Title: Silver in the Blood
Series: Silver in the Blood #1
Author: Jessica Day George
Genre: YA Historical Paranormal
Received: For Review (Thank you Bloomsbury!)
Published: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children's
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.
Jessica Day George is most known for her middle grade fantasy series, but I've never read any of them. Silver in the Blood is the first book of her's that I've read and I enjoyed it. But I didn't love it. There were quite of few parts of the book that I didn't like. Overall it was a good book and it does make me want to pick up some of her middle grade series.
My favorite part of Silver in the Blood was the world. This book is a perfect fall or winter read. I loved being plunged into the lush world of Romania in the 1800s. It was gorgeous and there is no denying that Jessica Day George is a fantastic writer. I read the acknowledgements and found it really interesting that the original idea was for this to be present day and someone told the author to set in the 1800s. It works so much better for me and I couldn't imagine this story during any other time.
I am a sucker for a great vampire story so I was really excited to see the mythology of Dracula used in such a unique way. There weren't any vampires in this story, which didn't bother in the slightest. I liked how the shape shifting was done in this story and it does excite me to see how Jessica Day George grows that in the sequel.
I also found the use of diary entries and letters to be really great. I liked that we got both Dacia and Lou's point of views. These two characters definitely balanced each other very well. I just didn't like the sharp change in character development at the end, in which the bold character became very meek and the meek character became very bold. It just didn't go over well for me. At first, I really enjoyed Dacia much more than Lou. I just like bolder female protagonists but as the story progressed I just found Dacia to be very vapid and insipid at times. I just couldn't handle the fact that she was trying to go after three guys. I liked Lou up until she got on her high horse from becoming the smoke.
I loved the mystery at the beginning of the novel but the mystery of them being shape shifters was drawn out way too long. I think it was predictable from the beginning and the synopsis of the book so I didn't why it took 170 pages to reveal it. Then the ending was just very fast where it could have been a bit more complex. I don't quite see what Jessica Day George can do for sequel besides the possibilities for a "league of extraordinary gentlemen" esque magical crime fighting story.
I had a really fun time reading this book. I loved the fresh take on the story that we all know of Vlad the Impaler. For me my major problem with this story was the pacing and some of the characterizations, but overall it was a good book. I wish I could have loved it and been blown away by it. I am definitely open to reading the sequel and seeing where Jessica Day George takes this world. I am planning on picking up some of her fantasy middle grade in the mean time!
Have you read Silver in the Blood? What did you think? Have you read any of Jessica Day George's middle grade?