Black Heart - Justin Somper

THERE S a new ship of vampire pirates roaming the seas and our twin heroes Grace and Connor Tempest make a gob-smacking discovery about themselves in the fourth adventure of Justin Somper s ocean-going series for teenagers. Somper has created a futuristic

THERE'S a new ship of vampire pirates roaming the seas and our twin heroes Grace and Connor Tempest make a gob-smacking discovery about themselves in the fourth adventure of Justin Somper's ocean-going series for teenagers.

Somper has created a futuristic world in which the seas are fought over by mortal pirates and immortal vampirates.

It's the 26th century and sea levels have risen. Whoever rules the waves, rules the world. In the first three books, Grace and Connor are shipwrecked and rescued by different ships - Grace by The Nocturne, whose crew are vampirates, and Connor by The Diablo, whose crew are human pirates.

As they settle into their new lives, they are torn by their ties to each other and their loyalties to their shipmate friends.


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In Black Heart (�6.99, Simon and Schuster), Grace meets her dead mother and Connor joins a new crew, led by his old friend Cheng Li, which has a very special mission.

Love is in the air for both siblings and there's plenty of vampire blood-letting, though Somper writes very matter-of-factly about the violence. We never meet the poor humans who die to satisfy the vampirates' blood lust.

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This is a classic fantasy/adventure story which also tackles difficult issues for younger readers, like love, loss and relationships. It's aimed at 10-year-olds and over and is full of intriguing characters.

- LINDSAY JONES

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