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Series Review: The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Canadian Author, Favourite Series #14
Series: The Drake Chronicles
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
# of Books: 6 (Hearts at Stake, Blood Feud, Out for Blood, Bleeding Hearts, Blood Moon, Blood Prophecy )

There are a lot of novella side stories and prequels: Full List Here

Book Order: Connected Chronologically
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Action, Vampires, Humour
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

I’ve read a lot of vampire novels so I was excited to see that this series appeared to be a fresh take on vampires and by a Canadian author to boot!

And this series is a fresh take! It reminds me of a more up-beat Vampire Academy because we have different types of vampire species at play here with a lot of kick-ass action but it is done in a much more fun way. Lucy is witty and her parents are a little crazy and the Drake family is highly entertaining.

The first 4 books in the series focus on a different Drake sibling and their respective love interest. I like this setup because we get to learn more about the different Drakes, get to watch a new couple fall in love and get a fresh take on the overarching plot. You see, although the first 4 books focus on different characters, they each contribute to the plot that starts in the first novel and concludes in the last. This has its pros and cons in my opinion but it is a setup we don’t commonly see in other young adult series and it makes this series unique.

A pro about this series setup is that there is never really a lull in the plot progression (or at least there isn’t one that is as noticeable as in other series). It also gets you more familiar with the characters and helps your understanding with the world the Drakes are apart of. And at the same time, you don’t get annoyed or bored reading the same characters’ perspectives for an entire 6 book series.

A con about this series is that the last 2 books focus on Solange, Nicholas and Lucy who are the stars of the first book. Now the con isn’t that it follows these characters–because Nicholas and Lucy are my two favourite in this series–rather I was under the impression that when I started this series that each book was going to focus on a different Drake sibling and their love interest. I was expecting to see the oldest Drake brothers fall in love and unfortunately, I don’t get to (though a novella follows one of their love stories).

It would be easy to get past this I think if I enjoyed where the plot ended up going; but unfortunately, I didn’t love the path we take for the final climax. Solange was never my favourite character but I really didn’t like her storyline in Blood Moon and Blood Prophecy and because she is a main focus, I felt like it really dragged.

It took me a really long time to finish Blood Prophecy–I just couldn’t get into it. Although I loved the fact that the characters we were previously introduced to get adequate screen time I just felt like the book was way too long. The plot dragged and I got bored with the plot. I warmed up by the end but it was too little too late.

Part of the problem is that it had been 1.5 years since I finished book 5, Blood Moon–which I didn’t totally love either so that also changed my expectations for the final book. Regardless, I just found it hard to keep everything straight because there are multiple vampire species that have different abilities and the like; and they all have odd names so I found it hard to keep them straight. If I had read all books in a row within a month, I probably wouldn’t have been as lost and enjoyed the final two books a lot more.

A note on the novellas: I’ve only read some of the novellas. They aren’t necessary for the story but they do give some context and are entertaining, purely fan-service reads.

Conclusion:

If you want a vampire series that focuses equally on romance and action–this is a series for you. It’s a lot of fun, has strong heroines and lots of kickass action! But be sure to read them close together to keep everything straight and keep within the Drake-mindset!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #1)

Synopsis for Hearts at Stake (or My Love Lies Bleeding) (from Goodreads):
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.

Series Review: The Lovegrove Legacy by Alyxandra Harvey

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

 

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Canadian Author
Series: The Lovegrove Legacy Trilogy
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
# of Books: 3 (A Breath of Frost, Whisper the Dead, In a House Made of Bone and Teeth)

In a House… is a novella to wrap up the series after it was dropped by its publisher.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Witches, Magic, Historical, Romance, Mystery
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Once I started the Drake Chronicle Series by Alyxandra Harvey, she quickly became one of my favourite authors. I just loved her writing style, her fun characters and the cute romances. Though I didn’t completely love the last few books in the Drake Chronicles, I still like reading her works so I was excited to read another series by her.

I’m not the biggest witch fan–I tend to not enjoy the books featuring witches but I changed my mind for two reasons: 1) I’ve really enjoyed Claudia Gray’s new Spellcaster series which is about witches and 2) I love historical young adult reads. So I decided to give it a shot.

Overall, I really enjoyed A Breath of Frost. It was fun and had a lot going on so I never found it dull plot wise. I found though that there was too much detail or it would drag in descriptions so my mind would wander and I would miss important plot changes, causing me to have to flip back and reread a few bits to get a handle on what is happening. But once I did, I figured out what was happening.

I really liked all the characters. The cousins are a lot of fun to read about have each have unique personalities that makes reading about them enjoyable. A Breath of Frost mostly focuses on Emma though but there are bits and pieces of the other characters. I see that the rest of the trilogy will focus on a different cousin but still have the other two cousins present as was the set up in this book.

updates

–October 29, 2014– Book #2: Whisper the Dead

I loved reading Whisper the Dead. It was so much fun to read because Gretchen is the best. She is everything you expected in a witch who rejects polite society so I enjoyed her character immensely. But even if Gretchen isn’t your cup of tea Emma and Penelope make numerous appearances throughout. I found this book never slumped; the plot was always moving in some direction. I found the details didn’t bog me down so much this time so I really liked that. I think fans of the first novel will enjoy this one just as much, if not more 🙂

Book 3? It hasn’t been picked up by the publisher but lets hope one day we get to see this series wrap up!

Series Rating: 4/5

A Breath of Frost 4/5 | Whisper the Dead 4/5 | In a House Made of Bones and Teeth N/A

overall

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series. It was a lot of fun to read and is a refreshing plotline for the young adult genre. Fans of witches and historical fiction will love the blending of the two in this series!

Read if You Like: witches, magic, girl power
Avoid if You: dislike historical fiction

similarreads

booksynopsis

Synopsis for A Breath of Frost (from Goodreads):
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.

Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.

Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

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