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ARC Review: Stolen Away

Warning: As I am a die-hard fan of Alyxandra Harvey, this review may be a TAD biased.

Stolen Away

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Purchase: Amazon | BookDepository
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Walker/Bloomsbury
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Special: YA/MG Fantasy Challenge
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
Hover over Books in the navigation bar above to find a link to My Rating System In-Depth.

About the Book:
When a cute guy dressed like a Victorian pirate kneels in front of Eloise the day after her seventeenth birthday, she knows that something strange is going on-and that's before he vows to be her champion and mentions her flaky aunt, Antonia, who's gone incommunicado once again. But this appearance isn't a coincidence, and when Eloise is attacked and pushed into an alternate world called Faery, she becomes embroiled in the underground politics of this world. Her captor is Lord Strahan, the ruler of Faery who is desperately clinging to his throne and will do anything to keep it. The only one who can break his power is his wife, Eloise's aunt Antonia-and Eloise has become his bargaining chip.

Now Eloise must find a way to save her aunt from Lord Strahan, and she'll need the help of her best friends Jo and Devin, along with the other Fae captives of Strahan's hall, including his son, Eldric. With a whole world of Faeries out to get her, Eloise must stop Strahan both worlds are thrust into complete chaos.
"I hate this town," Jo complained. "There isn't a single hot guy anywhere."

Alyxandra Harvey's books are like pockets of gleaming treasure; they typically have everything I want - great romance, a fast-paced, blood-pounding story, and characters and prose that are full of charm and humor. Personally, I think Harvey is a writing genius, so after hitting up vampires and ghosts, I was ecstatic for her take on faeries! Which are creatures Eloise Hart never imagined encountering in her relatively ordinary life. After being sought out in an open crowd by a guy clothed in an outrageously old-fashioned get-up, spouting out obvious nonsense about mysterious kidnappers on the hunt for her, Eloise hasn't a clue about the hidden supernatural world that's about to clash with hers. And it'll be up to the teamwork of she and her friends, along with unlikely relatives, to untangle the muddled mess born from this complicated, unbidden merging.

An inseparable, witty, hysterical trio, Devin, Eloise, and Jo are such enjoyable characters to read about, with their entertaining interactions being some of the highlights of this read, however they weren't as fleshed out as I typically come to expect from Harvey or as I'd've liked. Unlike with her other novels, I felt as if we absorb the surface of these characters and don't acquire a deeper look inside. Still, although I wouldn't say the three became my best buds by the end of the book, I loved how each of them balanced out their friendship and truly came through for each other, even when that meant trying to save their best friend from the capture of one power-hungry faery king or enduring the company of an irritated, bitter ancient faery with a penchant for insulting their intelligence. Despite their pitiable lack of knowledge for faery lore, they each brashly bust in guns blazing for those they care about, though the situation could be termed dire. It's damn near impossible to refrain from liking and admiring them.

With rapidly flourishing romances, the two couples that emerge in the story could be chalked up to 'instaluv.' But here's the thing: even when writing an instaluv-esque romance, Harvey still knows how put the swoon in swoon-worthy when it comes to the chemistry, and, oh, THE KISSING. Harvey should definitely be written down as one of the Kiss Scene Mastahs. I like how the romance was woven into the story, although I do wish there was more of it. And I enjoyed watching the sweet, tension-filled build-up in each relationship, leading to that first kiss, that first admission of feelings for one another. It was sweet and happy at times, sexy at others, and even wrenching. I'm no fan of a romance without substance, but I thought Harvey did a wonderful job considering the circumstances within the novel.

What's shouting in my brain is, I wish there had been more! I wish there was going to be more! Stolen Away did feel a bit rushed and not as thorough as I've know Harvey's novels to be; it should've been either lengthier or stretched out into, at minimum, a two-story arcing plot. While I won't say Stolen Away outshined the faery books that have dazzled the market, it was a fun, fast-paced adventurous tale that colors faeries in a sinister and exciting shade, and gave me another reason to love Alyxandra Harvey!

Eloise: "Eloise."
I squawked like a chicken being plucked bald. I had the most attractive reactions; I couldn't think why I didn't have a hundred boyfriends eager for my company.
Still, when you found someone hiding in the shadows of your roof garden, a little screeching was healthy. Elvis hissed and darted past me to the safety of the apartment. Fat lot of good he was to me.
"How did you get up here?" The fairy lights caught the silver of his sword hilt. A sword hilt. "Did you follow me?" (6%)

Jo: "Where's your mother's stash of PMS chocolate?"
"Behind the dried lenthils. But it's for emergencies."
"Hello?" I pointed at her. "Kidnapped." Then at myself. "Shot."
"Good points. Give me a piece of that."
I rolled my neck. "I hurt all over. Elf darts, my ass. I'm getting myself a water gun full of holy water."
"We're not after vampires."
We stared at each other in horror. (58%)

5 comments:

Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads said...

This book sounds totally awesome! actually, It seem Harvey is amazing herself and I havent read any of her books! shame on me! Too bad it seems kinda rushed. Yet, with you still convinced me to read it =)

Great review my dear!! yay!

Dazzling Reads

Nerd Girls said...

I just finished this book last night and it's my first book I've read by Harvey.

I really liked your review, but I do agree that the story could have been lengthened. :)

Nerd Girls at Books to the Sky

Liz. R said...

Lol, we had really different views on this one! I agree it was funny, but it was way too rushed for me. Glad you really enjoyed it though! Fab review :).

A. Knight said...

Natalia- I love Alyxandra Harvey so it was no trouble to like Stolen Away. Give it a try if you like faerie books and funny characters.

Nerd Girls -YES. I don't know what happened, why it was decided to be so short.

Liz- It was definitely rushed, but not enough to put me off. I read your review and I'm sorry you didn't like it. Do you like the Drake Chronicles?

Raimy-rawr said...

Ive just started this one today and hope that I love it as much as you did!