This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It's a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. 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.
From the start I loved Blood Magic. The first (full) chapter is riveting, and things just get better from there. Silla is a great character, and I like how you can feel her confusion and pain without it turning you off her as a character. She has a hidden strength that shines through her situations and empowers her instead of letting things paralyze her. I also like how it is very evident even before she meets Nick, which helps to underscore that she enjoys his company but she doesn't need him and can act independently and make her own decisions. Nick and Reese are also great examples, treating Silla like an equal who can make independent decisions instead of working to protect her from her situations or from herself. Although it is pretty evident from the beginning that there is a disguised baddie I like how there are just enough people acting crosswise to Silla that you're never quite sure who is going to turn out to be the opponent until it is revealed, and even then you're not sure if there are other crossways villains hiding in the shadows. The major plot twist at the climax is a great surprise without being ridiculously out of left field (although I don't want to say more for fear of spoiling it!). If I had to be picky I would say that I felt a bit of the school life was not realistic for as small of a school as Yaleylah had (having experienced a 400 person school some things seemed to be adapted from life in a larger school, but that could have been the strangeness of my school) and I'm really disappointed that the story behind the not-a-baddie was not really resolved in the end of the book, but those are really minor problems that didn't detract from the reading. In all this was an excellent book, one of the best I have read in a while, and I'll be anxiously awaiting the companion book next year.