Blud_and_Magick_novel_Preston_Norton_coverReviewed by Sara Drake

Darla Summer lives with her Uncle Edwin, a school inspector. As such, they have moved often and Darla faces the first day at a new school with practiced ease. She has no suspicion that this time, now that she has turned fourteen, her entire world will change. Darla is not a normal teenager, in fact she is not a normal human being. Darla soon discovers an innate ability to do magic and a world populated with a variety of creatures: vampires, wizards, dragons, and much more. Can she discover enough about the truth of her past to survive? Is she good or evil? Does she have a choice?

I almost set Blud and Magick down while still in the first chapter, barely able to force myself to keep reading. The dialogue was stilted. The characters behaved randomly with no discernible consistency of personality, mood, or motivation. Worse, at least for a fan of Greek mythology, was having an overweight, older, male character named after a Greek virgin goddess of the hunt. I kept reading and things became somewhat better. Darla and her two friends (Cirrus and Ash) have distinct personalities and their conversations flow slightly better. I enjoyed their interactions and found myself caring about what happened to them.

However, the secondary characters remain impossible to grasp. What are their motivations? What is their personality? They appear to act arbitrarily based on the author’s needs to make the plot work and I never managed to determine any personality underneath to separate them out from one another. The dialogue and interactions continued to feel forced, artificial, and just plain awkward. The plot moved rapidly but the climax felt rushed, in fact, I set the book down and wondered what just happened (and why did it happen). The plot fell flat with me but largely because the motivations of the characters never made much sense.

The world of Blüd and Magick contains a unique blend of fantasy elements and a fascinating back story. I enjoyed this alternate reality and the world building that went into it. Various magical creatures reside in a world coexisting with our own. That may sound like a common premise; however, this world comes complete with its own gods and mythology offering a unique spin to standards idea. I found myself really intrigued with a couple of the truly creative aspects of the world and the story.

This book is written for a young adult audience, a genre I enjoy. Unfortunately, I just could not like this book. The potential is there for a wonderful series but the writing had so many significant flaws, that I cannot imagine picking up the sequel when it is published.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Preston Norton. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.