Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Silver in the Blood

I was provided an ARC in exchange for a review, but this is no way affects the content of my review or my opinion of this book. Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for this advance copy.

Title: Silver in the Blood
Author: Jessica Day George
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release: July 7, 2015

"As spoiled society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their family, find proper husbands, and - most terrifyingly - learn the secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, bound by a centuries-old tradition to do the bidding of the royal Dracula family and it is time for Dacia and Lou to take their place among the ranks. But when the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula, sets his sights on Dacia as part of his plan to secure power over all of Europe, the girls choose to fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might. Only the dashing Lord Johnny Hardcastle and the mysterious Theophilus Arkady - members of a secret society charged with ridding the world of monsters - can help Dacia and Lou, but breaking the shackles of their upbringing will require more courage than the girls ever imagined.

The thrilling start to a richly drawn, romance-filled series, this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives will have readers coming back for more."

There's been a fair bit of buzz around Silver in the Blood, which is released on July 7. Lots of bloggers who love fantasy spoke about how excited they were for this book, so I hoped this novel was going to kick off an exciting and unique new trilogy. But...I got myself into a bit of a mess with this one. I wanted to DNF this book, but because I agreed to review, I had to push through. Needless to say, I did not enjoy Silver in the Blood.

My first - and biggest - problem with this book is that I simply did not care about any of the characters. Dacia and Lou are spoiled and annoyingly pathetic, even in their moments of "strength." The entire cast of characters is one-dimensional and everyone has a singular, cliche personality. While the setting was really intriguing (I've never read a book set in Romania and wanted to learn more about it), the setting was probably the high point of this novel. Absolutely nothing of importance (or action) happens in the first 40% of the book, and the book blurb tells you literally everything else that goes down. They learn about their family secret, refuse to play soldier, and then Things Go Down. Well, kind of. The action scenes didn't really make much sense while reading, and nearly every single conversation and interaction between characters felt like it only existed to move the plot forward. All tell, no show. I was really disappointed on the whole, because I thought this would be a great fantasy read.

I'm keeping this short because it doesn't pay to harp on something I simply didn't enjoy. Sometimes a book just doesn't work for you, and this was one of those times. If you're already a fan of Jessica Day George and her previous books, then you should probably still give this a try. But if you're looking for a brilliant fantasy read...well, there are better options out there.

Rating: 2 stars (actually more like 1.5)

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