Monday, June 8, 2015

My Review of Silver in the Blood

Here's a description of the book:

"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."

My Rating


My Review

Dracula is one of the few classics I've read so far that I'd deem a "page-turner." I was enthralled and horrified by the happenings, and I loved the way the story unfolded through various accounts, including newspaper clippings, transcripts of recordings, etc. It made the drama that much more real with such "evidence."

One of the things I particularly enjoyed about Silver in the Blood were the allusions to Dracula. From the time-frame to the setting to the way the story is presented (with diary entries, letters, and telegrams mixed in) - and most especially to The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke - this book offers many hat-tips to Bram Stoker's classic novel.

But of course, there are some elements that will endear themselves more to the modern young-adult readers, including the age of the heroines, the mysterious men they encounter, and the mission they cannot ignore. I appreciated the bond between the cousins and the great build-up to the revealing of their family's secrets. I was enchanted by the descriptions of their travel and experiences. And I did enjoy the romance when all was said and done.

However, I just have to ask: "Guys, what on earth were you thinking??? You had a chance to act - and you KNEW what was coming for our heroines - and you stinkin' wasted time for no apparent reason!"

I couldn't write this review without berating the heroes. I'm really not sure why they waited around for a certain part of the story - and it was definitely frustrating! I also would have enjoyed a bit more depth concerning their characters.

As the author noted in a post on her blog, this story is more intense than a couple of her other books I've read. So just be aware that there are references to nudity (although there's no explicit sexual content), threats of assault, and violence (including murder). And I'm not entirely sure what to think about what happened to certain characters and certain attitudes they displayed as the story progressed.

Silver in the Blood contains some favorite YA elements but offers an atmosphere and point of reference based on a classic. I found myself especially fascinated by the beginning, but I still liked the story as a whole for the great back-and-forth scenes between the cousins' points-of-view.

*With thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

Book releases July 7, 2015.


Unknown said...

Great review! I'm thinking about reading this one... My chief fear is that it'll be a bit standard, which is always disappointing. But I just read her "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow," which was terrific, so I think I'll give this one a try!

Sparks of Ember said...

I'm curious how you think this book compares to her others? I like her younger genre books but all the YA so far have always fallen short for me. Well written but just not meeting my expectations or quite making sense to me.

Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you! If you enjoyed Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow and you're OK with something a little edgier than that, I think you might enjoy this one. :)

I've read Sun and Moon, as well as Princess of the Silver Woods - and while I enjoyed both, I didn't find them overly deep or completely enthralling. (Still sweet and fun, though!) However, I think the storyline and writing of this one, from what I remember of the other two, are more compelling, and the two main characters are very intriguing and well-fleshed-out. My complaints would be with the heroes (would have liked more from their characterization and choices), the awkwardness of certain scenes, and the fine line between "good" and "evil" that left me a little uncertain at points.

Hope that helps - and I hope you enjoy the story!


Amber Holcomb said...

Sparks of Ember,

I got a little ahead of myself and partly addressed your question as well as Allison's comment in my response above. :) However, I'll add that I think this story (Silver in the Blood) is stronger than the other two I read (Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow and Princess of the Silver Woods). The writing, the build-up, the characterization of the heroines, and the way it all rounds out left me more satisfied than I remember being with the other two. The content is edgier, though, and there are certain elements where I would have appreciated a bit more depth and insight. Still, it's an interesting and well-written story!

Although, I should confess that I might be a bit partial due to my enjoyment of Dracula. :) But there's my two cents, for what they're worth!

Thanks for checking out my review!


Sparks of Ember said...

Sounds worth checking out for sure. I've read all 3 of the Princess books (unless she's written more since last I checked) plus Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow and while I didn't love them, the only one that I felt really missed something was the Cinderella one. Your review makes me wonder if this one is stronger in the areas that I felt needed a little strengthening! :)

I highly recommend Dragon Slippers, btw - the sequels are cute but the first one was excellent. And had a bit of an old-fashioned quality about it.

Amber Holcomb said...

Sparks of Ember,

Cool! I hope Silver in the Blood meets your expectations. :)

And thank you for the recommendation! Looks like a cute/fun story!