Hello! Today I bring you the first review in a pair for Blood like Magic! As the name implies, there is indeed blood and also magic. Some potential TWs include but are not limited to: bloodletting (used to cast spells and such), talk of a drug addicted relative, death/murder, and others. Please consider yourself before reading this book. Today’s jam is “Let Me” by Zayn. Calm. Peaceful. Perfect.
Blood like Magic features Black Girl Magic, actual magic, and BIG SNAPS for LGBTQ+ rep! Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian writer, and she’s infused her Trini culture, foods, and traditions all throughout this story.
Our story opens with Voya Thomas. She’s 16 and the most recent in her family to experience her Calling and thus receive her gift from the ancestors. The Calling is traditional among the witch community in the part of Canada that the Thomases call home and no one has failed in the Thomas family in 100 years. Voya’s about to change that record due to her inability to make decisions that aren’t about something trivial like dinner or what dress to wear.
Gifts from the ancestors can range from the exceptionally ludicrous (Voya’s cousin Keisha can sense the emotion of the people in the room), to the invasive (Keis, another cousin, can read minds), to the cool (Cousin Alex’s sewing skills/speed are boosted by 500%), to the exceptionally useful (Voya’s mom has a knack for finding lost people…she’s a PI of sorts). What gift will the ancestors give you? No one knows until after their Calling.
Voya’s Calling assignment and her helpful nature lead her to NuGene: the company that supplies the country with any and all technology such as cell phones, body mods, and robot AI. The task she’s been given from her ancestor could change the course of her family and her love life forever, depending on what she chooses.
Luc, Voya’s genetic perfect love match, works at NuGene and is a tough nut to crack. He’s off-putting, unkind, and a little rude. But if Voya wants to pass her Calling and receive her magic gift from the ancestors, she’s got to destroy him. But how? Well, Reader, that’ll be for YOU to discover by reading this book for yourself!
A few super cool things I want to point out, for the record:
– There are 2 TRANS characters in this book. Both characters trans-ness is treated as normal and chill and honestly, love to see it.
– There is a character who comes to realize that she is demiromantic. I really loved the way the character explained how she feels about dating and attraction and such because I felt like it was very informative and respectful. No one treats her any differently after this is revealed and again, we have to stan for supportive family/friends.
– The Caribbean rep in this book is amazing! There’s mention of the foods that Voya’s family eats and makes and buys at the market. The description of Caribana was so VIVID! The colors and the music and the food stands — I wanna go.
– The Thomas family makes hair care and beauty products and I also want some because I need to get my curls in order.
I will also being reviewing the sequel/closer to the duology soon, so stay tuned to see how things close up!
Blood Like Magic is the first book in a duology by Trinidadian-Canadian author Liselle Sambury and was released in June of 2021 from McElderry Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishing. Any and all quotes I have given are from the uncorrected ARC edition of the book. For more information about upcoming works from Liselle, including a really cool spooky book she just announced, visit her website at lisellesambury.ca.