Alyxandra Harvey – Blood Prophecy
Length: 496 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Started: 15 February 2013
Finished: 21 February 2013
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? The Drake Chronicles are ridiculous amounts of fun, so I had to see how it all wrapped up.
What’s a girl with a
possessed vampire queen for
a best friend to do?
Summary: Solange Drake, the young vampire princess, has shocked the gathered conclave of vampire tribes by claiming the crown and declaring herself to be queen. But Lucy, Solange’s human best friend, knows that something’s wrong. In fact, Solange is trapped inside her own head, while an ancient spirit controls her body, sending the vampire world into chaos. While Solange is working to free herself from the nightmare landscape of the past in which she finds herself, Lucy must work with Solange’s family – including Lucy’s boyfriend, Nick – to regain control of the vampire clans, while simultaneously convincing her vampire-hunter classmates not to kill Solange before they can exorcise her. Plus there’s still someone responsible for leaving dead humans littered around the town of Violet Hill, not to mention the renegade group that’s been imprisoning and torturing vampires and humans alike…
Review: The Drake Chronicles are a lot of fun, tons of action and snark and romance. But while this book, which wraps up the series, was an enjoyable read, I thought it tried to do too much, and wound up less successful than previous books.
The first few books in the series are relatively stand-alone, each a romance focusing on a different Drake sibling. This aspect of the books is always my favorite; Harvey’s characters can flirt and banter with the best of ’em, and the relationships between her characters are sweet yet believable, although she can also write a seriously steamy make-out scene. However, the later few books have focused less on the romance and more on vampire politics. And while Harvey’s conception of the vampire world and its various factions is interesting, I don’t enjoy it as much when it’s the dominant aspect of the books.
Actually, I think my primary problem with this book was that it tried to do too much. It’s much more plot-driven than character-driven, and it attempts to pull in and tie together plot threads from the entire series. Except, Harvey originally conceived of Hearts at Stake as a stand-alone rather than the beginning of a series, and it wasn’t until book 4 that there started to be a sense of a larger plot underlying the whole thing. Blood Prophecy‘s got a case of attempting to pile in every theme and every minor character from the whole series, in addition to having its own new plot (Solange’s possession, which I thought were some of the most interesting and most effective chapters in the book.) It winds up feeling as though none of the various subplots are really given the space to be as developed as they deserve. It also makes the pacing fairly strange; what I thought was going to be the climax of the book happened only about 60% of the way through, followed by some downtime, followed by another crisis that came… not quite out of left field, but it also didn’t feel like it had been building over the course of the book, either.
So, on the one hand, all of the pieces that got me hooked on The Drake Chronicles in the first place are still there: plenty of action, tons of witty banter, kick-ass characters, an interesting world, and some tingly (and non-rage-inducing) teen vampire romance. And it certainly kept me reading, and kept me entertained. But because this book spent so much of its energy trying to integrate everything that’s gone before, it wound up feeling overcrowded and not quite as cohesive as most of its predecessors. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: If ever there was a non-stand-alone book, this would be it. The series as a whole, though, is excellent fun for anyone who likes their heroines to be able to kick some butt and then make a snarky quip about it afterwards, or anyone who is tired of the typical teen paranormal romance cliches.
“You know, you don’t exactly seem like the library type. Tyson would be so proud.”
“I have to start somewhere,” I grumbled. “Much as I’d like to just punch everyone in the face until this all makes sense, that seems like a lot of work.”
First Line: I was a voice inside my own head.
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