By Justin Somper, Little Brown, $15.99, 490 pages
If pirates, vampires, swashbuckling action, and battles pique your interest, then the Vampirates series is for you. Author Justin Somper brings back twins Connor and Grace to face new adventures and old enemies in Empire of Night, book five in the increasingly popular fantasy series.
Sidorio, leader of the renegade Vampirates and father to the twins, is mourning the sudden loss of his new bride Lola (the twins’ stepmother). But it’s hard to keep a vampire down for long and she soon returns to “the living.” With Lola by his side once again, Sidorio wants to expand his empire with the twins as his heirs. Connor and Grace have different plans. When Sidorio invites them to spend time with him, they accept, hoping to discover secrets they can later use against the Vampirates. As the twins spy for the Pirate Federation, a war heats up between the living and the undead. Both boys and girls will enjoy the book’s action and adventure. Readers new to the series may feel lost at times when references are made to the past, but it can be read as a standalone book.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin