Dacia and Lou are cousins who have grown up together in New York. They’ve always been close so it’s only natural that they would go together to meet their mothers’ family for the first time in Romania. Dacia is fiery and flirtatious and is used to getting her way while Lou is quiet and a little self-conscious. While in Romania, the girls are introduced to an ancient family secret and have to decide between their family and doing what’s right.
This is not the retelling that I expected…I kind of expected a Red Riding Hood retelling (I guess from the wolf on the cover) but let me tell you…it’s not that. If anything it’s kind of a Dracula retelling–so be warned. Okay, first off, Jessica Day George is a graduate of BYU so holla at my alumni buddy! Secondly, I’ve really liked some of her other books. Namely Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow and The Princesses of Westfalin series. They’re kind of no-brainer books, but I’ve liked them all the same so I was really excited when I was approved for this book on NetGalley. The beginning was really confusing for me. I didn’t really know what was going on and, like I said earlier, I thought this was a Red Riding Hood story. I think even if you go into the book knowing what kind of retelling it is, you’ll probably still be confused at first. But that’s okay, because our main characters are also confused, so we’re just all confused together.
I liked the contrast between Dacia and Lou. I felt that they were both strong leads, but in different ways. I especially enjoyed watching Lou’s growth throughout the book. She starts out fairly timid but as the book progresses, she gains a lot of confidence and begins to see some of her good qualities instead of just focusing on the negative. Dacia’s growth was a little more interesting…I had a hard time reconciling her mood swings. First she’s super confident, then she learns the family secret and descends into a funk. I understand that, but then I felt like she bounced back really fast–a little too fast maybe. Her ability to regain her confidence would have made more sense if she and Lou had been able to have a really good conversation about what was going on, but that never happened. Dacia’s mood change appeared to come about by watching Lou talk to other people and wearing a Parisian dress…yeah, I don’t get it.
The other characters in this book were fine. I was glad that the romance wasn’t really at the forefront of the story. The bad characters were appropriately hate-able, but I actually wish there was something a little more redeemable about them. Just like we want our heroes to have some flaws, I think villains need to have some good in them. They can’t just be 100% evil or else there isn’t as much conflict for our heroes.
The last thing that I was confused about is the mention of Dacia and Lou having silver in their blood. It’s mentioned but then never talked about again. Is the silver significant? If so, why is it never explained? Why was it brought up in the first place? It just felt like that detail was thrown in there, but then nothing happened with it. Overall, I liked the book okay–not as much as some of her other stories. If it happens to turn into a series, I don’t know that I’d read any more.
Overall Rating: 3
Sexual Content: Mild. A lot of nudity from the shapeshifting (they can’t keep their clothes on in their alternate forms), but nothing explicitly described. Some rape threats.
Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.