Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book Review: Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

The thing about prophecies is they make life really difficult. Ask Harry Potter, or Solange Drake.

Solange is the first daughter born in her vampire family for hundreds of years. She's destined to fulfill the ancient Drake family prophecy - when she turns 16 and goes through the blood change, becoming a full-fledged vampire, she'll become the vampire queen. Which wouldn't be a problem, except Solange doesn't want to be a vampire queen. And the current vampire queen, Lady Natasha, really has issues with being replaced. With just a few days to go until her sweet 16, Solange is oozing pheremones that unhelpfully announce her presence to every vampire in the area. With love-crazed vampire suitors who want to be king, Lady Natasha's assassins, and the operatives of the vampire-hating Helios-Ra cult around every tree and bush, Solange is stuck being baby-sat by her seven older, obnoxious brothers 24-7.

As annoyed by all this as Solange is, her best friend Lucy is even more irritated by the Drake brothers hovering around all the time. Even though human Lucy grew up with the Drakes and is pretty much immune to the vampire pheremones (the ones that make humans go all googly-eyed and mushy-romantic whenever there's a vamp around), lately she's been noticing Nicholas. A lot. Gorgeous, over-protective, super-annoying Nicholas, the Drake brother who know just how to get under her skin.

When the Drakes manage to take one of the Helios-Ra agents captive (they stake all the vamps), things really get interesting. Kieran Black is young, dark, and dangerous, and has a serious vendetta against vampires, especially the Drakes - his father was murdered by a vampire, and Kieran claims Solange's family is responsible. Which is why he was the first to jump at the chance to claim the bounty set on Solange and her family. A bounty they didn't know about, and one that reveals a dangerous plot that could throw the entire vampire world into chaos. With her birthday fast approaching, Solange, Lucy, Nicholas, and Kieran have to figure out a way to work together and track down who set the bounty - before it's too late.

Stuffed with tons of vampire staking, danger, intrigue, and smoldering romance, Hearts at Stake is a little bit Twilight, a whole lot Buffy, and all kinds of awesome. Look for the sequel, Blood Feud, June 22nd!

(now reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green - FABULOUS!)