Series: The Rhapp's Barren Triptych #1
Date Published: November 21st 2014
Audiobook Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
Audiobook Narrator: R.C. Quartermaine
Source: Provided for review through Audiobook Blast/Boom
Description: Ezra Keene is an artistic sixteen year-old who wants nothing more than to settle in at his new school and put the tragedy of his brother’s death behind him. He awakens one night, reeling from a hazy dream, to find his fingers blackened with pencil lead and a new drawing in his sketchbook—a drawing that depicts the grisly murder of someone he knows. The next morning he is shocked to learn the picture has become a reality.
Ezra has reason to believe the father of a classmate, an eccentric German scientist, is somehow involved in the slaying, but he needs something tangible to bring to the police. He sets out to discover the truth, but what he finds instead is that something much more sinister than murder lies at the heart of this mystery. Monsters exist, magic is real, and sometimes there are worse things than death.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Heart Thief has an intriguing premise and the cover gives it an ethereal feel, so I expected a whimsical paranormal YA. But this isn’t too whimsical, and I would say a bit dark and twisted for a YA novel. This book was a gruesome part police procedural with a creepy serial killer, part paranormal with magic and demon realms and mad scientists.
The main character Ezra has a special ability that he only begins to manifest and explore as this inhuman monster creature is literally tearing hearts out of people’s chests. These events are described in quite a bit of detail, and poor Ezra wakes up to drawings he has made of these murders. He teams up with a cute girl from his class and a family who is very suspiciously awkward, and cold to the touch, with some interesting abilities of their own.
So like I said, really interesting premise. The idea is quite Buffy or Supernatural. And that is right up my alley. So I really wanted to enjoy it more, but it was mostly just alright for me.
The story itself kind of dragged for me because the madman kept collecting these hearts, from a specific bloodline of people, and it seemed like no one could stop him. Not even the other doctor who followed him out to that little town. He almost just stands by. That bothered me a lot. DO SOMETHING, don’t just observe and have Ezra astral project himself to find the lair. It felt like the cop was the bigger hero, and he even couldn’t do much against the magic and the UBERMENSCH.
The set up for the series of demonic realms and all is quite fascinating, and some interesting bombs were dropped at the very end. But I think me and this writing style don’t get along well. I want more Buffy, and less Law and Order. The narration was good for what this was, but the style didn’t help the police procedural feel of this read. The narrator did great with accents, though!