I received this novel in return for an honest review
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.
I don't normally like to review books I don't finish, but since I got this one from netgalley I am making an exception.
I have enjoyed a lot of Jessica Day George's other novels, the fairy tale retellings in particular were really good.
However, I did not like this book. It gets three stars because the writing wasn't bad,I love the author, LouLou and Dacia (the female leads;cousins) have great chemistry and maybe just maybe the 20 % of the book I didn't read got really really good.
However I had a ton of issues with this book.
1) The author didn't do her research and if she did used it poorly. I have done SO much research on the Dracula family and lineage and dug up all the history I could possible find (for a novel of my own actually)and fine; yes she took artistic licenses (which is great), but I don't feel she used them in a way that made her novel better. It simply felt sloppy.
2) This book was so predictable, of course the Dracula's and the Florescu were the bad guys, can we stereotype vampires any more? I hate that; "Hey I want a bad vampire." "Oh! Well use Dracula, that hasn't been done to DEATH." Personally I felt the Prince would have been better had she made him an anti-hero instead of a ridiculously evil dude with no sympathetic qualities. Yes I am biased, a HUGE Dracula fan and I get sick of him, his name and history being used willy nilly whenever an author is too lazy to find a villain.
3) I find this book to be in bad taste since Radu Florescu just died a year ago this May. She used HIS WHOLE NAME. Need to know who Radu Florescu was in real life? A well known Vlad the Impaler Scholar and was the one who discovered Bram Stoker's novel was based on the Dragon himself.
4) Dacia and LouLou's personality swap half way through the book really bothered me too...but I can't get into that without spoilers.
5) This book was also kind of boring, really slow to start and just dull and not up to the author's other work.
If you like vampires, shapeshifters or Dracula do NOT read this book, if you don't care about any of those things then sure go a head, you may be mildly bored, but you might also enjoy it.