Book Review: Blood Magic

Blood Magic
Published By: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult

I have been craving a good magic book since the Harry Potter series came to a conclusion. Blood Magic sated my hunger and is a triumphant debut novel for Tessa Gratton. She brings a dark new voice to YA literature that will send shivers up your spine and make you take a closer look at the world around you for everything is not always as it appears.

Blood Magic is the story of Silla and Reese Kennicott, a sister and brother, who are struggling in the days following their parents' gruesome deaths to make sense of the violence that entered their home. Silla has lost the shiny, happy luster she wore before her parents died and has withdrawn further into her self - hiding behind masks and acting ability to get through the day, keeping her true emotions buried beneath the surface, away from prying eyes. However, the arrival of Chicago transplant, Nicholas Pardee, might just be her undoing.

Blood Magic is a novel that is so vividly written that the story played itself out in my head like a movie. The prose flows along the page like a river, lapping at the edge of my consciousness even when I was not reading. I loved Tessa Gratton's writing style and her ability to use sensory detail in such a poetic way while setting up a cruel and creepy world for her characters to frolic within. As a fan of old cemeteries, I loved that so much of the novel took place within the cemetery between Silla and Nick's houses. The atmosphere is perfect for the blood magic spells and possessions that occur throughout the novel. I also found it refreshing to see blood used in such a different way; it always makes me think of vampire tales, but this one proves that you don't have to be a vampire to feel the allure of blood pumping in veins.

This book also appealed to me because I loved the characters. Silla is a great character and her strength in spite of all the tragedy she must endure is inspiring. I also loved the protective nature of Reese, the quirkiness of Judy, and the lovestruck awe of Nick. I was also wrapped up in watching the past unravel to explain the events of the future. I also think it's easy to get to know these characters due to the first person, alternating narrators. Readers can climb inside Silla and Nick's minds to watch the story unfold through their eyes.

One Last Gripe: I was annoyed by Silla's constant reference to her masks. I understood the reasoning for it, but it often disrupted the flow of the story for me.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the dark feel to the book and the magic

First Sentence: I am Josephine Darly, and I intend to live forever.

Favorite Character: Silla

Least Favorite Character: Eric

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.


  1. Great review! I haven't read this one yet but I'll have to get it soon :)

  2. Great review! I love how it's part contemp part paranormal with a unique twist on magic - you've convinced me! O'Dell on BookTwirps also loves this series.

    Good that there are alternating POVs:)


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