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review 2016-11-16 00:00
Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1)
Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess #1) - Jessica Day George Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars and rounded it to 5 stars on Goodreads.

After reading Silver in the Blood I was interested in reading George's other works. I really did enjoy this one. Probably because I read the story as a kid (loved it) and loved the cartoon version of it on Grimm's fairy tales.

George does a good job of taking this fairy tale and also tying it together in the real world at certain parts as well. We follow the former soldier Galen who comes home to find his mother's family after the war. After stopping to help an old woman, he is given some wool and a cape that apparently will make him disappear. Not knowing what he would do with these items he continues onward and eventually meets his family. Coming home, Galen starts to work with his uncle in the king's garden and there meets the eldest, Rose. Through all of this the princesses are found each day with worn out shoes which is leading to questions that could prove dangerous for them and their father.

I really did like how this was done. Galen was a great hero and I liked Rose as well as the other princesses. The backstory which led to this was done very well too. I honestly wish the book had a prequel to it, because I was interested in the magicians who are mentioned in this book too.

George does such a great job with dialogue and action that I wish that Silver in the Blood had been done as well as this book.

The ending had a can you believe it ending to it which was the only reason why I gave this 4.5 stars. I honestly don't know what was going on there since everything felt tacked on. I wish that there had been more information about this character that suddenly reappeared, but no such luck.
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review 2016-10-16 20:22
The Claw, The Wing & The Smoke...
Silver in the Blood - Jessica Day George,Sandy Rustin,Recorded Books LLC

The beginning of this book started out pretty iffy for me. The main characters, cousins Dacia & Lou, came across as superficial, flighty and immature and the majority of the dialogue focused on what they were wearing, what boys they liked and what shops they were going to visit while on vacation.

 

I listened to the audio and the narrator's voice, although it reflected the flighty characters personalities perfectly, it was also rather annoying. About midway through, the plot finally took a turn for the better and Dacia & Lou gained a little more depth in their characters. The narrator seemed to reflect that too in her tone and I started enjoying both book and narrator a lot more- not enough to rate it 5 stars or anything but enough to finish the story at least.

 

I think the story with its shapeshifters, Dracula family origins and Romanian setting had the potential to be much more then it was but it just wasn't executed very well. The plot was thin at best. The Romanian culture was hardly touched on and the characters left much to be desired. The tone of the book also seemed geared more toward children's middle grade then young adults. I would say the last quarter of the book was probably the strongest but, it was a case of- too little, too late!

 

*I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Vampires vs. Werewolves~ square

 

Vampires vs Werewolves

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review 2016-09-21 00:00
Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood, #1)
Silver in the Blood (Silver in the Blood, #1) - Jessica Day George Please note that I gave this book 3.5 stars but rounded it up to 4 stars on Goodreads.

So I liked this book a lot. I noticed some issues here and there, but not enough for my interest in the next book in the series to wane. I think that the world building could have been a bit improved and the flow between Dacia and Lou's chapters to be a lot smoother. I would also like a prologue book or something just so you can get more of the history between the two families in this book. I hate being told things via another character (info dump) it is one of my least favorite things while reading.

So the book starts in medias res, or it tries to I think. We start out with Dacia who is being forced to go to her maternal family's home in Budapest. We know that Dacia did or was thought to have done something outrageous with some young man, and for some reason this has spurred on her Aunt Kate to get her moving quickly. On a train something mysterious seems to be happening and her Aunt Kate becomes more and more troubled. All Dacia wishes is that her cousin and best friend Lou was there. Then the book shifts to Lou who is with her father, mother, and twin brothers also traveling to Budapest. Lou is troubled by a man who seems to be following her.

The book moves slow. Seriously. We don't really get to know what's going on for a good 1st half of the book. And even then, things are not really explained very well by family members except for things like prophecies and you will do what is told to you. We have the girls eventually come together in Budapest and find out all about their family history and why it is linked to the Dracula family as well.

I loved Dacia and Lou equally in this book. Both girls are different from each other like night and day. Eventually though both girls react differently to their family secret and that also causes them to change again personality wise (and I got that). In the end though, I wish that maybe the author had broken up the chapters a lot more so we could have stayed with the characters longer. I say that because in between each chapter we would have a diary entry, telegram, letter, etc. that one of the girls wrote. I liked including it because we do get to see their mindsets and in Dacia's case how betrayed by her mother and father she feels.

We don't really get an in depth look at other characters in this book, and I get why, but I think the author could still develop them (Aunt Kate, Grandmother Ilona). I want to see more of these other characters, and I want to actually see how Lou's mother handles things after the events in this book. I also want to see more reasoning behind what the family did besides prophecy, because if that's the case, Dacia and Lou's mothers are kind of freaking awful.

The world building could be improved a lot. I think the issue was that we have a lot of characters talking, I wish that we had Lou and Dacia finding out more themselves through investigation or something. Just being told something didn't set well with me while reading. I wanted to understand more than what the author was showing us.

The ending left things pretty decided regarding Dacia and Lou's romantic lives (I did not care about either boy/man at all, even a little bit) and what they are going to be doing in the future.
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review 2016-08-13 03:47
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow - Jessica Day George

This was another light and quick read! Definitely something I needed after some books that I’ve read this month.

This book has enchantments! Trolls! Talking animals! Talking winds! More talking animals! And the writing style was great! Personally, I think if I were to ever reread this book again, I’d listen to it on audiobook because the author does such a great job of writing this is a fairytale tone. I really like her writing style.

Also, best acknowledgments that I’ve read in a while:

This book was made possible by the letter “ø.”

Hehe, that was funny (and mostly true).

I thought the pika was a great female lead. She did naturally what I think I would’ve done in her place. But she learned from her mistakes, and she was strong and determined to do what was right.

“That is because you are nothing more than a foolish human child,” the west wind retorted.

“And you are nothing more than a rude little breeze, blowing sand in my eyes and quivering,” the lass snapped back. She had not come this far just to be turned away by a
wind.

You go, pika!

Putting things together and seeing how everything connected was really interesting. I liked the isbjørn and Rollo a lot. And I want an older brother like Hans Peter!

A really enjoyable story with great characters and writing style throughout. Pick up this book if you want to read something light and fairytale-ish! I think this should be read as an audiobook though, just because the writing style felt really nice to listen to.

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review 2016-06-25 00:00
Princess of the Silver Woods
Princess of the Silver Woods - Jessica Day George Fairly entertaining little fantasy-action-romance with a chill pair of romantic leads and just a touch of the horrible.
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