Saturday, June 18, 2011
Book Review: Blood Magic
Two events change the lives of two teens forever. For Nick, it was being forced by his Dad and new stepmom to move from his home in Chicago to a small town in Missouri. For Silla, it's discovering her parents dead in pools of their own blood. The entire town thinks Silla's dad committed a murder-suicide, but Silla knows better. It's only when a spell book written in her father's script shows up at the door from a mysterious Deacon that things begin to change. Nick and Silla, with the help Silla's brother Reese, begin to unravel the secrets of the spell book that may hold the key to the deaths of Reese and Silla's parents. But magic this magic is written in blood, and the sacrifices needed to find the truth may be too much to bear...
I knew I had to pick this book up from the beginning, because come on, witches? I'm a huge fan of magic, and I knew that Tessa Graton's story would be a dark one. The book begins by introducing us to our two main characters, Silla and Nick and their meeting in the cemetery that binds them together. Both are written from a first person POV, which really helps us get into the main character's heads. Both of the characters have great voices here, seemingly very normal people but with really interesting quirks that separate them from the card-board cutouts, which I love. I particularly liked Nick's voice, and was hooked in within a few moments of him on the page.
But I think what really impressed me about the writing was the subtly that Gratton used here. It can be easy to slip into too much telling with first person narrators, but in Blood Magic we learned everything about Silla and Nick at just the right pace. Silla never came out and told the reader about her love of theatre, we learned it more and more as we got to know her, which was really refreshing. More so, the duel povs switch quite frequently, which gave us a more rounded view of some scenes. Her passages and chapters tended to be a little shorter for this, so if you don't have a long time to read, you can always sneak in a chapter or two on a lunch break.
I think what really made me love Blood Magic were the passages all throughout the book from the POV of her villain, Josephine. Not only were we able to sympathize with her villain through these diary entries from her, but we're able to get a glimpse into the darker parts of the magic that Nick and Silla haven't gotten to, yet, and it grew tension and created an air of mystery. Who is this woman? Why is she important?
I'm pretty sure I could go on all day about her characters. Each one was fresh and true to themselves. (My favorite was Reese, of course!) They were the strength and the heart of this book. Not to mention that she puts so much effort into the ambiance, making the cemetery and forest itself come alive as its very own character.
The pace wasn't overly fast, but it had just enough tension and mystery to make putting it down impossible. I loved the ending it all it’s heartbreaking, insane, disturbing glory, and would highly recommend this for anyone who's looking for an urban fantasy with a bit of a different twist.
Overall: 5/5 stars.