Thursday, November 21, 2019

DNF Review: The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Title: The Deathless Girls
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Pages: 304
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They say the thirst of blood is like a madness - they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she'll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn't understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate...

The Deathless Girls caught my eye with its gorgeous cover and wonderfully gothic synopsis. I've only read a couple Dracula retellings and I was SUPER excited to get my hands on this one. I traded literally five books to get the Waterstones exclusive edition with the beautiful sprayed edges and jumped right in as soon as it arrived.

Lil is the main character of this story. She and her sister are Romani travelers, enslaved and forced to work for the cruel Boyar. Lil and Kizzy were fine but halfway into this book I found I wasn't really connected to either of them. Kizzy was the superior sister in my opinion, fighting at every turn, while Lil just kind of went along with her fate. There was a bit of an instalove romance between Lil and one of the other girls who literally start falling for each other without speaking.

There's actually just not a lot going on in this book. I made it to the fifty percent park before giving up and the Dragon had yet to make an appearance. Supposedly this is a story about the brides of Dracula, but I never made it that far. There were no vampires, although I suspect there must be later in the book, but by a hundred and fifty pages in I was bored to death of these girls gutting fish and Lil making heart eyes at someone she'd never spoken to.

I wanted to love this book so much but nothing EVER happened! At the very least I expected an atmosphere that would sweep me to another world, but I never saw that at all. The only locations explored were a few minutes in the sisters' camp and a kitchen. I may come back to this eventually to see how it plays out, but right now I'm just disappointed.