annihilate said bad-ass vampires and to restore peace and perpetuate its secrecy?
There were three distinct plot threads going on at the same time and let me tell you that the whole thing was complicated and distracting.
The parts where the book wanted to be a paranormal novel reminded me a lot of one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, except the pirates, in this case, were vampires. The whole book is about them stealing a flask of super ancient vampire blood in order to perform a ritual and be able to:
a - walk in daylight again, so basically being nostalgic of the time they were humans;
b - travel through time to go back to the time of the shipwreck of the Batavia and look for Lucretia. WHAT? A bloodsucking predator with a romantic heart? Did I miss something there?
The parts were the book wanted to be YA fiction were certainly the best, we know Eagar excels in the field. Lots of surfing, like in Raw Blue, and a set of quirky, funny characters trying to solve their inner conflicts and, simultaneously, fight off the horde of monsters come to town. I loved those scenes, the surfing and the dialogue but it put a lull in the building-up of the plot, making the pauses excessively long. Midway through, it lost momentum and it started to get tedious.
The final scene is really adventurous and spectacular but I'm not sure if readers will actually get that far in the book. I did, out of sheer stubbornness.
The part where it wanted to be thriller and the secret society was involved were fairly predictable, both in regard to Clifford's motives and as to how it would end for him. And how could said centuries-old secret society be so inept at locating the bad guys?
The writing is, true to Eagar's style, flawless, although this book could surely have been (should have been) shorter, in my opinion.
It is its hybrid character that really didn't sit well with me.
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