Sunday, July 24, 2011
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
Solange is the youngest child and only female born in 800 years to a blue-blood clan. As she approaches her 16th birthday, she is pursued by male vamps from all over. An ancient prophecy predicts that she will be queen, thus putting her life in danger from various forces, human and otherwise. Solange's family is trained in martial arts and other types of fighting and her seven older brothers keep close watch over her. When the current queen kidnaps her, Lucy convinces Solange's brother Nicholas to help rescue her, and a frantic search ensues. Kieran, a young Helios-Ra, discovers that his hate for vampires is fueled by lies and helps to save Solange, and a romance develops between the formerly feuding Lucy and Nicholas.
Genre: supernatural; romance
Note: #2 of the YA Series Challenge (The Drake Chronicles)
I'll start by saying I don't like the cover of this book. It made me think this was going to be another cheap cashing in on the vampire craze of late. Thankfully the cover is very deceiving. This book was fun and action filled and actually had very likable characters. Sadly, I haven't heard a whole ton about this series which makes me think it's been lost in the shuffle of vampire books to some degree.
The romance aspect of Lucy and Nicholas worked wonderfully without a lot of build up. Lucy is far more aggressive and mouthy than her vampire best friend and it's a nice change of the human actually being more proactive than the supernatural being. Solange is shy and quieter and generally defers to her human friend. You don't need to see every moment of how Nicholas falls for Lucy simply because she's feisty and dynamic and you understand why he would after being around her for years. The Solange/ Kieran romance was a bit more of a stretch, but wasn't really the focus so it didn't hurt. The action was very fast and hardly paused through the whole book, which gave next to no time to notice plot holes. It was just a great book that had more Buffy sensibilities than books that say they're styled after Buffy.