The Drakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the 12th century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her. Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.
©2009 Alyxandra Harvey (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Three stars is actually a bit cruel for this book, and four is too generous. Three and a half is probably closer to the mark. Hearts at Stake is a teen vampire novel about the Drakes, an old vampire family, who, unlike many of their kind, abstain from drinking human blood. This book is well written, and the character of Lucy comes across particularly strongly. The book has enough action and romance to keep readers happy, but therein lies its problem in my opinion. No one can accuse this book of being slow. In fact, it's so fast-moving that it's often difficult to keep track of events. There's all the action without any explanation and I had the perpetual feeling I was missing something. I think this also took away the power from the romantic interests. Worth a read but not up there with some of the teen vampire classics in my opinion.
"Not So Much"
I didn't hate this book, honestly I felt nothing, and I think that might be worse. Eileen Stevens and Michal Friedman where not very good. They distracted me more then anything and we all know nothing ruins an audiobook more then that.
It is quite short and a whole lot of nothing very interesting happens. It somehow had the ability to feel rushed and complicated and also very slow and really freaking simple. Figure that one out will ya? Lots of long complicated Vampire clans (clans?) Like 4 different types of Vampires... one type was even blue? it was all very confusing.
AND last but certainly not least the romance is flat at best. I think it goes without saying I do not recommend this one.
"Fluffy young adult paranormal romance"
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Solange Drake is about to turn sixteen and she just wants to be a normal teenager. That’s hard enough when she’s got seven big brothers hovering over her, but what really sucks is that she knows she’s going to die on her birthday. If she’s strong enough to survive the Bloodchange, she’ll return as a powerful vampire — the only female vampire born (not made) in centuries and, according to an ancient prophecy, she’ll be the rightful vampire queen. She doesn’t really want to be queen, but there are plenty of people who are hoping she’ll oust Lady Natasha, the evil pretender.
Solange has lots of support — her seven gorgeous brothers, her powerful parents, several bodyguards, and her best friend Lucy who may not have any supernatural stuff going on, but who’s got enough guts and spunk to hold her own. Solange has enemies, too, of course. Not just Lady Natasha and her evil minions, but also vampire hunter Kieran Black who’s out to prove himself worthy of his calling by bringing down the infamous Solange Drake.
Hearts at Stake, the first novel in Alyxandra Harvey’s DRAKE CHRONICLES, is a really fluffy young adult paranormal romance. This isn’t usually my thing (okay, it’s never my thing), but the DRAKE CHRONICLES books were on sale, so I’m giving them a try. Hearts at Stake is fun, silly, light, and requires no mental effort. The plot is mostly predictable and the writing is far from elegant (example: “I scowled at the open bag, panting and scowling.”). The two heroines, Solange and Lucy, are likeable girls and will appeal to most teenagers. As is often the case in teenage romance novels, Solange does occasionally stupid things that seem to serve the plot more than her own survival.
All the boys are nearly indistinguishable from each other and they display those annoying masculine behaviors that, for some reason, teenage girls seem to find irresistible: jaw and fist clenching, growling, wrist grabbing, backing girls up against the walls, etc. Girls, you may think it’s adorable when teenage boys display these kinds of immature mating behaviors — perhaps you think it’s some kind of indication of how much they want you — but I guarantee that when they’ve grown into adult men who can’t control their emotions, you will not find jaw clenching and wrist grabbing cute anymore.
Despite my complaints, I’ll admit that Hearts at Stake kept me entertained for a few mindless hours and I’m certain that many teenage girls (the target demographic) will like it, which is why I’m giving it a generous three stars. If it’s light shallow fun you’re looking for, this will hit the spot. If you need deep characters, meaningful insights, unique plot or elegant prose, look elsewhere.
I listened to the audio version which has two narrators: Elieen Stevens, who narrates the chapters from Lucy’s perspective, and Michal Friedman who narrates Solange’s chapters. I thought Eileen Stevens was wonderful, but I didn’t like Michal Friedman as well. Her voice is a little childish and I never quite believed she was Solange which was one of the things that prevented me from losing myself in the story. I didn’t think either narrator did a good job with the male voices.
"Not your typical coming-of age story!"
This is one I will definitely listen to again! The narration was well done, and the story kept me interested. The characters were well drawn and believable.
Solange was my favorite character. The narration from her point of view captured her personality and showed us a young girl, responsible but still innocent.
That said, the scenes between Lucy and Nicholas were generally good for smiles. Eventually, Lucy's perceptions of Nicholas change, making the listener wonder where their relationship will eventually go.
I listen while walking, so, I must admit that a week of stormy weather was very frustrating. I cheated and listened after returning from my walk more than once. I would have gladly just sat down and listened straight through!
I am definitely looking forward to listening to more books in this series.
"50-50 on this but will be trying the next one!"
What i love is the double naration and i noticed that for the next books in the series there are different narrators to go with the new charactors addressed in the books. It was also fun and you learn the charactors personalities very quickly and grow to love them. Downside is that some parts are boring and others a bit too dramatic. The story is a bit bland but there are some good action and romance seens. Overall it is ok and i will be trying the next one.
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