Read The Heart Thief by S. Lee Benedict Online


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 sEzra 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.Alternate Cover; 2nd edition...

Title : The Heart Thief
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 27529383
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 501 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Heart Thief Reviews

  • Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
    2018-11-30 16:48

    I received this in exchange for an honest review from Audiobook Blast and S. Lee Benedict.The Heart Thief is was certainly a surprising listen! Right from the opening chapter I was pulled in and there were so many twists and turns that I had a hard time putting it aside.The Heart Thief follows Ezra Keene, and a few adults, as they slowly learn the truth of their sleepy town and what is behind a string of gruesome murders. I knew right away I’d either really enjoy this one or hate it entirely, but either way I knew I was in for a ride. Then book opens with a gripping chapter on the history of Rapp’s Barren, giving hints at what to expect in the modern day story. I loved all the nods and references to other sci-fi stories out there like Star Wars and H.P. Lovecraft. I also really liked that this wasn’t a straightforward paranormal mystery but had horror elements and plenty of build up/action to feast on. It’s definitely not lighter fare but I personally really loved the creepy atmosphere and characters, and the tension was perfect for the Halloween season. The writing ws also fantastic with it’s quick pacing and attention to detail.Ezra is an easy character to like, he’s down to earth and has a bit of self inflicted sass that I find really endearing in characters. He’s brave but not a show off and capable of thinking before he speaks, which I’ll be honest and say is sort of a rarity in itself. I also really liked Wolfgang even though he’s really quiet, his backstory and reason for being reserved was somewhat heart wrenching and I found myself happy that he found an unlikely friend in Ezra. The villain in this is really messed up, and I mean that in a good way. I love a bad guy who likes to test the limits of what they can do, a comfortable villain is a lazy villain.The narration is excellent, with plenty of different voices all with their own little flair. My favorite being Wolfgang and his family, and the villain himself who I thought had the right amount joyful hysteria to really make that character even creepier.Overall I’m super happy that I decided to request this one, and I’m excited to see that it’s going to be a series as well. I had my initial reservations about it, but it turned into a fun listen that really made a slow day at work much more enjoyable.

  • Trista
    2018-11-14 19:39

    I was given a copy of this book for an honest review. This is a fantasy book about a teen named Ezra. It is full of action and adventure i would recommend this book to anyone who loves reading a good fantasy book =)

  • Christine Gorospe
    2018-12-03 16:40

    I was able to get a free ebook in exchange for my honest review from We ❤️ YA Books.I was given a privilege to read Heart Thief which isn't quite what I expected it to be. When you hear the words "heart thief" I'm sure your mind starts to wander beyond its limits, implicating the vague & metaphoric meaning of heart, thief and all the words that's in between. But no, it wasn't all about flying or falling or the butterflies in your stomach or heart break & tears you shed just by believing love was the one knocking at your doorstep. Heart thief, really, is literally, in its simplest form, the one who steals heart.The story's about a boy, named Ezra, who happens to lost his brother, & suddenly moved to a new city called as Rhapp's Barren. With the typical story of adjustment on being in a new city, it comes with bullying, unsettling thought on the new place, new friend (or even a love interest), & of course adventure & mystery. POV of the books illustrates all of them which made it realistic as it shows also not only the positive but more of the negative thoughts one teenager could have in his mind especially late at night. As the boy started to adjust to his new community, there was also certain events happened in it - death of certain people around him, weird dreams, & odd neighbors. All of those who are killed were found to have lost heart - with broke rib cage & openly slashed thoracic area. As a reader, it was very gruesome to imagine a horrible death like that. Black Lucas, espe the Meister, is really devilish in its own kind of way. As the story goes on, it's about unlocking the mystery, &unfolding the thrilling story of the Creep & all the people in it.If a reader wants mystery, fantasy & little of light romance, this book is a good recommendation. It really puts you to the edge of your seat, that when you started to read it, it's really hard to stop. You always get some questions at the end of chapter and always wonder, "what happens next?!" Then you decide "One.More.Chapter". The author did a great job of putting cliff-hanger at the end of the each chapters.On the other note, however, as a critic of the book, I think it would be better to proof read more of the book. Some chapters are quite hazy maybe because of the use of words & sentence construction. Some of the sentences are constructed more of clauses. And ideas of one sentence to another jump to each other & unakin to the flow of story. Also, I think the first part of the book, where it tells the past of the the Creep, I think the author could do more something about it to make it more catchy. Catchy that when read would also give you creative imaginings of what is & might happening so you end up buying the book.All in all, I think this book is really worth publishing. The sequel is really to watch out for. I commend the author for such a brilliant piece & very rich imagination. An author does a great job when he can bring his readers to other places, in other lives, in other time. And I believe that in terms of those aspect, the author is exemplary.

  • Natalie
    2018-11-22 21:55

    Parts of this review are specificity for the Audible Audiobook version. "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.”The Heart Thief: The Rhapp's Barren Triptych, Volume 1 written by S. Lee Benedict and narrated by R. C. Quartermaine is speculative fiction at it's best. Mr. Benedict does an excellent job fusing elements of Pulp Horror, Science Fiction, and Urban Fantasy together. This book just comes shy of being superhero fiction, and I actually was reminded of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson as I was reading it; not in content of course but rather something about the writing style and mood.It's an action packed, plot driven young adult novel that's not bogged down by excessive info dumping or maudlin romance. The book moves seamlessly from beginning to end and although we come to a satisfying stopping point at the end; we are also left with a hook to reel us into the next part of the story.As for the narration, The Heart Thief is told though multiple points of view both male and female. Thankfully R. C. Quartermaine handles these shifts in a masterful fashion and each person has a distinct voice. I was never left wondering who was speaking. His voice is very, very pleasant to listen to. Some of my impressions while reading the book:2.0% "Has an action packed prolog and my first impression of the narrator is really good."12.0% "Very easy to listen to so far."22.0% "Interesting..."37.0% "Ghoulish villains abound, oh my..."62.0% "Very interesting story so far... it's sort of got a pulp hero / weird science slant to it. Ha-ha, I can't help imagining the family as looking sort of like the Addams family though..."76.0% "I should be sleeping... I'm going to be so dead tired tomorrow..."Recommended to fans of Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and other readers of highly imaginative fiction.

  • Mary
    2018-11-30 18:00

    I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review (Thanks to S.Lee Benedict and the We ♥ YA Books Group).THIS SCREAMS FOR A SEQUEL WHICH I CAN'T WAIT TO READ.I loved this book from the beginning to the end. I tried to take my time reading it which was very hard as I struggled putting the book down. It was nearly impossible to do so but it was necessary for me to digest the story in its fullest. I don't want to give away any spoilers so I will try and keep my review spoilerfree. This is a book of quality. The writing is wonderful. Sometimes I forgot that I was reading a YA book. Most YA books are written simple so it feels as if the writer himself was a YA. This one isn't written like that. There's a nice vocabulary within the harmonic mix of para- and hypotaxis, which gave me a nice reading experience.I liked the division of the book and that we got to see things not only from the main protagonists POV. There are little cliffhangers at the end of each segment, so it keeps you up to continue reading. Plus it started with a prologue... something I don't come across often these days.The story itself is a marvelous combination of the horrors in real world and the paranormal things that we can't explain. We get to see that people from both sides are affected by this and try to understand and/or fight it with the help of each other.I liked the characters and I especially loved that even though there are some sparks of romance between Emma and Ezra it doesn't overshadow the main story. So these little moments are even more intense.Overall as I said before I loved this book and I can't wait to read a sequel. I gave the book 4/5 stars.It's the perfect start for a series.

  • NancyHelen
    2018-11-19 21:38

    I was impressed with this book right from the very outset. The writing was good, the pacing was good, the characters were well constructed and the setting was great. This is the story of Ezra, a teenager who seems to have the ability to travel astrally to other locations - a 'variant', as is known in this story. Ezra arrives in Rhapp's Barren and starts at a new school and, within days, finds himself involved in a series of brutal murders where the victim's have their hearts ripped out of their bodies. Also involved are a strange family, recently arrived from Germany, whom Ezra at first suspects but who is soon realises are working against an even darker force.I found the magical elements of this story were really realistic, although there was something slightly Addam's Family about the Leichners! I warmed to Ezra and Emma right from the beginning which is a mark of a good YA novel in my opinion - where an adult reader such as myself still feels they can relate to the teenage protagonist. I also really liked how the story had a definite ending, despite it being the first of a trilogy (or triptych as it is called). There was enough of a hint as to the next book but not so much that I felt unsatisfied.The narration was excellent. The German accents were done really well and the variation in the voices was really professional. It was really a pleasure to listen to.I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom

  • Kathleen
    2018-11-21 21:00

    Yay I finished! *happy dance*Ok, so the book starts out with a high school kid name Ezra, who just moved in to this new town, called by many "The Creep," and as he meets more people and becomes friends with a very odd German family he begins to realize that everything is not as it seems. He discovers new abilities in himself and is determined to help solve the gruesome murders occurring in Rhapps Barren. He soon finds out he is in over his head.My thoughts? It started off well. The story carried along quickly and the first couple chapters flew by. There were however a couple problems. 1) Ezra was naive and immature for a high school kid. I get it. I really do. High school boys are dumb (no offense but, hey) they do not, however, sound like 12 year olds. His narrative was insanely irritating 2) even though Ezra's POV annoyed me that doesn't mean I want to hear the story from everyone's POV. There are chapters in this book from the POV Of the bad guy, the bad guy's henchman, the mysterious doctor, the doctors wife, the main character, the main character's friend, and the police. Are you seeing a problem here? Because of this I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters 3) also because of the numerous POVs, there was little to no suspense. I wasn't wondering who the creepy doctor was, or why the bad guy was ripping out people's hearts, or who the aloof pasty woman was. I knew because I was forced into their consciences4) because of the lack of suspense what would have been a intriguing story was reduced to one I had to force myself to finish.

  • Carrie Schor
    2018-11-23 00:05

    I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This book was an enjoyable read with good descriptive sentences and better than basic vocabulary. It's hard to write this review without spoilers!The characters are well-developed and likable. The plot is good and makes you want to keep reading. It's a somewhat unique story - a supernatural mystery with teen protagonists. The story is about a boy Ezra who moves to a new city and starts a new school. The part of the city he moves to is called "The Creep". He encounters a bully and his cronies as soon as he arrives to school. He meets a girl named Emma who is beautiful and friendly. He also meets another new boy, Wolfgang who is from Germany. Wolfgang has an accent and an unusually pale complexion. Soon, unusual murders start occurring in the city. The victims hearts have been removed. It seems that there is a supernatural element to the murders. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next one. I highly recommend it. Fans of the horror, magic/fantasy, suspense and supernatural genres will enjoy it.

  • Erick
    2018-11-20 18:58

    The Heart Thief is a riveting beginning to what will certainly be an epic series. S. Lee Benedict creates a world that is fantastic and magical yet entirely believable as well. His characters are than mere urban fantasy archetypes - Ezra and Emma are wonderfully written and their bond built upon their shared broken past is sweet and peppered with teenage awkwardness. At the crux, this is good vs. evil and it is done well. It's reminiscent of classic Stephen King (like It) and you'll be hard pressed to put it down. What I really appreciated is that S. Lee Benedict never panders to the lowest common denominator. While The Heart Thief is very suspenseful and, at times, violent, it never feels gratuitous and the descriptions don't embrace the "gore porn" that makes up many novels today. It's all very tasteful.I can't wait for the next addition in the The Rhapp's Barren Triptych!

  • Tammy Hall
    2018-11-11 22:08

    The Heart Thief certainly won my heart. I was so unsure of this book but, after reading it I have no reason to question the feeling that this book would emit from me. This book is wrapped in magical fantasy that in the end leaves you wanting the next book. The characters are so much fun to read about. Ezra I would say is the main character stole my heart. Emma is also a wonderful character that easily won me over. As this book embarks on magical twists and maniacal uprising I grab a hold of my chair and prepare for the ride that awaited me. I really and truly am excited by this book and am left waiting to see where this story will go from here. Lee Benedict did an amazing job with this story can't wait for more!

  • Pao
    2018-11-20 00:06

    I received a free copy of this book from the author and We ♥ YA Books! in exchange for an honest review.This book tells a paranormal mystery story that from the beginning had me hooked. First it's full of likable characters and different POV, I especially enjoyed Ezra's POV and his relationship with Emma. The story it's well paced and it keeps you the edge of the seat, it mixes fantasy and horror but still manages to keep it believable. If you like comics and Doctor Who (like me) and other related media you´re going to enjoy the small comments and references the character make through he book. This book certainly makes me want to read the next one and find out what happens with the characters.

  • Jaime
    2018-11-11 18:49

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review.I really really enjoyed this book, to be honest with the title, i was expecting a soppy underlying love story, but its nice when teenagers are kept teenagers. The characters in this book aren't your typical YA characters, you have a very strong German family, who are so lovable and beautiful. You have broken homes and broken families. I think the only thing that could have made this book better was a back story on what happened to Ezra's brother. We know he was murdered, but i would really enjoy reading all about that. Cannot wait for the sequel, maybe we will find out more about Ezra's family before they moved to Rhapps Barren.

  • Don
    2018-12-06 23:39

    Well written with nonstop action. I am eagerly looking forward to the second book of the series.

  • Dan Absalonson
    2018-11-25 17:42

    Dang was this book good! There are so many reasons I loved this book! The writing was fantastic. It had a great flow and was very fun and easy to read but could also be fantastically descriptive at times sketching out what was going on in the story. The author was really good at changing his tone and diction when the third person point of view changed to a different viewpoint character. Even though it was in third person that had a very distinct flavor and great words that only went with certain characters. You really felt like you were getting the story from the distinct point of view every time and it really gave you a way to dive deeper into the creepy world of Rhapp's Barren.The main character Ezra was awesome. He is discovering some huge things about himself in this book while he and his parents deal with some powerful grief. He's an artist too, and being an artist myself it was really fun to read about him carrying around a sketchbook and showing people drawings of architecture he had done. Later in the story his drawing leads to some very dark creepy truths but you'll have to read the book to find out about those. Also he meets a pretty special girl in the story and seeing their friendship develop and grow among all the crazy supernatural stuff that's going on was grounding and wonderful in this novel. I really liked her personality and her dialog added a lot of fun and humor to the story. There were so many themes touched on in this book too. Family, friendship, loss, even bullying. This is a very well written well rounded story with a lot to offer. I can't wait to read the second one.Touching more on the characters, there were so many great ones! I loved the police officers and the break their scenes gave to the growing crazy supernatural stuff Ezra keeps discovering. The more police procedural scenes were fun to read and really well done. I loved the two cop partners and how different they were from each other. Even though they were more minor characters in the overall story they were fleshed out really well and I liked them and cared about them. Then there is the family of freaks Ezra meets who have many secrets that you'll have fun discovering if you read this book. I call them freaks but they are like friends to me know having read the book. They all have different... abilities I'll say because I don't want to spoil anything in the story - and their story was really cool to uncover as I read through the book. I can't finish mentioning the great characters without saying how cool the bad guys were. A very powerful evil magician and his two terrifying accomplices. A little tiny wooden dummy man who doesn't let his size stop him from being someone you wouldn't want to meet and a huge ghastly hulk of a man who can literally rip your heart out of your chest with his bare hands.I loved the dark supernatural thriller and the police procedural elements in this book. It was cool to delve into the deep dark world of magic and monsters and then switch to the view of that same world through the skeptical and organized view of the policeman trying to pick up the pieces after these supernatural monsters had committed gruesome crimes.This book had some pretty amazing action scenes. Guns, swords, magical energy, plants coming to life and snatching characters up - there were a lot of very intense action scenes in this book that were very exciting and very well done. All of them grew the characters, taught them things about themselves, and ramped up the tension in the book.I read this book by listening to the audiobook and the narrator R.C. Quartermaine was spot on for this one. First his narration. He has a great deep voice that really tells the story well. His voice makes the story very interesting to listen to. I could listen to him read fiction for hours - well that's what I did for this book. Then when he does the character voices he adds another layer of awesome to the listening experience. Some of these characters were monsters, some of them were people of different nationalities like Irish and German, some were policemen, teachers, parents, and teenagers. He nailed the different tones for the different age groups and kinds of characters. He did really great monster voices that were very different sounding from the rest of the characters but not corny or over the top. They were actually pretty scary sounding which was awesome. And the different accents he used for the many German and one Irish character were great. Very well done. I particularly like his voice for a nerdy guy who worked at the history museum. The audiobook is a real treat to listen to and was very well done. R.C. Quartermaine is a talent I plan on listening to again.The ending was very satisfying. It wrapped everything up well but still left a huge danger that the characters are going to have to deal with at some point in the future, but the ones who survive to the end of the book are left in a great place. I love it when a book can make me laugh even at its darkest most intense parts and this book did that for me at the end. Some of the things Ezra said and the ways he reacted to what was going on were priceless and had me rooting for him and laughing really hard. It was awesome and put a smile on my face.Wow. Fantastic book. I'm looking forward to more from this author. He is talented and tells a great dark fun creepy funny awesome story. 5 stars all the way. Loved this book.

  • Alyshia
    2018-11-17 00:05

    This book is a perfect choice for a reader who likes something a little dark and different. Its got a good solid storyline and brings out some morally complex issues. Can't wait to see what's in line next for these characters.

  • Wren
    2018-11-26 16:59

    Letter to the EditorThe Heart ThiefS Lee BenedictEzra 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. Dear S Lee Benedict,I do think that your book is good. It isn't amazing. But it still is good. I really liked some parts. Note that I'll be ranting soon enough. I like the magical aspect. The magic was interesting. Combining the magical aspects with the realistic aspects was great. You weaved in the worlds, made them combine. There was reason in magic. If that is even possible. (Which it might not be.) I say that I personally liked that. The action. Wow. I normally don't like quick action scenes, but I was left breathless. How could that happen? You can't help but root for the good guys. And there is a reason. (Looking at you, Lars.) The action is fantastic. Fast without being annoying. Which is hard. The mystery. You can't help but wonder what happens as the story draws on. You know who the killer is. And you're screaming at Drake to just figure it out. And you're wondering why the world isn't accepting the magic. And you're ripping your hair out. I loved the mystery. It was probably one of my favorite parts. I learned the clues even though you knew full well who was murdering those poor people. (How gory... I would hate to die that way. Having your heart ripped out of your chest. Sounds painful.) That part was well done.The Leichman family. Gosh. They are the Addams family reborn. Creepy without being freaky. I, at first, was put off by them. You get used to them. They grow on you. Forgive the pun. Their backstory is fantastic. Seriously? (Spoiler.) They were dead? How is resurrection possible? Isn't dead a simple fact? The question that now arises is the moral consequences. Should resurrection be possible? My question is who would you bring back from the dead if you could? Sadly. There are a few things that pulled me down from enjoying the story too much. The romance between Emma and Ezra is a bit annoying. Why did that come around? Or is there any relationship? I can't tell. To me, there is something. This story doesn't have the relationship. (Maybe the second will? Not sure.) Ezra just seems to like Emma for her looks. (Does she have that amazing of a personality?) There is no chemistry. No history. I don't see why Emma accepted that kiss. She didn't seem attracted to him.Emma is annoying. She kinda just hangs around. She's the romantic interest you wish you didn't have to acknowledge. She really doesn't help. Her only purpose was when she led Greta to the place where Greta's daughters were. Really. She is for Ezra to ogle at. If Emma had been more developed, I would have liked it more.And our darling Dietrich. (How do you even spell that? I apologize if I butchered your name.) He is multi-talented. Scientist. Fighter. Father. Husband. He wears many hats. While I don't discourage these types of people, this guy just annoys me. How old is he really? He has so many degrees. And everything. How old? Forty? Older? I wouldn't believe it if he was. If he wasn't someone with all the talents, I would like him better. He was nice enough. But you can't just be nice. That isn't enough. He seems to hold every part except Variant. Or cop. Or...teacher. You get my point.Overall, this wasn't bad. I mean, sir, it was a good story. But there were still faults. Not all books are amazing. Yours was just pretty good.Weather:Cloudy with a 25% chance of rain3/5

  • Scott
    2018-11-09 18:07

    "Magic, mayhem, and mixed thoughts "Per the author's request, I will include the following statement at the beginning of this review. Disclaimer: I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher, and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.I will say this book is not what I had expected from the description and was somewhat surprised from start to finish. I had believed it would be more a YA coming of age story with some form of fantasy elements with the potential of some time travel, etc. Boy was I wrong and will say up front that books of this genre are not of the type I would listen too if given the chance. With that said, the author did a good job of telling his story. The ability to describe the locations and action was very well done. I felt engaged within the story along with his characters having body and depth to them, they were not your typical cardboard characters found on other books like this. A few of the more minor characters felt flat to me, such as the detectives, but the main characters overall were likable and had some good back stories keeping me wondering what would come next. The more you learn the more strange and bazaar the book becomes. I was a bit confused as to how I would classify this book if asked. In most cases I would place it in the Horror category geared more towards adult readers. I do have to give the author credit for not having to stoop to using vulgar language or overly done gore to shock readers as your normal horror book may. Even the points where there was gore, it was not the central point of the event and used more to describe the scene. I can see the authors influence of many of the great authors of the horror genre such as Steve King and Lovecraft. The book for me was a mix of the Shining, Adams Family, and Frankenstein with a smattering of crime drama elements. Sounds strange, but in many ways it worked.There also seemed to always be an element of creepiness throughout the book, and much of this is resolved at the end; always with an opening for more in the series. At times you say a normal family and then the author would throw in something, without telling you why, that would make you wonder how or when you will learn why. More that anticipation of the Shining.If I had the ability to change the story to make it more enjoyable for me, I would remove some of the more stereotypical "kid" or pop-culture language found in a small number of places. For example when two kids were talking to each other, they spoke in a way that seemed unnatural or stuck out when it was read. It just did not fit. Another place where there were references to Jeopardy (the game show), etc. These seemed more forced and often would take me out of the storyline. I'm unsure if the book needed them at all, and maybe the author was using such as a way of releasing tension from the reader.In relation to the narrator of the audiobook, I will say I enjoyed R.C. Quartermaine’s ability to bring the book to life while also keeping that creepiness that runs throughout the book. The narrator was able to voice the many different characters well and did not attempt to do the female voices in an unnatural voice. The tension level was held and in times of excitement or action the narrator was there to support it using his voice.

  • Julie S.
    2018-11-12 23:41

    I was given a complimentary copy of this audiobook for my honest review from Audiobook Boom.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!

  • Kai
    2018-11-26 21:40

    The Heart Thief begins with Ezra Keene starting a new school in Sentinel City. He met Emma when she was showing him where his classes were. While in their classes, they befriend a strange German student, Wolfgang Leichnams.As Ezra is trying to deal with the loss of his brother Tobias, he is dealing with his uncanny talent where any drawings that he drew are coming true. He kept this hidden from his parents and his friends. When people are dying with their hearts torn out of their bodies, Ezra and Emma stumbled into the Leichnams' battle against a former student who wanted ultimate power by opening a portal in Rhapp's Barren. With so much at stake, Ezra and Emma joined Leichnams to save their world from creatures coming through the portal.The Heart Thief is a delightful story of good vs evil. The characters are memorable. The story is told from two characters' point of views: Ezra and Detective Drake. Even though, Ezra is the main character of the story, Detective Drake's point of views connects the story of the legend of Rhapp's Barren of a past that is forgotten. It also brings the reason of why the hearts were taken from their victims. There are two stories that is presented in The Heart Thief leading to a confrontation which brings a lose end that needs to be tied up (a second book is in order).The story doesn't just focused on the subject of good vs. evil. It also touches on grieving, bullying, friendship, family, and trust. This is a very good YA story for all ages to read and listen to. Overall I would love to give this book a 4.5 stars if it was possible.The narrator, R.C. Quartermaine gives a very good performance in providing the characters of German origin their accents. I love the gruffy voice that the narrator gave Black Lucas. I was given this audiobook by the author/narrator/publisher via Audiobook Blast in exchange of an honest review. I was not compensated or influenced in any way for writing this review.

  • Danielle Urban
    2018-11-15 20:08

    The Heart Thief by S. Lee Benedict is one incredible and gripping read! A story of monsters, magic and the possibility of something much worse than death exist. Readers beware this stunning plot will drag you deep into a world in which fantasy and science fiction will bring the horrors and fears that will leave you holding onto your seat tightly. An intriguing tale of how one young man loses his brother and is attending a new school. But then things get much more intense as Ezra wakes up to find lead under his fingertips from a new drawing he doesn't remember doing. A drawing that becomes real. Soon Ezra is following a trail to find a killer and thinks that one of his classmate's father, a German scientist, is the one responsible. But as with all cases, Ezra will need proof before going to the police. The Heart Thief by S. Lee Benedict is an enchanting world that allures readers instantly. S. Lee Benedict's writing is one that will capture the hearts of readers all over the world. His scenes are vivid, detailed, and horrifying. The plot is well written and brings out such a realistic quality to the novel that readers will struggle with telling what is fantasy and what is real. I enjoyed reading this suspenseful tale and highly recommend to booth teens and adults alike. This is a must read for all. The main character Ezra is just an ordinary teenage boy who goes about life struggles like the any in his age would until strange things begin to happen. Ezra is one of the most believable characters I have seen in any fantasy novel. Overall, I rate The Heart Thief a five out of five stars.

  • Marta
    2018-11-25 17:49

    I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. It might be one of those really confusing reviews.I really struggled with this book in the beginning. Prologue I found difficult to read and to concentrate on what it said. I found it quite irrelevant/unnecessary to the rest of the story, I think there could be a different way to implement this information into the book.As I requested to read it, I felt obliged to keep reading and I'm glad I did. After I "fought" through the first 10% of the book I started enjoying it. The story is different and really interesting and written in multiple POV. There's elements of supernatural/paranormal, fantasy, magic, and a little bit of horror. The story is about a brave 16 year old boy called Ezra, who gets pulled into supernatural world. After moving to a new city with his parents and starting new school, he starts having dreams/visions of murders that are currently happening around the city. It turns out he will be the one to stop the murderer with the help of his new friends. I really like the story and I will definitely read the sequel. I'd like to see more romance between Ezra and Emma.The characters are very likeable and each of them is wonderful in a different way, they all bring something extraordinary to the story.

  • Koolaid
    2018-11-23 15:42

    Hang on, because this book is going to make you love macabre and unbelievable things. S. Lee Benedict did a great job in intertwining today's world with the unknown. The characters were developed with thought and made real. I really did not know what I was going to be getting into as I did not read anything about this book except that I liked the cover. So glad I did.R.C. Quartermaine did a fantastic job at keeping the flow of this story listenable. Characters were very distinguishable before he even said who they were. I loved the way the people in the story always got their powers when they truly needed them and saved their loved ones.Read it. Enjoy it and be ready for they next one."This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."

  • Delta
    2018-11-25 17:38

    What a great take on the urban sci-fi/fantasy genre. The characters are well developed and interesting. The villains are positively vile. The writing is perfect for young audiences. The only issue I have is the same issue I have with all stories that require a lot of explanation: there is a fine balance between world building and explaining the world. Benedict walked that line carefully and occasionally fell into the explaining camp, but mostly did a good job at building the world and it's use of magic and science.I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed R.C. Quartermaine's narration. His characters were so interesting to listen to and they all had different voices and accents. The pacing was good. The only thing I would have liked is better female voices.**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

  • C.N. Crawford
    2018-11-09 21:39

    The Heart Thief is an urban fantasy that follows teenage Ezra as he simultaneously adjusts to a new city, new love, and newly discovered magical powers. Ezra must race to gain control of his magical abilities before a maniacal necromancer unleashes Lovecraftian terrors into his world.I particularly enjoyed The Heart Thief's magical action sequences. Whether it's a giant albino spider battling Puritans in an underground cavern (hint, read the first few pages of `the look inside' book preview), underwater clashes with reanimated corpses, or warlocks brewing arcane spells, S. Lee Benedict describes these scenes with unusual vividness.The Heart Thief is well written and I think ideal for a late middle grade / early teen audience. There were numerous times where I thought "Dang, my 13 year old self would have LOVED this book."

  • Ivi
    2018-11-17 19:50

    I was given this book by author and LOP for honest review so here it is ; All in all I did liked this book.I have some issues with it but I liked fast , and action packed story and magic in this book a lot. Writing was good and S.Lee Benedict is great story teller. Things that didn't work for me so much was that most of the time I feel like Ezra is not older than 12 .I'm sure that I will be enjoyed story much more if I could get this image of young school boy out of my head, and I didn't liked lack of sparks between Ezra and Emma and sometimes I was wondering why Emma is there at all. Like I said all together was fast and interested read and I would recomended this book for eary teen audience.

  • Carrie
    2018-11-22 20:57

    This was a really interesting book! The mix of real world and the world of magic/supernatural, was different, and I really liked that. There were also supernatural elements that aren't seen as much as witchcraft and magic in books. The narrator, R.C Quartermaine, did a wonderful job giving each of the characters a signature sound or "voice". Some of the more sinister characters were especially well done.This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom.

  • Deedra
    2018-11-23 20:43

    This was an awesome book!This story has a 'Neil Gaiman' feel to it.Ezra is new to town.He befriend a strange foreign boy.They also have a girl in their friend group.As it turns out everyone will be needed to fight the bad magic that has come to call.A necromancer in need of hearts has been following Ezras friend for many years.RC Quartermaine was the perfect narrator.I was given this book for an honest review.

  • Delora
    2018-12-05 16:59

    O M G. What a wonderful mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved it. The story is full of suspense. It deals with the use of arcane magic and necromancy. The characters are unique and easy to love and even a few you love to hate. I received this as a Goodreads contest winner and can't wait to read the next in this installment.

  • Sally
    2018-12-06 16:38

    This is one of the few books in which I found all of the "good guys" to be likable, and didn't find that to be annoying. I am really looking forward to the sequel!