Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Release date: May 24th 2011
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon
My rating: 4 out of 5
Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.
Pretty amazing debut here! Blood Magic immediately sets out as a pretty creepy, mysterious and dark read. Right from the start Silla Kennicott is attempting blood magic with the help of a spell book which belonged to her father in a creepy cemetery. Her father we learn has recently killed her mother and committed suicide (or was it actually a double murder?) even more mysterious is the arrival of the spell book from a character only known as the Deacon, an old "friend" of her deceased father.
It didn't feel like a normal witchey type book to me, I've never read anything with blood magic in it so I got quite engrossed in it really quickly although it is fairly gruesome- the blood letting scenes are really descriptive and at times a little bit yucky.
I liked the fact that there wasn't the instant YA type love between Silla and new boy Nick, it was much more of a realistic teenagey type lust at first sight (especially for Nick) and I found that quite refreshing.
Interspersed throughout are diary extracts from an, at first, unknown character which span the previous century and link well into building up the drama and mystery at the heart of the story. I loved how Silla and Nick's back story was actually linked to the mystery and thought it all unfolded really well. There were times where I thought it slowed down in places despite the fact there was always loads going on and I'm not entirely sure if the issue of who the Deacon actually is was actually resolved, I got a bit lost at that bit!
Overall, I really enjoyed it; it was beautifully written and I know its really superficial but I absolutely loved the cover it was gorgeous.