Review: Stolen Away

Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date ~ January 17, 2012
Walker Childrens ~ Bloomsbury USA
ISBN13: 9780802721891
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

I have read some incredible faerie stories from YA authors in the past few years, so I couldn't wait to see what Alyxandra Harvey had written with Stolen Away (especially after hearing amazing things about her other books).

Unfortunately, I found Stolen Away to be rather unremarkable and lacking much of the charm I found in other novels. I was hoping for so much more, and perhaps my expectations were just set too high for this book.

  1. Some neat, interesting plot twists:
    There were a number of plot twists at the end of the novel which I honestly wasn't expecting, and I'm typically pleased with surprises I don't see coming; and the ones in Stolen Away were no exception to this. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book, and wished I had seen more of it throughout the rest of the fairly predictable storyline.
Ultimately, I had an incredibly difficult time connecting (or even liking) any of the characters in the story. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't enjoy them and they all came across as excruciatingly stereotypical and that was disappointing. The romance was bland and predictable- not much meat to it. And did I mention that it moved FAST? Way too fast. The best way to sum it up is with this line from the book:

"I barely knew him but it hardly mattered. We were connected somehow, something precious burned between us." I'm sorry, but no. It almost sounded as if this was supposed to be ironic when it comes to the insta!love common to YA, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around loving someone that way after meeting him 2 days earlier, making out once, and still not knowing his first name.

One of the main reasons I saw for this was that the story is written in dual perspectives, which I recognize is a tricky way to write. But the story moved along so quickly (and it's a standalone, so there isn't the time to develop the plot or characters over a number of sequels) that we just didn't have time to relate to the characters or form a bond with them. And it felt like we were jumping around too fast to really care about what was happening.

The actual story felt far too black and white, lacking sophistication, depth and charm that I love to see in YA books. And I was crushed seeing how many action scenes were basically just skipped over.

Clearly, this one just wasn't for me. I really hoped for more and I just didn't see anything original or redeeming from Stolen Away.

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1 comment:

Carina said...

I have to admit that I expected more of it, too, but I'm blaming the fact that there are so many beautiful and magical faerie stories out there (I probably don't even need to mention it, but I'm doing it nonetheless: the Iron Fey series, for example). Once you have read few of these, I think it's hard for any other faerie stories with a little bit less imagination to compete.

In the end, I enjoyed Stolen Away even though I have to agree with your criticism. It was the potential that kept me reading, because I think that it could have been better if it were longer and not so rushed.

Thanks a lot for your honest review! :)

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