Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Release date: July 17th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
This book had been left unread on my Kindle for ages. Finally, I decided to read it on my way to Japan. I was super excited – 1890s Romania, shape-shifters, romance – what was not to love? However, the novel was a huge disappointment for me.
The story centres around Dacia and Lou, two rich American society girls (and cousins) who have traveled to Romania to meet with their family. However, things aren’t what they imagined and their whole lives are turned upside down by the revelation that they are shape-shifters and connected to Dracula!
Like I’ve said, the premise sounded pretty amazing, but even with such exciting ideas I was bored. It took so long for the book to get going. I had read the first quarter and still knew nothing! Well, just about how boy crazy Dacia was, parties, dresses and ribbons…all of which made Dacia seem shallow and not very likeable. Once the girls learned about their special ability things did start to pick up. Their reaction to such a life changing event made sense – they ran – but it was too abrupt for my liking. The book never really allows the characters to develop in a natural way. For example, Lou spent the first part of the book being characterized as extremely shy and timid. Then she learns about her ability and within a chapter or two she’s self-confident and assertive. Another thing that irked me was the constant threat of rape by the villain. WHY?! It seemed completely out of place and totally only inserted as a way to make a character seem more evil. There are totally better and more creative ways to demonstrate that a particular character is bad.
What I did enjoy was the way the book was formatted. It was told through alternating point-of-view chapters (one would be based on Dacia, the next on Lou) and a series of diary entries, letters and telegrams. The letters and such were particularly enjoyable because they broke up the monotony of the story and gave some insight to what the characters were feeling.
Silver in the Blood had a lot of potential. It could have been great, but its slow pacing and lack of character development made it a struggle to reach the final page. This is supposed to be the first in a series, but I won’t be picking up the second book.