Book title: Silver in the Blood
Author: Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood, #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Release date: July 7th, 2015
Format: egalley, 368 pages
Source: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Bloomsbury!
A New York Times bestselling author brings dark secrets to life in a lush new YA perfect for fans of Libba Bray or Cassandra Clare.
Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.
With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.
I expected a lot from Silver in the Blood. Blurb promises 19th century Eupoean setting and dark brooding young men. I got the Romanian setting but it felt a bit lackluster. And those dark brooding young men? Where were they? There was zilch romance here. Or if there was any, I totally missed it.
Basically, New York City socialites and cousins Dacia and Lou return home to Romania to meet their terrifying grandmother. Strange things start happening and Dacia is called “the Claw” and Lou “the Smoke”. The matriarch of the Florescu family, Lady Ioana, is a cold, mean woman who has plans for Dacia and Lou. Only thing is, the cousins want nothing to do with their family heritage and, uh, major baggage. (Like, you don’t even know baggage.) If you’ve read the blurb you clearly know what the “terrifying” family secret is: shape shifting. But there’s a huge problem: the “big reveal” doesn’t happen until almost exactly halfway through the book. Like, it literally takes half the book for the plot to get started. And the whole first half of the book was a chore to get through, not gonna lie.
I liked Lou more than Dacia, although both girls were spunky and strong in their own ways. Lou was shy and calculating, Dacia was outgoing and impulsive. The two of them made a great team, and their friendship was really the highlight of the book. (Gosh, I love greatly portrayed friendships between characters.)
Now, the love interests… tsk, tsk. The guys were nice enough but just oh so bland. They were like wallpaper. There were some heart flutters and blushing cheeks but as for actual romance and tension? Totally missing.
And the villains are absolutely evil here. They were just asking to be hated, and hate them I did. MINOR SPOILER: I was glad karma hit one of them and hope karma hits the other in the next book (not sure how many books this series is going to be). END SPOILER.
The book wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. I can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing. Sure, crap hits the fan at times, but except for those few instances this book is pretty tame if you’re well read in fantasy and dystopia YA. The writing also felt a little young, occasionally, and then the opposite: very mature. Kind of uneven writing. But I’ll admit I glazed over many parts as I read because I simply wasn’t into the story. I missed a lot more than the alleged romance, I am sure. Sigh.
In the end, Silver in the Blood was a disappointment. It sounds intriguing and fantastical, but it’s a pain the butt to get through. I’m still annoyed that it took half the book for the plot to finally start! Yeesh. The only really positive thing I can say is that Dacia and Lou are wonderful, strong heroines. To end this review, I’ll tell you that smoke is waaaaaaaaaaay cooler than wolves and bats, even though I do love wolves and bats. ♦
So tell me…
Have you read Silver in the Blood? If you haven’t, would you be interested to? What was the last book you read that featured shape shifters? Or that was historical fiction but with a paranormal/supernatural element? Comment below letting me know! And, as always, happy reading!