ARC Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

ARC Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Silver in the Blood
Silver in the Blood #1
by Jessica Day George

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publication date: July 7th, 2015
by Bloomsbury

Format: eARC

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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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Silver in the Blood was sadly not all I wanted it to be. It’s not a bad book by any means, it’s very creative and fun but it is also a little slow and needed a little work in the character department.

It takes almost a third of the book for us to finally see all the fun action and I don’t think there was enough of all the good stuff happening to make up for the initial slowness. To be fair, I didn’t mind the slow bits too much. I was never bored and I did like reading those details since they helped built up the suspense, but I feel like there was too much time spent building that suspense and not enough time spent actually making the wait worth it.

I would like to start off by saying that this book isn’t as dark as it sounds. It’s actually quite light hearted (and not in a bad way), it’s cute and fun to read and I enjoyed reading from the POVs of both the main characters.

Dacia and Lou are spoilt young ladies traveling to Romania to meet their mothers’ side of the family. When I say spoilt, I don’t mean it in a bad way. They are from wealthy, influential families but they aren’t horrible, mean girls. I always found both characters to be likeable (even when Dacia made some questionable decisions.)

Dacia is the more outspoken of the two and while she did make some questionable decisions she was also not a bad person. She wasn’t stupid and really, what’s wrong with someone who enjoys receiving attention (not in an obnoxious way.) She can stand up for herself and won’t let people get away with shit.

Lou is in some ways the exact opposite of Dacia. Where Dacia is outspoken and sometimes impulsive, Lou is shy and likes to think things through. In that way, Dacia and Lou complement each other. I definitely found Lou to be more likeable (since I could relate to her better) but what I also liked was that both the girls were likeable. You didn’t have to hate one to like the other.

Both girls develop over the course of the book and I loved watching them both turn into the mature, confident women they were by the end of the novel.

One of the drawbacks of this book is the secondary characters. The love interests have no real depth to them (which was a pity.) Lou and Dacia’s family were talked about in such vague terms that I never found myself feeling anything towards them. Their villainous grandmother was cartoonishly evil to the point where her motives made no sense. I also didn’t like how we never saw enough of Lou’s mother. She is made out to be a bad guy but we never really see her do anything bad (besides siding with the Grandma). I never understood the sudden change in Lou’s mom. I felt the same way about Aunt Kate. Although in her case, I never saw her being good so when she is talked about in such nice terms, I was like huh? What do you mean?  Isn’t she a douche? There was also the question of Lou’s father who I would have liked to see more of. Basically I felt like the adults and the love interests needed to be round instead of flat.

This book isn’t very romance heavy but the problem is that I never really saw the romantic relationships develop. There is the tension, yes but I wanted to see that flourish instead of the automatic transition into ‘we are in love.’ How long have you known each other for again??? BUT ALSO I just wanted to see the couples, I wanted to see the banter, I wanted to see them work together as a team but none of that really happened on a large enough scale for me to enjoy the dynamic.

The world building in the novel was nice. I liked the Claw, Wing and Smoke aspects (although I might have enjoyed seeing some more of that.) I also liked the Romanian setting. It definitely added a certain darkness to the atmosphere (although keep in mind what I said earlier about this not being a dark novel.)

The first book in this series may not have won me over completely but I still enjoyed it and will definitely be watching out for the sequel. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a fun fantasy novel to read.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Overall: 3.4
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    I almost picked this up because of the cover and synopsis but I resisted. I’m sort of glad I did now just because of the slow pacing. I’m in such a book funk right now, I don’t think I can handle another slow to start read.

    Wonderful review though, this doesn’t sound like a bad read at all, just one you have to be in the right mood for to really get into.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. HunterMy Profile

  2. says

    This doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea to be completely honest (I’m not much of a paranormal reader as much as I try), but I’m glad for the notice on how it’s a bit slow in case I ever do end up reading it. :) Thanks for sharing Rashika and, as always, wonderful review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Rounding: Up or Down?My Profile

  3. says

    The setting of this sounds really unique and wonderful. And, despite the fact that I’ve been hearing quite mixed things about it — I’ll give it a chance. (After all — that cover is beautiful.) I don’t mind stories that move slowly anyway (although I’m definitely in the minority there haha) so I might just like it! Hope you enjoy your next read better xx :)
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…IN WHICH I ANNOUNCE I’LL BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!My Profile

  4. says

    Stunning review Rashika. <3 But aw, I'm so sorry you were a bit disappointed with this one :( That is never fun. Sigh. I have it pre-ordered.. so I'm hoping to love it, hih. It do seem amazing :) And you did like it a lot, despite some issues. So I have hopes for it :) But sorry the love interests weren't that awesome :\ Sigh. That makes me sad. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3
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  5. says

    I am definitely drawn to covers like this, Rashika, but I think I’ll wait to see how the series progresses before I pick this up. This seems to have been a promising intro but not a mind-blowing one and I’m too wary of series these days to dive into this. Thanks for such a honest and helpful review, dear! :)
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  6. says

    Oh dear, this one just does not sound like my cup of tea. I was so excited for this one too!! I’m sad to hear that the plot isn’t nearly as dark or enticing as it let on. The romance and secondary characters both seem pretty dull… At least the world-building was good. Nice review!

  7. says

    I have this ARC and I’m not just too sure that I would like to get to it anytime soon. It sounds like to me, and I’m JUST GUESSING from all of the reviews, that this is the MG answer to A Court of Thorns and Roses.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: ChimeMy Profile

  8. says

    I hadn’t heard of this book before now, but I don’t feel a great urge to read it… I mean, like you pointed out, the blurb is interesting enough, but characters and the pacing play such a huge role that they can’t help but bring the story down if they’re not too good. And pacing is uber important for me too, since I need the book to capture my attention right from the start. xD I’m glad that you didn’t find Silver in the Blood too boring even with the slow parts, though!

    Oh man, the vague love interest syndrome. How does an author expect us to be able to enjoy the romance if we barely know the love interest(s)?! It also sounds like the rest of the secondary characters were very inconsistent, too. Unless a character is supposed to be like that, inconsistency never works well. And bleh, I guess you wouldn’t call the romance “instalove” exactly, but it sure does feel like that since there was hardly any development.

    Sorry this one didn’t quite live up to your expectations, Rashika! But it’s great that it was still able to pull you in enough to continue with the sequel. :D
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  9. says

    I felt quite similarly about this book, but I may have liked it a teensy bit more than you did. I especially liked the bond between the cousins. And I quite liked that it wasn’t too dark and tended to be more on the light-hearted side. I agree about the romances though. I wasn’t too keen on either of them and would have liked any kind of build up. It was just sort of there at the end, which was weird!! Maybe we’ll have some more development in the next installment.
    Lovely review, Rashika!
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  10. says

    I’ve read one of her other books, Snow, Ice and something or other and had the same issue with the slow moving storyline too. I enjoyed it, but I think she needs to work on her pacing. A lot. It works when you’ve got that slow delicious build reaching a massive crescendo, but like her other title, it sounds like it fell flat as well. It probably could have even done without the romance, rather than a half assed and underdeveloped love interest. Hopefully the next book in the series improves, the great thing is that it sounds like there’s a lot of room to develop the storyline beyond book one. Wonderful review Rashika <3 really enjoyed it.
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