Solange Drake always knew she was destined to become a vampire queen. And as the only vampire female ever born, not made, she is surrounded by dangerSolange Drake always knew she was destined to become a vampire queen. And as the only vampire female ever born, not made, she is surrounded by danger on all sides – from vampire suitors who want join with her lineage to bounty hunters who are set on destroying her and her family. When she is kidnapped, it’s up to her older brother Nicholas and her human best friend, Lucy, to save her. But can Lucy save herself from Nicholas, who tempts her with his every look? And what will be Solange’s own fate if she surrenders her heart to the vampire hunter helping her survive the deadly intrigue at the royal court?
Let the Drake family be your guide into a secret vampire society full of epic battles, gothic seductions, undead drama, and wicked humor.
The description on the book jacket sums up the novel perfectly except for the last line. Well, the undead drama part is true. Hearts at Stake is an undead soap opera filled with the traditional love sentiments found in a vast majority of paranormal romance books of the YA persuasion. The female characters are completely clueless about males being attracted to them, there’s the ‘oh it cannot be true’ moments, the males’ amazing restraint around the females who they supposedly are completely enthralled with then the innocent kisses that could be more but the characters are too innocent. Of course, one cannot forget the ever present brooding by all the characters as things do not work out as intended and over the ’star-crossed lovers’ dilemma.
Hearts at Stake, overall, is not a horrible book. The world Harvey created has a great deal of potential but the characters and their personalities are lacking depth. The created world offers little to the ever expanding mythos of the vampire but Harvey is making a valiant attempt at creating some new variations of what would be considered vampire and how they are created/born. Her attempt does fall short due to her characters and the way the storyline was laid out.
The storyline switches back and forth between two narrators, Solange and Lucy, and each section is written in first person. Harvey did succeed in separating out the voices of Solange and Lucy. I am partial to Lucy’s voice as her personality was clearly better developed than Solange’s. Solange reminds me too much of so many other female protagonists in YA novels. She’s there, wants to be helpful, has a martyr complex but ultimately falls short on being interesting. The Drake family as a whole was not thought out as well as Lucy’s family. Lucy’s family dynamic was clear and further enhanced her personality. The Drake family was very hollow and seemed only focused on destruction of multiple enemies and protection of Solange. There were no emotions attached to them as individuals. There were scenes that involved emotion between the Drakes but the scenes felt forced and unbelievable. I think the storyline would be better if Harvey stuck to one narrator and added more personality to the character and family that the book is about. If you’re going to refer to the book as the first installment of The Drake Chronicles, the Drake family should be present and involved.
Even with Hearts at Stake being 248 pages long, it is a really quick read of chick-lit YA vampire fluff. Nothing truly gained by it but not a complete waste of time either. I like it well enough to be interested in the second installment, Blood Feud, being released in June 2010. I hope as Harvey grows more comfortable with the world and characters she’s created, her writing and the storyline will improve. It should be noted that the alternative title is so much better but makes no sense with story but neither does Hearts at Stake unless you really like puns....more
The rating I give this book is close to a 1.5 stars rather than two but oh well.
I really liked the first two books in the Immortality Bites series soThe rating I give this book is close to a 1.5 stars rather than two but oh well.
I really liked the first two books in the Immortality Bites series so I was a bit taken aback by the fact that I had great dislike for this, the third installment. I think the main issue with this book is that it does not revolve around the two primary characters from the first two books. Instead it revolves around two secondary characters - one that was introduced in book one and another that was introduced in book two. I did not like either of the characters, their personalities and/or their agendas in the prior books so it was really challenging to like a book that further compounded their abrasive unsavory personalities. In addition to the main concept, the writing just seemed different and lacking in comparison to the rest of the series.
All in all, a disappointment but thankfully the series goes back to Sarah and Thierry for the remaining two books....more