Review: Silver in the Blood

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Title: Silver in the Blood
Author: Jessica Day George
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: July 7, 2015

I received an ARC of Silver in the Blood from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (via Goodreads)
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 had such high hopes for this book. I even featured it in a WOW, and I was pumped to read it! Because looking at that description and cover, it seems like a book that would be right up my alley. The thing is that the general story is interesting. It really is. In a sentence: these two cousins, Dacia and Lou, travel to Romania and discover that their family is hiding an ancestry of shape shifters and are up to no good. Sound pretty good, right? The mystery and motives of the family were what kept me in the story, and the background of the girls' heritage and the powers of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke were incredibly fascinating. (Especially The Smoke! So awesome!)  Add the gorgeous setting, and it should have a home run! But I just could not get into it.

I think that the main problem that I had was the slow pacing. This story just seemed to drag through the girls' narratives and all of the events just moved at a slow zombie-like crawl. So when action actually started to happen, it, like it was part of different book. Even when things started to pick up, the pacing in the writing still made these parts seem less exciting than they should have been. However, all of this might be the author's attempt to keep to the historical style, and it just didn't mesh with me. Because I do recognize that the style of writing the letters and the way the girls spoke was most likely historically how girls in this upper class society would write and talk. But it just took a toll on my appreciation of the book.

There was also something off about the character development. At one point there is such a change in the girls' personalities that it seems as if they did a Freaky Friday style personality swap rather than went through any thorough character development. It was jarring to read. Though I will say that I liked Lou's character and personality after her shift. She became more self assured and bold once she got her powers, and it made for some pretty awesome and hilarious situations. Also a lot of the supporting characters were a bit wishy washy especially the girls' cousin, Radu, and it was difficult to understand any characters' actions because they never seemed to be constant. Were they acting out of character? I honestly couldn't tell you.

The "romance" in the book was a bit lackluster. Again, this could be the historical aspect and was how things worked in this time and society. Relationships just seemed so flat. Dacia seemed to show interest in everyone, but it all seemed very superficial. Even with her relationship with Lord Johnny, I really had a hard time understanding if her feelings were, well, real feelings. The only relationship that seemed interesting or developed was Lou and Theo Ardacky, and even then that could have had a bit more chemistry.

There is one aspect that I did really enjoy: references to Dracula and that whole part of the story. I mean it is set in Romania so a Dracula reference should be pretty essential! I loved the way the author morphed the Dracula book and Vlad the Impaler's history into her story background. The Dracula fan in me adored it!

Rating: 2 out of 5. This book was a bit disappointing and just not for me mostly because of the slow pace, but someone who enjoys more historical books might enjoy it more. 

Leave a Comment

  1. I had high hope for this one too, and was disappointed, although I thought it picked up a bit by the end. The pacing was pretty slow, and I wonder if the POV was just one character, if the story might have moved along better. I can totally understand why you were disappointed by this, you make some great points in your review!

    1. That is true. It did pick up more toward the end but the pacing for most of the story was a bit too slow for me. Hmmm interesting thought in having one POV. It might have moved the story along a lot quicker. I wonder if it would be just Dacia's or Lou's POV if that was the case. Both play big roles obviously, but I think I would probably like Lou's. Thanks for the comment and for sharing in my disappointment!