July 7th 2011 (UK)/ May 24th 2011 (US)
Doubleday Children's (UK)/ Random House (US)
For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.
Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.
Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood.
I really, really enjoyed Blood Magic. It was really different from what I expected, especially as it's been compared to books like Twilight and Need, and generally publicised as that sort of thing. Now, as you guys probably know by now, I'm not a huge Twilight fan. They just kinda annoy me, if I'm honest, so I was a little apprehensive about Blood Magic. But I was wrong to be. It was a really unique paranormal, and while I did find the relationship between Silla and Nick to be a little bit unrealistic (then again, that's not really what I expect from paranormals...) the plot was really great and carefully done and the writing was brilliant.
Blood Magic is a very careful intertwining of three people's stories, through two different time periods, and it's very well done. The plot kept me hooked all throughout, even if there were some scenes (that rabbit...) that were a little bit bloody and gory and off putting. But it's called Blood Magic! If I wasn't expecting blood, I'd be an idiot. And while I did really love the plot, I'm not gonna talk about. No spoiling over here! But I must, you don't know how proud I was when I figured out the bad guy ;) It was totally one of those ultimate-self-satisfaction moments. For those few pages, I felt like the cleverest person ever.
But anyway, characters. I must say, straight out, I didn't like Silla that much. She wasn't a bad character or anything, and she had a perfectly good reason for being how she is, I mean, what with her coming home to her parents dead one day. She was a little bit messed up. It's just that I didn't really feel that sympathy for her, y'know? She definitely develops as a character through the book, but I think it's how she was around Nick that kind of annoyed me. She was kind of dependent around him, and there wasn't really much of a relationship there, to be honest. It was more just like 'hey there new boy/girl you're pretty handsome/pretty let's kiss and then go cut ourselves to do dangerous magic and kiss some more' you know. There wasn't a while lot of getting to know each other, IMO. (I didn't mean that to sound rude or anything. That's just kind of how I think a lot of paranormal relationships tend to go. I really need to write a post about insta-love...)
I did like Nick though. And not fancy him-like him. I just liked him. He was likeable, and I think I preferred his chapters to Silla's, even though when Silla was around all he really did was stare at her and kiss her and stare at her... But I just liked him more than Silla! I think my favourite character though was Josephine. I knew from the first chapter that she was going to be a great bad guy. She wasn't likeable at all! She was just kind of nuts and kind of desperate, but I think she was a great antagonist. She had a good motivation for doing what she did, and I really enjoyed learning about her past and her character, and how the magic had changed her. They were probably some of my favourite parts of the book.
Blood Magic is a brilliantly written debut novel, that has a great plot and good characters, and is a whole different kind of paranormal (in that there aren't actually any paranormal creatures in it. Which I liked :D) 4 stars.
And now the part that you probably actually wanted to get to! The publishers have very kindly offered me a finished copy of Blood Magic to give to you guys! Sorry, but it's UK only (publisher rules). Ends on June 27th :D