1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Solange Drake and her vampire family have been exiled from the royal court; a centuries-old prophecy states that a female vampire born to an ancient family will become the queen and bring all the vampire tribes together and Solange is believed to be the one who will fulfill that prophecy. As if that isn’t enough to make a young girl stress out, there are vampires trying to woo her and others trying desperately to kill her. As she and her family struggle to keep her safe, her approaching bloodchange weakens her to her core. Solange’s best friend, a mortal girl named Lucy, is by her side every step of the way. Both girls find more than they bargained for as the prophecy unravels before them. Will Solange step up to the rank of queen or will she succumb to the bloodchange?
I was absolutely astonished with Harvey’s fresh approach in this fantastic vampire novel and I enjoyed the fact that the violence wasn’t bogged down in gore. With the market smothered with every possible option, it was a delight to see an author think outside the box, creating a startling view of vampires.
Each of the characters was true to the vampire stereotype, adding a colorful, family feel to the Drake’s. As far as the dark side of vampires, Harvey created enough drama to set the plot in motion, propelling it to a dramatic finish. Harvey’s view of the vampiric world is electric, giving the reader a view of the immortal life unlike any other story out there.
Hearts at Stake is a fantastic YA novel filled to the brim with action, intrigue and romantic interests you won’t see coming. I highly recommend the Drake Chronicles to anyone who loves a good vampire story with a touch of romance. Blood Feud is the next installment and I can’t wait to devour it page by page.
1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed by Samantha Clanton aka "Harlequin Twilight" for TeensReadToo.com
The prophecy stated that the vampire tribes would be united under the rule of a daughter born to an ancient family. The Drakes are that family, and Solange is that daughter. Solange will change from being mortal to being vampire in a matter of days, on her sixteenth birthday. In the meantime, she's fighting off the "suitors" who are attracted by her lineage and pheromones, and the vampire hunters who are after her family. As if her situation isn't difficult enough, she also has to deal with all seven of her gorgeous vampire brothers and her impossible best friend, Lucy.
Solange and Lucy have been best friends for their entire lives. Lucy is also the closest human to the Drakes and is basically a member of their family, which tends to make for some rather interesting exchanges. When Solange is kidnapped, it's up to Nicholas, her older brother, and Lucy to find her and save her before time runs out. But can Lucy save herself when every glance or touch from Nicholas makes her go weak at the knees? And despite her almost impossible situation, what will happen if Solange decides to give her heart to the beautiful, but dangerous, vampire hunter who's helping her survive? A lot of drama and amusement for the reader, that's what!
Our story is told in alternating voices and I'm going to start by saying that despite the fact that the story is mainly about Solange and her family, Lucy has got to be my favorite! She's spunky and full of bite and I love it. She's so funny and vibrant that she balances Solange very well. I found Solange to be quite amusing herself, but she's a lot more subtle than Lucy and while being very sweet, I was drawn more by Lucy and her love interest than I was Solange's predicament.
There's something to be said for a book that is totally well-written and engaging that it has me running into things as I walk through the house because I don't want to put it down. I loved the characters, Lucy and Nicholas are totally my favorites, and they're hilarious, especially when they argue and bicker and try to hide their totally hot attraction to one another. Solange and Nicholas' mother, Helena, and brother, Logan, are totally in second place as to favorites. There are a lot of characters in HEARTS AT STAKE, but they all stand out in their own ways and I really like being able to remember characters after the fact and still know why I like them.
I really loved all the vampire lore, and Alyxandra Harvey not only found a new take on vampires, but also was able to separate her vampires and her story from all the TWILIGHT hype that is obviously here to stay for awhile (and don't get me wrong, I love TWILIGHT and all, but come on). But I do need to point out that within the first few chapters I saw the words "twilight" and "the Host" used and while not references or anything, it still made me giggle...a lot. The lore that Harvey brought into the story was so interesting and there's all kinds of little vampire subcategories so to speak, like the Host, the Hounds, and then the scary blue skinned ones (and no, they are not at all Smurf-ish or from Pandora) called the Hel-Blar.
I found HEARTS AT STAKE to be very enjoyable and fun and I absolutely loved it! I flew through it in just a few hours and ate up every page. The bruise on my shin can sorely attest to that, since I ran into the coffee table while reading because I didn't want to stop. The writing is fantastic, the characters are simply awesome, and I can't wait to read the next book - I've marked my calendar and am totally excited.