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Book Cover Image: Stolen Nights by Rebecca MaizelTitle: Vampire Queen #02: Stolen Nights
Author: Rebecca Maizel
ISBN: 9780312649920
No. of Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Origins: NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press

Bottom Line: Excellent sequel to what I felt was a decent first book – one that literally kept me up until the wee hours of the morning, tugging on my heartstrings and raising my pulse with its tension and gorgeous romance.
“Last year, the love of my life died performing a ritual to fulfill my one wish and make me human. And now I’ve performed the same ritual for my friend Vicken – and survived. Why am I here, back safe on Wickham campus?
The strong magic I used in the ritual did more than just make Vicken human. It drew someone to Lovers Bay who does not belong here. She wants the ritual. Then she wants me dead. And she will take down any and everyone in my life to get what she wants.
As if that weren’t enough, the ritual has also summoned the anger of the Aeris, the four elements and most fundamental powers on earth. They have a surprise and an unbearable punishment for me – like stepping into the sun for the first time, only to be put into a cage. And now I have to make an impossible choice – between love or life, yearning or having, present or past…”
Thoughts: Rebecca Maizel is back with the second installment of her Vampire Queen series. In Stolen Nights  Lenah must once more adjust to life as a human at the same time as her past continues to haunt her. Still reeling from the loss of her best friend and from the forces behind the ritual performed on Vicken, there is a new evil afoot that will test Lenah’s human abilities past their breaking point. The plot twists and surprises Lenah faces make for a fascinating and heart-pounding sequel.
Lenah really grows into her own in Stolen Nights  She continues to adapt to her life as a human, but it is her guilt over her past actions in which Lenah matures the most. In the first novel, one never got the sense that she felt remorse at the lives she took as a vampire. They were just an unfortunate part of who she was at the time. In Stolen Nights  Lenah is forced to recognize the far-reaching consequences of her actions, and her dawning horror of this propels the story towards its powerful and emotional ending.

The love story between Lenah and Rhode is absolutely beautiful and adds strength to an already amazing novel. This is not a case of love at first sight or some unbelievable teenage love drama. Theirs is a love that has lasted centuries, formed through mutual respect and total understanding of each other’s characters. It does not feel forced nor overly romanticized but rather a natural progression of their time together. Their scenes together are as poignant as they are powerful, and their story truly gives new meaning to the idea of loving someone for eternity

Stolen Nights thwarts the sequel curse as everything about it is better than the first novel. There are plenty of answers as well as a strong plot with ample tension, drama and character development. As with the first novel, the cliffhanger is subtle, and readers who are not interested in continuing the series obtain enough closure to be able to walk away from the novel satisfied. However, fans who fall in love with Rhode and Lenah will be waiting with baited breath for Ms. Maizel to finish the series. If the strength of Stolen Nights is any indication, it is going to be an amazing finish to an increasingly compelling series.

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