Format: Hardcover | 405 pages
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Genre(s): Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Description (Goodreads): "It starts off simply.
Draw a circle ... place a dead leaf in the center ... sprinkle some salt ... recite a little Latin ... add a drop of blood ...
Maybe that last part isn't exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents' horrific deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.
The book isn't the only recent arrival in Silla's life. There's Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She's not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick's first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction. And they can't ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.
Tessa Gratton's intoxicating first novel will keep pulses racing, minds reeling, and pages turning right up to the very last drop of blood."
Warning: Contains SPOILERS!
"Blood Magic" is an annoying (and frustrating - I seem to be using these words a lot in my reviews lately) mix of teen paranormal romance cliches and interesting story. As with "A Touch Mortal" (read review) I felt exasperated by certain aspects of this book, because I knew that if the author had written them differently I'd have liked the book a lot more.
Drusilla Kennicot is a troubled girl who's been in the center of one of the biggest tragedies the small town of Yaleylah has ever seen: a murder-suicide. While everyone believes that her father was crazy, Drusilla (or Silla, as she is more commonly known) still has faith in the man she knew and doesn't think her father could have done it. When a mysterious man who calls himself "the Deacon" sends her a small book filled with magic spells written in her father's handwriting Silla begins a strange journey into a world she never thought existed. Who was her father really? And who is Nicholas the new boy in school who seems perfectly at ease with her, even when everyone else thinks she is crazy?
The premise of this book sounded so, so good. The magic seemed somehow realistic, arcane and messy and didn't need any "wand-waving" or pixie dust. And some parts of the story were actually good. I really liked reading about Silla's discovery and first uses of the book, having to use her magic blood to make things happen. It kind of reminded me of that movie Practical Magic, because the magic was so ambiguous and only the user could decide what to do with it... there was no "light" spells or "dark" spells. I thought Gratton did an amazing job with her magic system and gave it an authentic feel.
What I didn't like so much? The aforementioned cliches. Like the "insta-romance" between Nicholas and Silla. It just didn't seem credible and it reminded me a lot of "Beautiful Creatures". However I did like the fact that the romance wasn't crucial to the story.
That, coupled with the switching POV's (Nicholas and Silla) spoiled much of the book for me because I felt like Nicholas and Silla were sometimes just one person. As the POV switched from one to the other there weren't enough original elements or thoughts to distinguish them. I did like, however, the chapters with Josephine's diary.
As for the story, it was... well, predictable. Once Silla starts dabbling with the magic it's pretty clear her parents' deaths weren't what they seemed and it was pretty easy to figure out Josephine's identity. There were one or two twists I confess I wasn't expecting, but most of the time the plot was pretty easy to figure out.
So, basically you have an average story, an interesting world and some stereotypical characters (even Josephine was your typical "mwahaha" villain). This book is saved, in my opinion, by the author's world-building and imagination concerning the magic system. And possibly the ending.
Overall, while I liked reading it and recommend it for fans of YA Urban Fantasy featuring witches (who don't mind the overused lightning-quick romance between the main characters), I was a little disappointed with some aspects of the book.