Title: Hearts at Stake
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Summary: Nicholas smirked at me, easing languidly out of the shadows, totally invading my personal space. I hated that he was so handsome, with his tousled dark hair and serious expression. There was something else in his expression suddenly, something slightly wicked. I took a step back, wondering why my stomach felt funny. He advanced and I backed away, until I bumped into the log wall of the hose. I remembered, too late. Solange’s simplest warning about vampires: if you ran, the chased. It was just in their nature.
Solange has always known she will become a vampire on her sixteenth birthday. And as the only female vampire ever born, not made, she is surrounded by danger. When she is kidnapped, it’s up to her older brother Nicholas and her human best friend Lucy, to save her. But can Lucy first save herself from Nicholas, who tempts her with every look? And what will Solange’s own fate be if she surrenders her heart to the vampire hunter who has become her surprising ally against the bloodthirsty ruling class at the royal court?
My Rating: 7/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: To be honest, when I first started the book, I wasn’t liking it to much. I just couldn’t get into the mindset, and understand the characters, or like them. Part of it I think has to do with the fact I’m a good decade older than the characters and the intended audience of the book. I view the world differently then both the characters and audience, so some of the concerns and pains the characters go through, just blow past me. In fact, I find many young adult books irritating because of this, so I tried to change my mindset, and approach to what I was reading and expecting from the book, and because of this, I did end up enjoying the book.
I focused on the plot, and the author’s version of vampires. Which I have to say, is a very interesting one. And the fact that they don’t sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight is always an extra bonus. I like how her vampires are still very human, but have all the issues all the other vampires deal, with the need to feed, and the issues of turning into some sort of “evil” creature. The dilemma Solange goes through is written very well, it made it for more believable character, with how she dealt with the process, and how she grew throughout the story. I may not be able to connect to the characters, and find them to be a bit annoying with their angst and teenage issues and emotions, but I did find it to be well done. I think a lot of young adults can really enjoy the book on this level. They may not be changing into vampires, but they do have significant changes going on in their lives at this time, so I think they could easily relate to the characters in here.
As I’ve said before, plot is what kept me going through the book, and it was interesting, I could predict what was happening next at times and it was a very a very light read for me, but I will continue with the series, I am interested in seeing more of this vampire world, and how the next part in the story pans out. It was very well done vampire book, I really like the author’s interpretation of them here, so overall not bad, it’s a well written book, and I found that once I shifted my focus, it’s worth reading.
Would I recommend it to read: The author’s look on vampires is an interesting one, and I did enjoy that aspect of the book. The main plot in this regard was strong. The YA side of things was what bugged me. But, as I said above, I’m a good ten years older than the target audience, so if you are able to get yourself into the right mindset, it can be a good book to read. The author’s version of vampires, contrasted and compared to others, really makes it worth reading.
What to read next: Blood Feud, which is the second book in the series. And I think there is a third book but I’m not a hundred percent sure if it is out yet or not. I think it comes out late this year.
Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge, Countdown Challenge, Fantasy Reading Challenge, RYOB Challenge