Hearts at Stake

Hearts at Stake

4.1 487
by Alyxandra Harvey
     
 

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On Solange's sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that's not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father's killer and is intent on

Overview

On Solange's sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that's not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father's killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.
Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange's right to a normal life, whether she's being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange's eternal life—Lucy and Solange's brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover's heart.

Even fans of the genre who've seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters—vampire or otherwise.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
Not all vampires are made. Some—like the Drake family—possess a genetic mutation that causes them to be born human and later undergo a "bloodchange" on their sixteenth birthday. Until Solange Drake, however, not even the Drakes had ever been born female. Solange's mother was human, as has been every vampire's mother before her. With her own birthday just weeks away, and an ancient prophecy proclaiming the next vampire queen will be true born, Solange is finally beginning to understand what that means. The current queen considers her a mistake that needs fixing. The queen's ex-consort considers her a prize for the taking. The vampire hunters Helios-Ra have put a bounty on her head. Fortunately, her human best friend Lucy still considers her to be, well, her best friend. As Solange's bloodchange nears, the entire Drake clan—and the irrepressible Lucy—will have to battle intrigue, treachery, and the undead to prevent Solange's near-death transformation from actually killing her. This first book of "The Drake Chronicles" is wickedly, unrelentingly entertaining. The chapters alternate between Lucy's and Solange's voices, which allows the reader to experience the thrill of developing love stories between Lucy/Nicholas (Solange's brother) and Solange/Kieran (a rogue Helios-Ra agent). While the material draws inevitable comparisons to the "Twilight" juggernaut, Harvey's book is blissfully free of melodrama, brooding, and declarations of undying love. Instead, humor, teenage sensuality, and breathtaking action are wielded with a skill that will encourage young readers to sink their teeth into the sequel. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—There is a touch of classic fairy tale in this action-packed story that's narrated by a teen vampire, Solange, and her best friend, Lucy, a human. It's another book in the slew of novels in which a vampire hunter discovers that not all vamps are evil and forbidden romance flourishes. 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. This is a coming-of-age story with a tragic heroine and a snarky friend. The two young women try to find some normalcy in a life filled with craziness, resulting in a fun read.—Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library
Publishers Weekly
Harvey's debut, launching the Drake Chronicles, is a refreshing take on the familiar teenage vampire drama. Solange Drake, the first girl to be born of vampire parents in 900-odd years, has led a mostly normal life. But as Solange's 16th birthday nears, so does the fulfillment of her genetic destiny: biological transformation into a vampire. And not just any vampire, but a long-prophesized queen. Though Solange is more interested in being a normal teenager with her best friend, Lucy (the girls alternately provide the story's narration), the ruling vampire queen and a human council of vampire hunters feel otherwise. A series of attacks on the Drake family breaks long-established peace treaties and exposes a hidden web of love, hate, and politics. Harvey builds an engaging world of vampire cultures balanced with a smart mix of darkness and humor (“Everyone basically thought of me as a vampire broodmare, meant to give birth to lots of little royal vampire babies,” Solange observes). Though the Romeo-esque enemy love interest for Solange is predictable, an emphasis on family and friendship sets this story apart. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Solange Drake, a dreamy potter, has more on her plate than the average almost-16-year-old: Intoxicating pheromones waft from her skin, attracting numerous unwanted suitors, and she's dreading a potentially fatal transformation from human to vampire. Her gutsy, weapons-trained best friend Lucy is supportive, but she's increasingly preoccupied with Nicholas, one of Solange's five impossibly handsome brothers. Solange's family is vampire royalty, exiled from court because of Queen Natasha's paranoia about a prophecy that might be about Solange overthrowing Natasha's rule. Solange wants only to be left in peace, but inevitably, dark forces converge against the Drakes: First, the Helios-Ra-paramilitary vampire hunters whose brash young leader, Kieran, is attracted to Solange-attack, then Queen Natasha's brutal personal guards kidnap Solange. A pitched battle in Natasha's lavish court culminates in a twist that turns the prophecy on its head, making a normal teenage vampire life possible for Solange. This fluffy series opener is fundamentally silly and derivative of everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight to Harry Potter, but its fast-moving plot and refusal to take itself too seriously offer partial redemption. (Paranormal romance/adventure. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802720740
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
12/22/2009
Series:
Drake Chronicles Series , #1
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
361,222
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

ALYXANDRA HARVEY studied creative writing and literature at York University and has had her poetry published in several magazines. When not writing, she is a belly dancer and jewelrymaker. She lives in Ontario, with her husband, hawk, and two dogs.
www.alyxandraharvey.com www.heartsatstake.com

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Hearts at Stake 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 487 reviews.
danja More than 1 year ago
Finished this book in less than half a day. It was a really good read. will read more
TaylorravenJT More than 1 year ago
This story line has a lot of things young readers will enjoy. Action, smart wit, and family. It's so good to see the family dynamics play a big roll in this book, especially to see the mother kick butt! One that is real and not too mushy. Best friends Lucy and Solange are great and to get both their perspectives of what is transpiring is a refreshing change to the story line. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to jump in and have a good read. Can't wait for the next book. Taylor Raven
BookWormNY More than 1 year ago
Anyone who is unsure about this book, just keep reading! When I first started reading it, I wasnt sure about it but the more and more I read it, I fell in love with this series as well as the characters; Lucky aka Lucy, Nicholas, Solange and Kieran!! I just completely love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an entertaininh balance of bloody battles, unforgetable kisses, and lmao humor. I read the first page and was imediatly addicted. Solange is probably the only girl that's not looking forward to her sweet sixteen.why?Because of the proficy. A girl will be born into an ancient family, that girl is to be our queen. Well, Solange is the one that fits the discription. Only, say she doesnt want to. She doesnt. To freaking bad. When she has been hunted since her birth, you would think shed be used to it. Shes not. And that is probably the worst mistake. Solange will have to make grave decisions in this epic battle for life. But when her life is entangled with her bff Lucy's, life over love? Friends over family? Gramma over me? Find the answers in the everlasting war of love, life, and blood.WARNING: this book cusses.ages 10+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book and the entire series. It is very popular at school too (6-8 grade). My 11 year old has read the first three and is starting the fourth soon. Vampires, friends, boyfriends, and danger. Enjoy.
Liiz92 More than 1 year ago
this book is funny, it has action, romance.... if your a you vampire book this is definitely the book you should read.
Corein Richardson More than 1 year ago
this book had me hooked from beginng to end. with its inviting characters to it budding romances, it has heart and the since of family bonding, makes eveything seem almost unrealistic. other books are fantasic also. :)
wdwmomof2 More than 1 year ago
Intrresting tale being told from standpoint of 2 people.
ACasualReader More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a different take on vampires than I've read before. There was a good amount of humor that made me laugh out loud and it had a great romance aspect. Hearts at Stake was told in a two person perspective between Solange and Lucy. I'd have to say that I enjoyed Lucy's prospective more. She was witty and fun and the tension between her and Nicholas was perfect. I found myself wanting to skip every other chapter just to read more about Lucy and Nicholas! If there were more of a connection with Solange and Kieran earlier in the book, I would have been more interested in Solange's point of view. It was interesting to learn the history of how the Drake family came into existence as vampires. Helena is an awesome mother and can totally kick anyone's butt who tries to mess with her family. Solange has 7 great bothers too who will do whatever it takes to protect her. The plot was interesting, which made for a very engaging read. I loved the humor, the romance and the kick-butt fighting from Lucy and the Drake family! I think this book is proof of how important blog book giveaways can be. Thanks to winning this book, I now have to read the rest of the series. Without winning this book, I may never have gotten the chance to discover this series by Alyxandra Harvey. I I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a different take on vampires than I've read before. There was a good amount of humor that made me laugh out loud and it had a great romance aspect. Hearts at Stake was told in a two person perspective between Solange and Lucy. I'd have to say that I enjoyed Lucy's prospective more. She was witty and fun and the tension between her and Nicholas was perfect. I found myself wanting to skip every other chapter just to read more about Lucy and Nicholas! If there were more of a connection with Solange and Kieran earlier in the book, I would have been more interested in Solange's point of view. It was interesting to learn the history of how the Drake family came into existence as vampires. Helena is an awesome mother and can totally kick anyone's butt who tries to mess with her family. Solange has 7 great bothers too who will do whatever it takes to protect her. The plot was interesting, which made for a very engaging read. I loved the humor, the romance and the kick-butt fighting from Lucy and the Drake family! I think this book is proof of how important blog book giveaways can be. Thanks to winning this book, I now have to read the rest of the series. Without winning this book, I may never have gotten the chance to discover this series by Alyxandra Harvey. I recommend anyone who loves humor; a little romance and a lot of vampire- give this series a try!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a really good book. it's intresting and also it is vampire realated. i wold keep reading and reading it if i could. i cant wait for the other books.
bonnejean More than 1 year ago
I got this book on a whim and I really enjoyed it. it was a little disorentating at first switching between characters at first, but I ended up liking how it worked. I hope there is another book involving Lucy, she is my favorite!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! The plot was great and so was the going back and forth from the two main girls. I think this book should be 13+ because it had A LOT of bad words. But, other than that it was great! DD Stay Beuitful:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a great book. very easy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book I've read in a long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This came off as a different spin off of Vampire lore that really was not bad at all. The overall story was unique enough and as the narrative perspective changed between the two main sixteen-year-old girls, it approached the story well. The current day references also made for a good chuckle too. It isn't a die hard insant classic but definitely worth a good read or two.
Eye-Heart-BooksAndNooks More than 1 year ago
Exciting, fighting, ROMANCE. This series is so awesome, from the first book to the 3rd book, it keeps your interest....and you continue to see the characters in each book, it just tells one story, then picks other characters in the next book and tells their story. I originally read the 3rd book first, and got hooked when I found out there was a series. I can't wait for the 4th book Bleeding Hearts to come out in Nov 2011!!!
newmoon33 More than 1 year ago
We have Salonge who will change at 16 or die and she has 9 brothers.One of her brothers is in love with her best friend Lucy.Lucy will protect her friend at all cost.This book is the book were you learn the characters and fall in love with them,I am sure the next book"Blood Feud" will be lots better. And the book is not too big,its very easy to read,I finished it in 2 days.I think its real nice Salonge has 9 brothers that love her and want to watch her back,Salonge would be the main character,but I believe Lucy has the biggest roll in this book and the book is really about the whole family being the main characters. Their is an evil vampire Queen or she thinks she's the queen that wants Salonge killed because Salonge is the rightful Queen by blood.But Salonge never wanted to be queen.Read the Book for the rest!Enjoy!
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
HEARTS AT STAKE, by Alyxandra Harvey, was a fresh and modern retelling of the story of Snow White, but with a *fang*tastic twist. This dual narrator book tells the story of Solage and her change into a vampire along with her best-human-friend, Lucy. This book was truly a great read. Harvey created a new history of vampires that was interesting and captivating. I liked reading this book with two narrators because they were totally different. Although most of the time I preferred to read Lucy's chapters versus Solage's. Lucy was fiesty, cheeky, and quite enjoyable to read. Plus there was the added benefit of the blooming romance between her and Nicholas. Their passionate outbursts to each other only made their sweet moments more swoon-worthy. Solage was a bit whiney at times and her changing did nothing to improve her unremarkable personality. But I did like the whole damsel-in-distress circumstance with the gorgeous and mysterious Kieran Black. I highly enjoyed the background that Harvey created for these characters. She was very in-depth, although sometimes too much so. I found myself having to flip back and forth to distinguish the different types of vampires apart. But other than that I liked reading about the Drakes and their ancestry. This book stands apart from other young-adult vampire books. The new lineage and history of these vampires living together and fighting humans will definitely sink its teeth into you.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And all family problems were successfully resolved.....