Review: The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton (A Book That Really Only Has a Moral)

Posted August 21, 2015 by Sophia

Review: The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton (A Book That Really Only Has a Moral)The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton
Published by Self-Published on September 18, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook

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 author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.

Strangely enough, I enjoyed The Heartbeat Thief. Senza is the most perfect character I’ve ever met – she’s flawless, admired, wealthy, loved, intelligent. She knows it, but she doesn’t want to flaunt it, which is what I really liked about Senza as a character. She hates going to parties and balls, and she dreads getting married off to a man that she doesn’t want. I think I have a thing for characters who have an inner rebel in them.

Senza seems to have a perfect life until her grandmother dies. After that, she seems lost and obviously wants to carve her own path in life instead of letting her mother take the reins from her. Her discovery of eternal life is almost like a deal with a devil. She has to sacrifice her life to become immortal and keep her looks forever, but she has to carefully steal the heartbeats of another if she wants to keep her immortality. If she’s not careful, those around her would be able to find out about her and accuse of witchcraft or something equally sinister.

Your spell must be fed, one heartbeat at a time. You must learn to steal them from the living. One here, one there. A person will not notice a skipped beat, and they must never know it is you who is making them skip. And you must do it, or the spell will fade and die.

Krafton’s latest novel is a book I’m just interested in how the story will play out. Senza doesn’t really come across as a selfish person in general until she decides to play with the strings of fate. As time goes by, she has to disguise herself from those around her so they don’t find out what she did. Senza goes from place to place and she meets all kinds of people from all walks of life throughout the book. There’s not exactly a clear plot going on here, and I almost expected a tragic ending where karma decided to finally bite back at Senza.

The Heartbeat Thief is a book with a unique storyline where one eventually realizes just what kind of price is really paid when death is defied. It’s nicely done for a book where there’s a character who doesn’t have any flaws whatsoever.

Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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