I'll confess, this is one of those books that I picked and straight away put high expectations on - something that I honestly try not to do but couldn't help as I really loved Alyxandra Harvey's other works. Therefore, maybe it was because my expectations were too high, but 'Stolen Away' just didn't grab me the same way her other books did and I was left a little disappointed.
However that is not to say that the story wasn't enjoyable because it was - it just wasn't as unique as I thought it would be, and I also had a hard time connecting to the main character Eloise. Her best friend Jo however, I absolutely adored! And I felt that it was through Jo that the humour, wit and emotion that I like about Alyxandra Harvey's writing really shone through.
The plot itself was fairly simple and held just enough intrigue and twists to keep me turning the pages. Yet I really liked how the story was told through the dual points of view of Eloise and Jo - both of whom were prone to bad decisions and trouble, which made them very relatable teenagers.
Both of their love interests, Lucas and Eldric were also very swoon worthy (yummy fae guys - yes please). I felt it was a shame that the book ended when it did, as although all the loose ends were tied up, the romance between the characters was lovely and I wanted to see more of it!
So a little fast paced but overall, 'Stolen Away' was a quick, light-hearted read with an original story line and great writing. Although I would argue that it's more for younger teens, it was still an ok read. And also I have to mention - the cover is absolutely gorgeous and does look very pretty on my bookshelf.
== About the book ==
Stolen Away is a stand alone novel by Alyxandra Harvey. It was published on 5th January by Bloomsbury and the book is 278 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
== Plot ==
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.
== What I thought ==
I love Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles series and when Stolen Away came through the door, I couldn't wait to read it. Knowing it was about fey and along with the stunning over, I knew it would be something that I enjoyed.
The book starts off with Eloise, who was a great heroine. From the very beginning, she showed that she was far from stupid and had plenty of street smarts. Eloise was clearly different from her friends and I liked this about her. She stood out. She was also pretty funny. When Lucas turns up at her table and acts the way that he does, she thought he was insane and I would have been exactly the same. I definitely would have told him where to go! As the story really got going, Eloise's strength and bravery began to shine through. Having to deal with a complete change in her life would have been hard to begin with but add in being kidnapped and a faery king and you know things are about to get complicated.
As much as I liked Eloise, it was Jo that I loved. For some reason, Jo has a bit of an obsession with all things British, especially slang words. Because of this, you can expect a fair amount of swearing compared with a lot of YA books. Obviously, Stolen Away isn't really for younger readers because of this aspect but it was perfect for me! I have always said that real teenagers swear and although some won't like this being used in a YA book, I loved it. I didn't only love Jo's foul mouth though. She's feisty, knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it - especially if what she wants is a seriously hot boy. Overall, I loved Jo so much because on top of all of these things, she was really funny too and was generally a well rounded character.
Not only does this book have some kick ass female characters but there are also a couple of swoon worthy boys as well. On each end of the spectrum we have Lucas and Eldric. One is so good that a halo should be shining above his head whereas the other should probably have a pair of little red horns. It's strange how I loved both of them pretty ewually. Each boy had something wonderful to offer and I would have quite happily had either of them. I'm not that picky!
As Stolen Away is a standalone, quite a lot is packed into just under 300 pages. Still, the pacing is fantastic. It didn't take long at all for me to feel like I knew Eloise and Jo really well and because of this, I didn't mind how quickly the story really began. The moment that Eloise meets Lucas (and that's only a few pages in) is where things begin to get interesting. Eloise's world is turned completely upside down when she realises that everything is not as it seems. Her family aren't who she thought they were and things exist that shouldn't be possible. I loved how exciting the world Alyxandra Harvey created was. It seemed as though anything could happen next and some other fantastical creature could pop up at any minute out of no where. Due to the size of this book, I didn't think there would be quite as many twists and turns but there was... all over the place.
Alyxandra Harvey never fails to amaze me!