Hearts at Stake

Alyxandra Harvey, Author
Alyxandra Harvey, Author . Walker $16.99 (248p) ISBN 978-0-8027-9840-4 ISBN 978-0-8027-2074-0
Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009

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.)

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