|Title: Stolen Away
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal YA
Reviewed by: Abigail
Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise’s aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan’s mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.
Even though I haven’t been technically a young adult for more than a decade, I read a lot of YA, like 100+ titles a year. To date, I’ve read everything that YA author Alyxandra Harvey has written. With one recent exception, I’m a big fan of her Drake Chronicles series, and I flat out loved her Victorian ghost story, HAUNTING VIOLET. When I heard she was writing a new stand alone about faeries, I jumped at the chance to read it. Unfortunately, STOLEN AWAY wasn’t half the book I was hoping it would be.
First of all, it’s short. Really short (288 pages) and it feels like it. All the character developments, romances, and major plot points are rushed. So instead of learning through action and dialog about, for example, Eloise’s kitschy love for rockabilly, we just get told that she loves it. Ditto for Jo’s obsession with all things British. It made both protagonists feel very two dimensional. The romances, specifically Jo’s, happened so fast that I got whiplash. She meets a strange guy, invites him back to her house, and is sharing ‘heated kisses’ with him and wondering why no guy has every made her feel that way before. The whole thing made Jo seem needy and desperate—not to mention incredibly stupid—not characteristics I enjoy in a heroine.
The main plot about Eloise getting trapped in Faery, escaping, and then mounting her own rescue operation felt tedious despite how quickly everything happened. Worse was how quickly Eloise accepted the Faery world. It was a bit like, “I can’t believe Faeries exist, but I guess they do, so let’s go!” Seriously, that’s not much of an exaggeration.
I’m still a fan of Alyxandra Harvey, and will continue to keep an eye out for her books, but after two disappointments in a row, I’m going to have to start giving them the excerpt test before buying in the future.