Published by Ash Krafton on September 18, 2015
Genres: New Adult, supernatural, Romance
Source: eARC from Author
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?
The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton is a new adult supernatural standalone that was uniquely different than anything else I have read this year. First, can we just gush over the cover for a moment? Holy cow, it is just so ethereally beautiful. I love the colors, I love the background choices- everything is just perfection in my opinion. The Heartbeat Thief , though classified as new adult, but completely clean and would be appropriate for young adult readers as well, but the character is ageless, and the writing has a literary feel, that is also very assessable, so I can just as easily see this appealing to adults.
The idea behind the Heartbeat Thief intrigued me to no end. Before I started reading, I thought Senza (the main character) was some kind of farrier of death, that she would actually steal hearts out of people. I don’t know why I thought that exactly, because the hint is in the title of the book. She steals heartbeats. Just a simple swipe of her hands on a wrist, a neck, a hand, and she can grab a pulse and take a heart beat or two. How different does that sound? The heartbeats keep her eternally young. She wasn’t always this way, something happens in the story that put her on this path.
It wasn’t until I was about halfway through the book, and saw Senza traveling through the ages of Europe and America that it hit me that Senza reminded me of Adeline from the Age of Adeline. Classy and timeless. I loved Senza. I thought she was a beautiful person. I know she was described once as arrogant, and I couldn’t disagree more. I do not recall a single arrogant moment from her. Not one. I found her to be kind, and sensible, and as the book went on, very wise. The book takes us on a journey of Senza’s life, sometimes meandering, sometimes the course is uncertain, and some periods were less exciting than others, but the book comes together at the end.
I liked that the Heartbeat Thief is a standalone. The ending was perfect. It was surprising, but nicely wrapped up, very satisfying, and just a hint of something else that left you pondering. It was not open ended, but there is a sliver of light under the closed door that leaves you with the possibility of a different twist on the story. I love it when authors are able to do that. It is not an easy thing to accomplish.
P.S. I have thoughts on other characters that I would just love to discuss. Like Mr. Knell! This was senza’s story so I didn’t get into him too much. But if you have read this book, please please let me know and we can chat!
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