Random House Books for Young Readers
May 24, 2011
May 24, 2012
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Full of Latin and spells, written in her father's handwriting, the book was sent to Silla by someone named Deacon. Someone she's never met before and someone she's never heard of, either. Anxious for any connection to her parents and bolstered by the simple seeming nature of the spells, Silla decides to give one a try.
It's in the cemetery, at her parents' graves where she first tries the Blood Magic. A simple incantation, some salt, a few drops of blood . . . but someone may have seen her.
Nick's the new guy in town and soon in Silla's life. When she approaches him about seeing her do the spell, it's clear that it may not have been his first experience with Blood Magic. But is he as ready as Silla to fall back under its spell?
Nick and Silla are great main characters. Both because they are individually interesting characters who bring a lot to the book and because of the way their characters - their personalities, their pasts, their relationships with the magic, etc - mirror and yet parallel each other.
If Nick is dealing with one thing or one person, Silla seems to be dealing with something - or someone - that is somehow almost the same and yet completely different. It's true in their knowledge of and approach to the magic. It's also true of the events that brought them both to the cemetery that night.
It's easy to see how they're so drawn to each other. They have just enough in common to get past each other's defenses but not so much that their relationship ever seems contrived by the author. Despite the, perhaps, unbelievable aspect of the magic that first draws them together, Nick and Silla do seem very believable and real. I do hope that if they show up in the second book that they're a bit stronger, though.
The plot of Blood Magic was probably stronger than the characters. I didn't quite make that connection with them that left me fretting over what would happen to them when danger was present. I wanted to find out what would happen on the other side of things, but I wasn't anxious over what would happen to them.
Blood Magic does get a lot of points, though, for not shying away from the blood and danger. Also for not making that all it was about, either. Nick and Silla still have their lives at school, their lives at home - both of which have changed quite a bit recently - and they're doing their best to balance those with not only their new possible relationship but also with their magic explorations, also burgeoning.
The magic, the Blood Magic, in Blood Magic isn't 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' magic - or even, really, 'Charmed' magic. It isn't neat and clean. There's definitely some fun and excitement, and Tessa Gratton shows some pretty fun stuff, but it's also dangerous. The readers are able to see more of that, I think than the characters. Definitely don't check this one out if you mind any blood or, as previously mentioned, danger. Blood Magic isn't afraid to get dark.
I will say that, as this is part of a series - with different characters, I think (a la Stephanie Perkins series) - I was very happy that it had a definitive conclusion and didn't leave things open ended as a lot of series books do.
I'm excited to have started The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2) - thank you Random House and NetGalley - and will have a review of that soon!
*review based off hardcover/done before paperback was released, so I'm including info for both