Hearts at Stake

Hearts at Stake

4.1 485
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

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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 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.

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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)

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Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Drake Chronicles Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


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