Blood Magic by Danielle Rose

Title: Blood Magic
Author: Danielle Rose
Age Level: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Part of a Series?: Yes (the Blood Books series, Book Two)

*I was provided an advanced reading copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Avah Taylor thought she had already faced the worst: as her coven’s chosen one, destined to receive a power that could kill her, she was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice when she gave up her mortal life to become a vampire, the witches’ greatest enemy. But just when she begins to adjust to her new life, even as she falls in love with her sire, the high priestess of her new coven is seized by Rogue vampires.

Guided by Avah’s visions of the past, present, and future, Avah and the other vampires set out to rescue their priestess, but their journey leads Avah to the discovery that the conspiracy behind her power runs deeper than she ever imagined, a secret that forces her to reconsider, once again, who she can trust.

With her abilities as both witch and vampire, Avah may be the only one who can locate her coven’s high priestess. But as her visions grow increasingly terrifying, and her life is threatened by both enemies and those she once loved most, Avah begins to wonder if she may not have a future at all.

Overall Impressions:
As with the previous book, Blood Rose (which I reviewed here), once I cracked open Blood Magic, I didn’t want to stop until I had reached the end. It was exciting, fast paced, and did a great job of moving the story forward.

The Nitty Gritty:
Blood Magic is the second book in Danielle Rose’s Blood Books series. One of my special concerns when reading a series is how it ties in with the previous book or books. Blood Magic does an excellent job dealing with both the previous readers and the possibility of new readers starting with Blood Magic instead of Blood Rose: the world is reestablished in one of two precisely written paragraphs, and then the action moves forward in a quick and fulfilling manner. As a returning reader I was neither bored by the recap nor made to wait long for new material. Ms. Rose struck an excellent balance.

And how was that new material? The short version is that it was entertaining and emotional. While there was a good variety of up and down beats, it was primarily a heart-pounding adventure akin to a super hero movie. The action started on page two and never really stopped. Even the pauses were page-turning pacing. My eyes widened, my pulse raced, I laughed out loud, there were events that surprised me, and I cried both happy and sad tears.

As for the new material, I was pleased to find that it added tension to the existing storyline, developed character, and added more depth to the world Ms. Rose has created for this series. It was skillfully done; everything in this book did double-duty.

Special Parenting Concerns:
Sex Scenes: Avah is a bit older (in life experiences, anyway) in this book, and her relationship has moved into a phase of deeper connection. This has (very naturally) led to more exploration of the sexual side of her relationship. Consequently, there are two sex scenes (rather than the one in Blood Rose) and they are more detailed than they were in the first book as well.

Violence: This book’s plot centers around a war between witches and vampires. There are vampires of varying degrees of violence. Fighting, blood, and death occur more than once in this book. However, there is never violence just for violence’s sake, nor is there a great deal of detail put in to the gore. The coven Avah belongs to does not hunt for their blood. Instead, they get their blood from willing donors via blood bag. However, there are special circumstances in this book that result in facing the need to get blood from other sources.

Language: No (or very, very little) swearing.

Book Club Chatter:
This book can open the door for a variety of discussions between parents and their high school and older children (or your book club!):

  1. This book does a good job of really highlighting how things such as racism, sexism, sexuality, etc (differences between people, in other words), can separate us–and how needless that separation is. What differences are in your life (or your child’s life) that have caused anger, distrust, or other negative emotions to reign? Why did this happen? How can we get around these differences, working with them and working to understand them rather than allowing them to separate us?
  2. What is courage? Is it the absence of fear or facing it? What are good ways to deal with fears?
  3. With two books (of three) read, it is possible to begin looking for foreshadowing and making hypotheses about what will happen in the third book.
  4. Now that you know them better, which characters are you favorite? Who do you identify with? Why do you like him/her/them?
  5. Pick a favorite scene or two and discuss: a) how you would have handled it if you where a character, b) what writing elements cause this scene to really sing for you, c) what you wish had been differently–and how you think that would impact the remainder of the story.

You Will Like This If…:

  • You liked Blood Rose (although that may be a little obvious 😉 )
  • You like Twilight, Chosen, or Blue Bloods
  • Authors such as Marjorie Liu and Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Books that blend more than one genre: this is a paranormal action romance, blending vampires AND witches, action AND romance.
  • As a New Adult novel, this book could appeal to those who love Young Adult, New Adult, and traditional Paranormal Romances

Goodreads’s Rating: 4.56 Stars (34 Ratings)
Amazon’s Rating: 4.6 Stars (24 Ratings)
My Rating: 5 Stars

It is an exciting book and I am glad to have a copy of it; I am confident I will read it again in the future. I do wish that there had been more development in the character relationships–I feel a bit too much of it was done off-stage, in the short amount of time that occurred between books–but this is minor. To have spent more time in this arena would, I think, have drastically slowed down the pace of the book. And that is not something I am sure would have improved the story or experience overall.  The bottom line: I can’t wait to read the next one and am very grateful that it released on June 28th!

*this book review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

My other reviews of Ms. Rose’s work:
Blood Rose (Blood Books book 1)
Daemon Academy (Short Story)

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