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The Heartbeat Thief by [Krafton, AJ, Krafton, Ash]
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The Heartbeat Thief Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

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Length: 318 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"...a nice twist to the tired old trope of the vampire... If you are looking for a captivating read that will draw you in and leave you breathless, look no further than The Heartbeat Thief."-- five stars, Readers' Favorite

"A beautifully enchanting story that will steal your heart one beat at a time." --Cesya MaRae Cuono, author of Elemental Reality (Book One in the Elemental Series)
"Krafton not only tells you a story, she makes you experience it with your senses. You can feel the fog moistening your skin as Senza wanders around London. You can smell the city's decay. You can hear the clatter of horses against the cobblestones. And your own heart will anguish along with Senza as she despairs about life--and death--in an era when a woman's beauty guaranteed her a well-matched marriage, even more than her wealth...." --Ronesa Aveela, author of the Mystical Emona series

About the Author

THE HEARTBEAT THIEF marks the debut for AJ Krafton, new adult speculative fiction author.

And don't forget to say hello to her alter ego, Ash Krafton, who is a writer of all things spec fic. She believes spectacular endings make the best beginnings... Why not? One billion black holes can't be wrong.

The second bravest thing she's ever done was volunteering to go first when her Girl Scout troop visited a High Ropes challenge course somewhere back in the eighties. (Thankfully, few photos exist.) The third bravest thing was wearing her purple Colin Stuart boots with the extreme stiletto heel to her kids' school open house one year. (Three floors, all steps, no brakes.) The top of the Brave Things list, however, remains to be written.

Contact Ash through her website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 2889 KB
  • Print Length: 318 pages
  • Publication Date: June 12, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00UZC9W7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is described as being for "new adults". Apparently there is a new genre for those in their late teen and twenties. This novel follows the adventures of Senza, who appears to be 17 years old, and in the mid Victorian period, because of her wealth, she is about to "come out" into society. She is beautiful, and her mother wants her to be successfully married, for that is the only significant objective for a young woman of the time. However, shortly her grandmother dies, and Senza becomes somewhat morbid about death. It is then she meets Mr Knell, who with magic, offers her a deal: she can have eternal life and remain her beautiful self for eternity. There is only one catch, which she finds out as she becomes committed: she prolongs her life by stealing increments from others, in the form of what are described as "heartbeats". (She does not need to steal a beat for every time her heart beats, but they are consumables.) The story then follows Senza as she experiences immortality, at the price of stealing life from others. Each day, as she wakes up, she is exactly the same as the previous waking. If she cuts her hair, it is uncut. If she was wounded, she is repaired.

The book is well-written, its style is restrained, although the descriptions are somewhat lush. However, the descriptions of death, and of Senza's watching all her friends age and die, are compelling. Senza knows she cannot marry, as she cannot inflict her youth on a husband, and she cannot have children, because she returns to yesterday's self each morning. The book offers social commentary of the period from mid Victorian to close to the present, and makes some points for those who want to think about what they have read. Well done.
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Format: Kindle Edition
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

Ideally, I'd give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. I thought the idea, while not on a whole a unique one, had a very different twist. While Senza was a very young character, I actually felt the fact she was obsessed with the thought of dying made a lot of sense, considering the time period she was in.

My biggest issue with this book, I found, was the fact that there was little else to Senza's character. Just beauty and the obsession with death. (And I felt the fact that she was beautiful was repeated so many times... I was sitting there thinking, 'What else?')

If I had to pick another word for Senza than beautiful, it would be shallow. For a lot of the book, she thinks only of herself. While she does have an evolution towards the end, that didn't fit naturally with the journey of her character. Part of it might have been because I didn't get the impression that Senza really connected with anyone. Many conversations and interactions with people were glossed over, to the point I couldn't remember a lot of the minor characters.

I thought it was interesting to see how Senza's locket played a big part in keeping her alive. It was interesting to see how more heartbeats were needed at certain times and less at others. I would have liked to see Senza's thoughts on the changing world around her... but it seemed to me that she was only wrapped up in her own reality for most of the book.

I had mixed feelings about Knell. While the ending cleared some up in the way of confusion, I still didn't really like him as a character. And the ending was... unsatisfying.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story was simply breathtaking. Having read quite a bit of Edgar Allen Poe in high school and in college, I really appreciated the author's nod to his work and the way she used so much imagery to allow Senza's growing fears of death to take on such a demanding physical presence as if it is truly a threat that lies in wait to capture unwilling victims without hesitation or even mercy. It's amazing to me that the author was able to take this fear of death and allow that internal conflict to carry the entire story. It affected every relationship Senza could have or would have had. Though it would be easy to dislike Senza for her childish vanity where her beauty and youth are concerned-these vanities are some underlying reasons behind not just her fear of death but her fear of growing older-it is obvious that her upbringing and the importance her mother placed on her daughters beauty is something we must fault the mother in and not the daughter. And even though Senza finally comes to understand the irrational fear of growing old and dying it is understandable that she might find the idea horrifying considering her worth was sacrificed upon the alter of all things superficial in nature. It helps the reader join in that journey of discovery on Senza's part though she spends much of it fleeing from a happiness that might have been all consuming.
I noticed a reviewer described the author's writing as boring and mediocre. I think this reviewer must not have been the right audience for this book, and simply wasn't interested in the subject matter because the writing is anything but mediocre or boring.
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