Author: Tessa Gratton
Series: Blood Journals #1
Date of UK Publication: 7th July 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
This book was really good. The story was different from everything else I have ever read, and the whole idea of blood magic was completely new to me. The characters were awesome, and the plot kept the reader engaged and excited.
I liked how the book was told from both of the main leads, Silla and Nick's points of view. It gave me insight into each of the characters' thought and feelings, and it helped me really understand the relationship between them, though at times I felt their romance was rushed and a little bit unreal.
Silla has been through a lot, and it shows in the parts of the story told from her point of view. She came home from school or shopping (can't remember which) to find her parents lying in a huge pool of blood, dead one day. To add to that, she was told that the murderer was her very own dad - who killed his wife and then himself. Her dad, the town's Latin teacher, nice to everyone, loved by all. And that'd just the beginning of her troubles. She soon finds out that her father was involved in an ancient type of magic, called blood magic. So when she finds a spell book, Silla can't help but try at least one of the spells to see if it actually works. Little does she know that this will be the beginning of something she may not necessarily want...
Despite all she's been through, Silla was still a likeable and generally not too sad (for lack of a better word) a person. She still tries to cling on to the small threads of the life she had before the death of her parents, but gradually she begins to pull through and move on. She changes throughout the book, and the events she has to go through really take their toll.
I also enjoyed reading Nick's point of view, as he was completely different to Silla. I liked how the way that Tessa wrote the book made it easy for us to find out about Nick's mysterious past that involved with blood magic in a way that made it clear that Silla knew nothing about it. I also liked how half the book was told from a male point of view, which I think there could definitely be more of in YA fiction ;)
While I did enjoy the whole blood magic part of the plot, I did think that the relationships between some of the characters were a bit weird and rushed, which is why I gave the book 4 feet instead of 5. The romance between Nick and Silla was introduced very quickly into the book, and suddenly, they're a couple. However, I do think the brother/sister relationship that Silla and her brother Reese have was extremely well written, and I enjoyed reading about how far it had to be stretched... (You'll know what I mean if you've read the book :( )
Blood Magic was a very strong debut novel and I think it was an excellent start to what could potentially be a great series. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing all the way through, and though it took me far longer than it should have to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those looking for a slightly different take on the paranormal genre.
*I received this book free of charge from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the book.
I give it 4 Feet!
2011 Debut Author Challenge #17
2011 Paranormal YA Reading Challenge #27
2011 100+ Reading Challenge #48