Happy Thursday! Today, we're super excited to be a part of hte blog tour for A.J. Krafton's New Adult novel, The Heartbeat Thief! Ashley really enjoyed this book and has her review for you, as well as a giveaway. Make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post, and don't forget to visit all of the other awesome stops, which you can find by clicking the tour banner above!
Before we get to Ashley's review, how about some info about The Heartbeat Thief and its incredible author?
About the Book
Publication date: June 12th 2015
Synopsis: Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.
In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.
So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…
When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.
It’s a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…
How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?
About the Author
AJ Krafton is the author of New Adult speculative fiction. Her debut The Heartbeat Thief is due out on Kindle in June 2015. Forthcoming titles include Taking' It Back & Face of the Enemy. She's a proud member of the Infinite Ink Authors. AJ also writes adult spec fic as Ash Krafton. Visit Ash at http://ashkrafton.com
As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. Victorian era, a girl who fears death and has a way to avoid it, and a heart-stopping love interest? Hello! Although I thought this book started out slowly, it definitely picked up speed and delivered everything I hoped it would.
When I first started this book, I was so excited to jump right in - especially after the introduction from Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. Things start off kind of slow though, and it took me a little bit to get into it. There's quite a bit of set-up, and although it's written gorgeously, I felt like things kind of dragged as we got to know Senza and her lifestyle. I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved being completely immersed in the parties and the entire Victorian era, but I found that I just couldn't wait for the action to start.
But then as soon as Senza makes her deal with Mr. Knell, things take off and I was hooked! I actually kind of loved the idea that Senza had to live off of the heartbeats of others. Sometimes immortality is given without any consequences, but I thought that turning Senza into a thief was brilliant. She has one rule - don't get caught. As long as she abides by that, she can live for eternity and avoid her fear of death. Her story is exciting, and yet sad at the same time. She has to watch all of her loved ones die while she lives on in eternal youth.
I haven't read much classic British literature (I read a few books in high school, but it was never really my thing), but I felt like this book could be among those classics. The writing and world-building is beautiful, and it transported me back to Victorian England. I felt like I was attending the parties with Senza, experiencing the Jack the Ripper murders with her, and watching the times change. I really enjoyed how Senza tries to move through time with the ever-changing fashions and trends, but still feels more at home in the older cities. I felt like I traveled with her all over England and even to the US, and fell in love with the men she fell in love with. AJ has a way with words that just makes everything come to life.
If you're a fan of Edgar Allen Poe or Jane Austen, I would definitely recommend this book to you. I actually expected it to be a little steampunk, but it's more true to the history we know than anything. I love the imagery, the characters, and the idea of Death as a person. This book stands excellently on its own, but I'll be looking for more books by AJ Krafton to dive into! 4/5.
--Ashley & Paul