Author: Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood, #1
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley which does not affect my review**
Dacia Vreeholt is daring and reckless while her cousin Lou Neulander is shy and reserved. When the two are shipped off to visit their mothers’ family in Romania, neither of them is prepared for the secrets their family has been keeping from them. The Florescus have guarded the old Romanian family, the Draculas, for centuries. Now Dacia and Lou are called to join them, to help overthrow the current king and embrace the shape-shifting gift that has been passed down though generations.
Jessica Day George’s Silver in the Blood combines the rich atmosphere of Romania with fantasy. My main complaint about this book is the characterization. Many of the minor characters lacked enough depth and felt more like stick figures than fully-realized persons. Dacia and Lou came across as very silly school girls at the beginning of the novel and though much of their behavior is supposedly a result of the era (the story takes places during 1897) and their privileged lives, they deserved more complexity. While I was glad to see a shift in their personalities once they did discover their family’s secret, Lou became more in charge of her life, the change in Dacia was less favorable. The once confident Dacia became weak-willed and rather than add to the complexity of her character, she became an easy target in order to move the story along.
Silver in the Blood is suitable for a certain kind of reader who’s more interested in reading an interesting story than reading about interesting characters. Though the book had the potential to explore darker subjects, the tone of the novel remained rather light. The story also started off slow and for much of the novel, the two main characters remained in the dark, which felt more of a consequence of their naivety than the result of an intriguing mystery. There was an interesting power-struggle within the family, but because most of the characters lacked depth and didn’t receive enough page time, this was never given the kind of attention that would have made the story and characters more well-rounded.