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A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas d A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic. Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her? With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.


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A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas d A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him. After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic. Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her? With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything.

30 review for Blood Like Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liselle Sambury

    The first and last time I shall be popping on here as the author because I do believe that Goodreads is for readers, but I wanted to say that I'm so excited for everyone to read BLOOD LIKE MAGIC. This is such a personal book for me incorporating some of my own family history, my Trinidadian and Canadian background, my city of Toronto, and an overall deep desire to see Black girls with magic in books. For those looking for content warnings, I have these listed on my website here: https://bit.ly/b The first and last time I shall be popping on here as the author because I do believe that Goodreads is for readers, but I wanted to say that I'm so excited for everyone to read BLOOD LIKE MAGIC. This is such a personal book for me incorporating some of my own family history, my Trinidadian and Canadian background, my city of Toronto, and an overall deep desire to see Black girls with magic in books. For those looking for content warnings, I have these listed on my website here: https://bit.ly/bloodlikemagic

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mash

    ~ 4 stars ~ 💜~ Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review ~💜 For a full, detailed review, check out my blog Mashlovesbooks! Blood like Magic is a Young Adult fantasy book, with science fiction and paranormal aspects. Set in future Toronto, It follows Voya, a young witch from an honoured witch family. A witch's calling is the biggest, most important moment of their life and the last thing Voya expected was to fail, shamed and disappointed, V ~ 4 stars ~ 💜~ Thank you to the publisher via NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review ~💜 For a full, detailed review, check out my blog Mashlovesbooks! Blood like Magic is a Young Adult fantasy book, with science fiction and paranormal aspects. Set in future Toronto, It follows Voya, a young witch from an honoured witch family. A witch's calling is the biggest, most important moment of their life and the last thing Voya expected was to fail, shamed and disappointed, Voya prayed for something better to happen. Unexpectedly, Mother Jova -Voya's ancestor- visits her and gives her an almost impossible task, Voya must kill her first love and if she doesn't, her entire family will be stripped of their magic and left helpless. Through technological advances, Voya is able to find her genetic match, the frustrating and arrogant Luc. Now, she must fall in love with him, then kill him or her entire family will fall apart. Blood like Magic is a story of love, blood and the power of advanced technology. Going into this, I expected a paranormal fantasy book and that is why I got, but what I didn't expect was the depth of the scientific technology used in the time the book is set. The science-fiction aspect (however unexpected) was a lovely surprise and a really good added bonus. I loved that this was set in my city because it allowed me to connect and relate to the story more than I would have if it was not. The writing was eerie and beautiful and very detailed. It was written from the first-person perspective of Voya and I really liked how it brought out her strength and weakness, making her a flawed but lovable character. I love the way things are described and how well the narration was able to summarize the places and give beautiful descriptions of them. I think the book could have been a little shorter because it was dragged quite a bit (will talk about this later in the review) but overall, I liked the writing. The plot was well executed but was just a little slow at certain times in the book. I felt that the beginning was really dragged out but I also understand that it was used to set the setting and the world building of the book. There were times where I wanted to put it down because it felt like the plot wasn't really progressing but I'm glad I didn't because it got much, much better after the 50% range. The world-building was really interesting because though it is set in this world, there are so many unusual aspects to it, including the community of witches that live in the streets unnoticed and the fact that the story is set in the future. I loved the magic system and how unique some of the powers are, I liked that the whole premise is blood because it shows the ties the family has with magic. I really liked the plot and most of the aspects of it but I think the book could have been shortened a little bit and the beginning could have been a little more action-packed. I LOVED the characters of this book very much. The diversity was natural and beautiful and very accurately represented the true diversity of Toronto. Voya, the protagonist, was a caring and and female but she was also fierce and was willing to make sacrifices for her family and give up everything to keep them safe. I connected with her through her determination and her struggles with a large family. I love how the author made her characters flawed because they are realistic and they directly correlate with the people in our real world. I also loved Luc because of his love for science and technology but also because of how strong he was and how he has overcome so many challenges in his life, with his identity and with his family. Despite their flaws, I really like Voya's family because they remind me so much of mine, everything isn't perfect and not everyone gets along but together, they were able to do what needed to be done and that makes for a wonderful family relationship. Overall, I really liked this book. The writing was beautiful and honest, the plot dragged a little but was good nonetheless, the world-building was fantastic and the characters were diverse and flawed but still very lovable. I am really excited for the next book in the series and I cannot wait to see where Liselle Sambury takes this storyline! Thank you for reading my review and I hope it helped! **Disclaimer** This is all personal opinion and is in no way intended to harass or offend anyone. If I do, I sincerely apologize (also let me know so I can fix the offensive content, thank you) Blog Pinterest

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angelica

    witches? and murder? and Canada????? witches? and murder? and Canada?????

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aiden Thomas

    With high stakes, big heart and lots of Black Girl Magic, BLOOD LIKE MAGIC is everything you love about paranormal fantasy. The fast pace, painfully relatable characters, and incredible generational magic system makes BLOOD LIKE MAGIC unputdownable. Liselle Sambury left me with a massive book hangover that won’t be cured until I get the sequel!

  5. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Dang, this was good story. I cannot stop smiling!! 💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜 Voya Thomas is initially excited when she receives her Calling. It's a task each witch in her family must complete before they are able to come into their powers. The tasks are assigned by different ancestors and over the years have varied in detail and difficulty. The ancestor who assigns her task, however, is known to be tough, as she should be. Her life was extremely tough, parts of which are shown to Voya through visions. Af Dang, this was good story. I cannot stop smiling!! 💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜 Voya Thomas is initially excited when she receives her Calling. It's a task each witch in her family must complete before they are able to come into their powers. The tasks are assigned by different ancestors and over the years have varied in detail and difficulty. The ancestor who assigns her task, however, is known to be tough, as she should be. Her life was extremely tough, parts of which are shown to Voya through visions. After Voya fails, she is given an unprecedented second chance, but her task seems impossible. Not only does the task seem impossible, the stakes are higher than ever. Generally, if a witch fails in her Calling, she doesn't gain her powers. Yeah, that sucks, but you can overcome that. You just have to live like any other person without magical abilities. For Voya, if she fails, her entire family will lose their powers. Every single one of them! Their livelihoods are based on their powers, and most importantly, her little sister's life depends on their powers. Her task is to destroy her first love. Problems, Voya has never been in love, not even close, and she's a little against killing someone. The task seems clear, there is no way around it, so in order to save her family, Voya must make the ultimate decision. Can she take a life? I loved this book from the very start. Sambury created such an intricate and addictive story with Blood Like Magic. I absolutely adored the mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy elements. A lot of the story is based around a corporation that has created a genetic match-making program; I love those sort of futuristic tech elements added to a story. They definitely make my nerd heart soar. Additionally, I quickly became attached to Voya. She's a very likable character. She drew me in and had me feeling everything she was feeling. The Thomas family is full of drama, but also love and support. Voya had many special connections within her family and I think those relationships really provided her with the strength she needed to progress with her Calling. The love interest, Luc, was fun to learn about as well. He's had an interesting life up until the time he meets Voya and is frequently misunderstood. In Voya, he found someone he could open up to and watching their relationship evolve made me swoon. Somewhat enemies to lovers; so, if you're into that... This did not end how I thought it would end. There were so many twists that I never could have predicted. My jaw spent the last quarter of the book on the floor! I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. Liselle Sambury is amazing and I predict a long, successful career ahead of her. I fully expect this will end up as one of my top books of the year. An absolutely phenomenal debut! PICK THIS BOOK UP!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    WE'RE GETTING A BOOK WITH WITCHES SET IN CANADA!? WE'RE GETTING A BOOK WITH WITCHES SET IN CANADA!?

  7. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    Woah, woah, WOAH. This is one of the most unique books that I've read - witches in a futuristic setting! - and it was - wow. I was captivated from start to finish. This is dark urban fantasy like I've never read before. - Follows Voya, a Black-Canadian witch, who receives a task from her ancestor: destroy her first love or her whole family will lose their magic forever. - I loved the blend of science-fiction elements with witches. The setting was incredibly unique, and the technology and where it Woah, woah, WOAH. This is one of the most unique books that I've read - witches in a futuristic setting! - and it was - wow. I was captivated from start to finish. This is dark urban fantasy like I've never read before. - Follows Voya, a Black-Canadian witch, who receives a task from her ancestor: destroy her first love or her whole family will lose their magic forever. - I loved the blend of science-fiction elements with witches. The setting was incredibly unique, and the technology and where it will go was creative and fascinating, and the worldbuilding and magic system of witches was so intriguing and, sometimes, terrifying. - This is a high-stakes story that builds slowly. And my goodness, it is good. It takes it time by weaving in several subplots, all coming together and culminating to what Voya does at the end of the book. - This story has a huge emphasis on family - how families are often messy and dysfunctional and fight, but will ultimately be there for you. More though, it's also about how knowing our ancestors is power, community and belonging can also be power too. - Voya was such a good protagonist. She's this teen, trying to figure out what she wants to do in such a challenging and conflicting situation. She's not perfect. She makes plenty of mistakes. But she's trying and doing her best and just wants to do the right thing. I loved her. Content warning: whipping scene in the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction, mentions of child neglect

  8. 4 out of 5

    tay (taylor reads)

    that cover is just gorgeous☺️

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sara L.

    ★★★★★ 5/5 |Triggers- Blood, Gore, loss of a loved one, slavery, hate crimes, memory loss, addiction, racism, torture| ❞𝘿𝙤𝙣❜𝙩 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙗𝙖𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙥 𝙨𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮. 𝙋𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩.❞ Never have I ever read a book with this much diversity/ rep while being so fun and hilarious. 𝕊𝕦𝕞𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕪 Set in future Toronto, 16-year-old Voya Thomas is waiting to receive magic. But she needs to have a calling and a task for that to happen. When she has f ★★★★★ 5/5 |Triggers- Blood, Gore, loss of a loved one, slavery, hate crimes, memory loss, addiction, racism, torture| ❞𝘿𝙤𝙣❜𝙩 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙗𝙖𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙥 𝙨𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙗𝙤𝙙𝙮. 𝙋𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩.❞ Never have I ever read a book with this much diversity/ rep while being so fun and hilarious. 𝕊𝕦𝕞𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕪 Set in future Toronto, 16-year-old Voya Thomas is waiting to receive magic. But she needs to have a calling and a task for that to happen. When she has finally received her task in her calling, she is faced with an impossible decision. And it is to destroy her first true love. Destroying her first true love would mean killing them but Voya is not a murderer. And her grandmother has worked hard for purity in their family. But if Voya does not destroy her first love, her step-sister is at risk of dying and the Thomas family will lose all the magic in their bloodline. ℙ𝕝𝕠𝕥 The plot was spectacular. I had so much fun and the pacing was excellent. Starting from the beginning the plot was executed perfectly. The more I think about it the more I love the way everything just fell into place and made complete and utter sense. This plot was so action-packed and hilarious. It kept me wanting to turn each page more and more. I actually couldn’t put this book down and I finished the last 60% in a matter of hours! /srs 𝕎𝕣𝕚𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 As much as I loved the book, the writing wasn’t my favorite. I appreciated the author's sensitive and tentative writing when it came to serious discussions. But for me, the writing was simply acceptable. /gen ❞𝗪𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝘃𝗶𝘃𝗲.❞ ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤 & 𝔻𝕪𝕟𝕒𝕞𝕚𝕔𝕤 I grew so attached to all the characters. There were such good dynamics and relationships. There were also so many diverse characters with so much representation and connection. I just love and adore all the characters’ personalities (excluding Simon). 𝕍𝕠𝕪𝕒 As the main character, I didn’t really feel so much for her. I just felt sympathetic for her and didn’t exactly like her circumstances but I sure did enjoy them! I usually feel some kind of weird connection with the main characters (whether like or dislike) because I’m in their head and seeing everything from their point of view. I didn’t feel that was Voya- whether it is because she annoyed me to some extent or I did not like what she chose at the very end. But her determination to help her family and the weight she has on her back were truly extraordinary. It took a while for Voya to understand what she wants and to understand and accept that not everything is about her family. But after that extraordinary journey, she made it to the end where she understands herself. So I loved the “finding yourself” part of this book. /lh 𝕃𝕦𝕔 I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever been so uncertain about a character in my whole life! I don’t know whether I like him or dislike him or even if I think he’d be good with Voya. I was just satisfied with his side of the ending which I can’t say because of spoilers. 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕋𝕙𝕠𝕞𝕒𝕤’𝕤 This family was so connected that you’d think they were one. Family is obviously a big part of the plot. Even with their flaws and cracks, this family is amazing and I’d take them for myself if the family wasn’t irreplaceable and unique ;) /j 𝕊𝕚𝕞𝕠𝕟 Umm. Cocky much. I don’t care if it’s in the name of science but you don’t have the right to do that. So, the more we get into this book the clearer it is that Simon is the Villain and I absolutely hate him. He is not the kind of villain that some people would like (if you like him- do not speak to me). He had a good backstory for why and how he got to be that messed up, and I liked it. He is just awful and I can’t really say much more without giving away a spoiler so go ahead and read the book to find out why. ❞𝙄 𝙙𝙤𝙣❜𝙩 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙞𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙚𝙞𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨𝙣❜𝙩 𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧. 𝙄𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙢𝙮 𝙘𝙝𝙤𝙞𝙘𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙞𝙩. 𝙎𝙤 𝙄 𝙙𝙤.❞ 𝔽𝕚𝕟𝕒𝕝 𝕋𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕤 I really loved this book and I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I feel as though this series has so much potential so fingers crossed the next book comes out soon and it’s much better than this one (although I don’t really know how that could be possible) 🤞 𝕆𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕒𝕝𝕝 Overall I recommend this book to all sci-fi fantasy lovers (check the triggers first) and I hope you end up picking this up because the boy was it worth it for me! As always I apologize if my review was offensive or disrespectful to you. And if so please let me know how I can fix that. Thank you for taking the time to read this review. /pc /lh ~Till Next Time! 📚 Ꮢҽαԃ σ⨍⨍ ɾҽαԃҽɾട! 📚 ~A special thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for sending me this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Book’s Release Date: June 15 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 Pre-review: THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. PLEASE PLEASE READ THIS. YOU WON'T REGRET IT. RTC 💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜 Booklr/Bookblr (Tumblr) Bookstagram (Instagram)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    4.5 stars rounded up A couple of caveats before I get into the review. 1) I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher and 2) I'm friendly with the author through the internet and have met her. So I may be somewhat predisposed to feel favorably about the book, but I always try to be as honest as possible in my reviews and I think there's a lot to like here. Also, note that this can be read as a standalone and has a very satisfying conclusion! Blood Like Magic is a debut YA novel t 4.5 stars rounded up A couple of caveats before I get into the review. 1) I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher and 2) I'm friendly with the author through the internet and have met her. So I may be somewhat predisposed to feel favorably about the book, but I always try to be as honest as possible in my reviews and I think there's a lot to like here. Also, note that this can be read as a standalone and has a very satisfying conclusion! Blood Like Magic is a debut YA novel that crosses genres in really interesting ways. Set in a future version of Toronto, it has some sci-fi elements to it, but it's also a fantasy with witches and magic. But also, it occasionally leans a bit into horror tropes. This follows a Black teen girl named Voya who comes from a family of witches. When they come of age, they gain magical abilities after completing a task set for them by their ancestors. Voya's family has troubles, but she's very close to them. She also has a really hard time making decisions and is unsure what she wants from her future. Her task? To find and destroy her first love. While the early part of the book is a bit slow to get into, I hit a point about halfway where I COULD NOT put the book down. And may have stayed up til 1:30 am to finish it.... It becomes this very propulsive read and I was so invested in what decisions Voya would make and what family secrets we would uncover along the way. It's dark and bloody with plenty of twists, some of which I saw coming, others I didn't. Ultimately it's a coming of age story about love, complicated families, sacrifice, and morality. There's a lot of casual queerness, including a trans love interest, a trans cousin, a queer cousin etc. There are conversations about the use of different pronouns and because it's set in the future with genetic id's, that raises some really interesting questions. Liselle has created a possible future where things like racism, poverty, and homophobia are significantly better than they are now, but where there continue to be issues. There's a lot of nuance to how those things are handled. I thought she had some really ideas, for instance fighting gentrification by mandating a certain amount of low-income housing in every neighborhood. Oh and the FOOD!!! This book made me so hungry. The main character has heritage from the Carribean and Louisiana, and she's into cooking. The descriptions of the recipes she makes are mouthwatering. But also this is a story with people who commit torture and murder (on page) to gain magical power. So you see the range of the book. I think this is a very strong debut and I look forward to what more we get from Liselle in the future. I know she's working on a horror novel, and honestly reading this I'm not at all shocked. Content warnings here are going to include lots of depictions of blood, gore, death, murder, death of an animal, loss of a loved one, discussions of racism and homophobia (challenged on page), probably others.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maddie (Inking & Thinking)

    ⭐️ 4 Stars ⭐️ Blood like Magic was one of my highly anticipated releases of 2021, and let me say that it does not disappoint. I was afraid that this book would not be going to live up to my expectations, but I can gladly say that it does and even exceeds them! Advertised as paranormal fantasy, I was not expecting all the science fiction aspects present, but it was a wonderful surprise. A combination of futuristic Toronto with highly advanced technologies and a splash of magic and a wide vari ⭐️ 4 Stars ⭐️ Blood like Magic was one of my highly anticipated releases of 2021, and let me say that it does not disappoint. I was afraid that this book would not be going to live up to my expectations, but I can gladly say that it does and even exceeds them! Advertised as paranormal fantasy, I was not expecting all the science fiction aspects present, but it was a wonderful surprise. A combination of futuristic Toronto with highly advanced technologies and a splash of magic and a wide variety of witches. By combining the old, and the new into one comprehensive society creates an interesting dynamic of how the two worlds live as one. It’s a fascinating concept that I haven’t seen done before, and I can’t wait to get more of it in the sequel. Having it set in Toronto was a great choice on the author’s part because many YA books tend to take place in the UK or US, so it was nice to have a change of scenery. The worldbuilding was phenomenal and such a delight to read. Magic, in this world, is a source of happiness but could also be seen as a curse. Many times in media, Magic is portrayed as a powerful source and that the user is lucky to have it. But here, we see magic gifts seen as weak and not that useful with the blend of powerful gifts possessed by other witches. We see the power imbalances between the Impure and Pure families that divide the community into two halves. Impure families use torture, and sacrifices to fuel their magic creating more powerful gifts, whereas the pure families do not partake in, leading to most of the time, weaker gifts. But what ultimately decides a witch’s gift are their ancestors, who will give them challenging tasks helping them to learn and grow, and if they pass, they receive their gift. The magic system in this world was enjoyable to read, full of mystery and delight that is sure to get you intrigued into the story. The characters were so lovable, and I enjoyed them from the start. They each have personalities that make them different from one another. This book had great diversity and representation that many YA books sometimes lack. This book features black witches who all have their own culture and traditions. For example, Voya had a Trinidadian background which we would especially see when she would cook. The cast all included POC, which featured a wide array of representation. Many characters were LGBTQ+, and the main love interest was trans. The representation was great to see, and I appreciated it! Voya was the perfect main character to follow in this story. Many times YA protagonists are painted to be these perfect humans that never make mistakes. But we know in life that nobody can do that, however hard they try to. Along the way, we see Voya make mistakes and struggling with try to make a decision. Many times she was indecisive wanting to do what was right for herself and her family. I could relate to that because sometimes it’s hard to decide because you want to make the right choice or things could end up badly. She makes many mistakes, but she doesn’t let that deter her from doing the right thing. Voya is imperfect, and this is the kind of protagonist we need in YA. The romance was enjoyable and didn’t overtake the story. I was worried that since romance was a key aspect of the story that it would be the only thing that story was about. Rather, it enhanced the story and kept it entertaining. It was a clear enemy to lovers, which is one of my favorite tropes, and it was executed very well. I loved Voya and Luc as a couple, and their bantering was one of my favorite aspects of this book. Not only do we get a wonderful romance, but we also get to see Voya’s marvelous relationship with her family. The Thomases were one big team and were always there to do anything for one another. It was heartwarming to see, and I loved the emphasis on family. I found the plot to be very funny and a wild ride. It was interesting, and I was never left bored. The pacing did lag sometimes due to the worldbuilding and building the complex world behind the story. I do feel like the plot could have been paced just a bit better, but other than that I don’t have anything else to say negatively about this book! Overall, I had a great ride reading this book, and I would recommend reading this book once it comes out! A great cast of characters, fantastic worldbuilding, a powerful sense of family, and a fun romance; will sure have you enjoying this book. TW: blood, gore, whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, violence, mentions of substance abuse and addiction, mentions of child neglect Thank you, NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Check out my review on my blog: https://inkingandthinking.wordpress.c...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Williamson

    5 Stars Reading Vlog: https://youtu.be/aNf_yRqP9pQ This book was so epically fantastic. I cried so much. I haven't felt personally attacked by a book this much in a long ass time. Like. It hurt me. Here are the things you need to know. Liselle did a fantastic job of merging real world issues of today into what they might be in the future as well as adding in a magical society and new issues for that time period. There's a lot of hits on culture and identity within the Black communities (because not 5 Stars Reading Vlog: https://youtu.be/aNf_yRqP9pQ This book was so epically fantastic. I cried so much. I haven't felt personally attacked by a book this much in a long ass time. Like. It hurt me. Here are the things you need to know. Liselle did a fantastic job of merging real world issues of today into what they might be in the future as well as adding in a magical society and new issues for that time period. There's a lot of hits on culture and identity within the Black communities (because not all Black is the same, in case you missed the memo) as well as the magical communities and how the community you belong to and the company you keep doesn't necessarily make you good or evil. Every choice we make has a consequence and it's those choices that decide who we truly are. And it's a gray ass area. There were SO MANY plot twists. Just left and right things were jumping out at me like, you should have seen this coming, but I didn't. and it was fantastic. It was hella queer, just a whole dang lot of queer love (as there should be). And the magic system and the family aspect and gods y'all, I can't even form coherent thoughts anymore. I cannot recommend this book enough. It was bloody fucking brilliant. I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm also friends with the author.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Futuristic fantasy society and witches? This was amazing! Blood Like Magic is a YA science fantasy about a young Black witch of Trinidadian and Canadian heritage. Voya Thomas is about to have her Calling: a trial witches undergo in order to receive their powers. But when Voya fails the first time, she's given an unprecedented second chance and she takes it. Voya's task is to destroy her first love, and if she fails not only will she lose magic but her whole family will as well. Voya also has two Futuristic fantasy society and witches? This was amazing! Blood Like Magic is a YA science fantasy about a young Black witch of Trinidadian and Canadian heritage. Voya Thomas is about to have her Calling: a trial witches undergo in order to receive their powers. But when Voya fails the first time, she's given an unprecedented second chance and she takes it. Voya's task is to destroy her first love, and if she fails not only will she lose magic but her whole family will as well. Voya also has two problems with her task: she's never been in romantic love and if she commits murder for magic, her family will become impure witches again (ones that cause pain for power). This book was just...wow. Amazing. Going into this novel I didn't expect the futuristic and high tech society we got, but damn did I love it. This book is a giant genre mash and I want more like it. I loved all of the information we got on gene modification and the scientific innovations that were common in this society. The story is very heavy on world building, so expect a lot of that. I loved the world building and wanted to get more after I got over my initial confusion that it was set in the future. I loved the exploration of witch culture, especially all of the business about pure vs impure witches. It was such an interesting distinction to see these two types of magic that are constantly compared. I also loved seeing how much of witch culture was steeped in honoring their ancestors and having their ancestors bless them. It made the family aspect that much more tangible. I absolutely loved Voya. She was someone who might not always have a lot to say, but she's constantly listening and trying to find ways to get the person what they need. Voya spends so much of her time trying to figure out how to get the family members in her house what they need. I loved the caring side of her. I also loved that she wanted answers, she never wanted the easy explanation. She wanted to know why, what, when, where and who. Plus her love of cooking! Omg her love of cooking lit her up. I loved seeing her constantly exploring new recipes and integrating old family recipes as well as her own creations. She was such a well rounded character, who still had room to grow. The side characters are also freaking amazing. I loved Voya's family so damn much. And then there's Luc. Our precious love interest. He is very rude in the beginning and I didn't think I'd like him, but he's secretly a cinnamon roll so I fell hard. Luc is also trans, and while there is some small things he does face because of it, he's allowed to exist and thrive as he is. Also hello enemies to lovers trope! The plot does a lot of balancing: between a mysterious Auntie no one can remember, trying to fall in love, trying to help her cousin get an internship and entering a cooking competion, Voya is very busy. I loved how something was always happening, there were so many individual sub plots, but they add up to make an intricate and expansive main plot. And then there was the ending. Like what the fuck. I don't even know how to react?? So much happened and a lot of it I never expected. Completely 100% blown away. I would like a sequel right now please. Rep: Fat Black female MC, trans male love interest, Black demiromantic lesbian female side character, Black trans female side character, possible nonbinary side character (she/her pronouns). Various Black and queer side characters. CWs--from the author: whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction, mentions of child neglect. My additions: cursing, racism.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    4.5* WOW. This was fan-freaking-tastic. Honestly, one of the most unique and interesting fantasies I've come across in a long time. Not only was the magic system interesting and easy to understand, the characters were complex and lovable, the relationship dynamics multilayered and fascinating, the world was captivating and felt eerily close to our own future. The plot built slowly in a way that had me utterly hooked from the first page until the last. The way Liselle blended fantasy with science 4.5* WOW. This was fan-freaking-tastic. Honestly, one of the most unique and interesting fantasies I've come across in a long time. Not only was the magic system interesting and easy to understand, the characters were complex and lovable, the relationship dynamics multilayered and fascinating, the world was captivating and felt eerily close to our own future. The plot built slowly in a way that had me utterly hooked from the first page until the last. The way Liselle blended fantasy with science fiction, whilst never forgetting the history it was built upon, was creative, clever and, at times, utterly terrifying. The food moments were e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g and the way Liselle created a future so casually accepting of all genders, identities and sexualities was wonderful to read. Voya as a character was wonderful to follow. She was smart, powerful, insecure, bold and her struggle with decision making and uncertainty surrounding her future was painfully relatable as someone who can't make a decision to save her life. Blood Like Water has not only made me super excited about Liselle as an author, but sparked an excitement for fantasy/dystopia/sci-fi I've been missing. I just want all the urban fantasy stories please.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    Reminder that is book is out this year and is set in Canada with witches, blood magic, and romance 😌 Edit October 19: I WANT TO MARRY THIS COVER OMG THE COLOUR SCHEME AND OUR MAIN CHARACTER LOOKS STUNNING!! AND ALSO PAGE COUNT OF 492!!! SO IT’S LONG AND ALMOST 500!!!! ********************************************** A BOOK SET IN CANADA?? YES

  16. 5 out of 5

    ☔️ lin chuchu ☔️ 林楚楚

    dnf 100 pages yeah this was too boring for me. also cisnormative. it just seems like the author was really ignorant but had well intentions, which i will give kudos for. for instance, the love interest is a trans boy, but the main characters intentionally assigns gender to everyone she meets before thinking huh, maybe i should check their pronouns on their tags. nah though ill just wait to get corrected. and also, the ritual to become a witch is apparently your period. which is. strange. but you dnf 100 pages yeah this was too boring for me. also cisnormative. it just seems like the author was really ignorant but had well intentions, which i will give kudos for. for instance, the love interest is a trans boy, but the main characters intentionally assigns gender to everyone she meets before thinking huh, maybe i should check their pronouns on their tags. nah though ill just wait to get corrected. and also, the ritual to become a witch is apparently your period. which is. strange. but you know what. whatever i guess. i wouldve continued this even with this because it really does seem like the author had good intentions but it got...really drab. i didn't care for the romance or the protagonist or any of the characters at all

  17. 5 out of 5

    katie ❀

    well, that was surprising.... rtc!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    October 20, 2020: UM THAT COVER >>>> August 21, 2020: We have a Black witch and all the paranormal magic?! And the author said there'll be Trinidadian food refs, and she researched the history of slavery in Canada and the US so you know how amazing this book is going to be. October 20, 2020: UM THAT COVER >>>> August 21, 2020: We have a Black witch and all the paranormal magic?! And the author said there'll be Trinidadian food refs, and she researched the history of slavery in Canada and the US so you know how amazing this book is going to be.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Wow, this book was so much deeper than I originally thought. Thoughts to come.

  20. 4 out of 5

    avani

    thank you to netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! overall, i really enjoyed this dark, witchy urban fantasy with engaging characters and an intriguing magic system. i absolutely loved all the incredible, casual lgtbq+ and poc representation. all the characters are so well developed and flawed, and i thought that was so important. not a single character was anywhere near perfect, and it just made their characters all stronger in a way. especially voya thank you to netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! overall, i really enjoyed this dark, witchy urban fantasy with engaging characters and an intriguing magic system. i absolutely loved all the incredible, casual lgtbq+ and poc representation. all the characters are so well developed and flawed, and i thought that was so important. not a single character was anywhere near perfect, and it just made their characters all stronger in a way. especially voya, out main character. she had so many self-doubts and could be frustrating at times, but it was her kindness and strength that really shone. at its core, this book is all about family. the relationships between voya and her entire family were equally three-dimensional and well fleshed out. there were conflicts and arguments as well as heartwarming, touching moments, and their dynamic was so unique yet so honest at the same time. did i mention how much I love luc? no? okay so i absolutely love luc rodriguez. literally the definition of i hate everyone but you, and oh my gosh i loved the romance between him and voya. it was a sweet slowborn filled with sharp, witty banter that progressed naturally as they both started to get more comfortable and open up around each other. my favorite part of this book would have to be the setting. i adore both sci-fi/dystopian book as well as fantasy, and this book was a perfect combination. the magic system was just incredible and so unique. i was so captivated with it all, and it was never info-dumpy. there are so many fascinating, futuristic aspects imbedded into the story, and it was equally engrossing to see how generations of witches used their magic alongside the increasingly advanced technology. it was also really interesting to see how trinidian and caribbean culture is similar to south asian culture, and it was so cool to learn about the shared traditional food. honestly just reading about all the mouthwatering food voya was making was really interesting and it made me really hungry. the one complaint I have with this is the actual plot and pacing. it was really slow at times. the beginning especially was hard to get into because it just felt like nothing was really happening. some of the conversations felt repetitive, unnecessary, and i unfortunately found myself a little bored at times. thankfully, i think it did get better as the storyline progressed as I was in absolute shock for the last 20%. blood like magic is a book i will definitely be recommending left and right when it comes out June 15th, and i would recommend all fans of YA dark urban fantasy, with beautifully flawed, diverse characters and complex witchy communities to pick it up!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    "𝐃𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐛𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲. 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭." 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘪𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘥𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸! Blood Like Magic is a YA urban fantasy with sci-fi elements. It is set in Toronto and features a diverse cast of characters. This story follows Voya as she attempts to complete her Calling, a task set for her by her ancestors which will define the future of her family. He "𝐃𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐛𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲. 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭." 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘪𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘥𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸! Blood Like Magic is a YA urban fantasy with sci-fi elements. It is set in Toronto and features a diverse cast of characters. This story follows Voya as she attempts to complete her Calling, a task set for her by her ancestors which will define the future of her family. Her task is to kill her first love, so she must between her family and the boy she grows to love. This book was amazing! I was in a huge reading slump before reading this, and Blood Like Magic yanked me right out. I really enjoyed the fact that basically the entire cast was POC, featuring an array of representation. There were also several LBGTQIA characters, including the main love interest who is trans. Overall, the representation in this book was amazing! As for the plot, I found it to be really intriguing! I really liked the mystery of it but I did find that it dragged a bit at times. I do feel like the plot could have been paced a bit better, but other than that, I have nothing negative to say about this book! My favourite things about this book were the world-building and the relationships between the characters! The characters themselves were also very complex and interesting to read about. As for the world-building, it was so amazing to read about a futuristic Toronto (very sci-fiesque)! It combined the elements of the city that I grew up with, with an amazing world that was so so cool! I also loved reading about the magic system! As for the relationships between the characters I loved Voya and Luc's romance! We were served the hate to love trope, the lovers to enemies trope, and the I hate everyone but you trope. But what took the cake for me was Voya's relationship with her family. The Thomases were a team, a family that would do anything for each other and I loved that:) Overall a great book that you should definitely give a chance to, especially if you're a fan of urban fantasy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sofie |

    Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for the e-ARC for review! From the start of this, Mama Jova has wanted me to take control of my future and my choices. And this whole time I believed that I would make the wrong choice. Thats how it’s been with everything in my life. Ever decision was another chance to mess up. I don’t know if this is the right one either. But it doesn’t matter. It’s my choice, and I have to make it. So I do. When Voya Thomas, a young witch, fails her Calling, she Thank you NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for the e-ARC for review! From the start of this, Mama Jova has wanted me to take control of my future and my choices. And this whole time I believed that I would make the wrong choice. Thats how it’s been with everything in my life. Ever decision was another chance to mess up. I don’t know if this is the right one either. But it doesn’t matter. It’s my choice, and I have to make it. So I do. When Voya Thomas, a young witch, fails her Calling, she begs her talker for another chance. And to her entire family’s surprise, she gets it. But the task seems impossible: to get her gift, Voya must destroy her first love, or else her entire family will lose their magic. A strong 3.5 stars. Fantasy and sci-fi are wonderfully blended in Liselle Sambury’s Blood Like Magic. Reading the blurb, I was initially worried this would be too similar to the Bone Grace series, but the novel was one of the most original and impressive fantasies I’ve read in a long time. I wasn’t expecting such an immersive, black mirror-esque component to the world building; Sambury’s sci-fi ideas were mildly uncanny, and I don’t doubt they’ll be part of our reality soon. There was a diverse familial cast of characters, wherein everyone felt distinct and purposeful. Voya was an imperfect protagonist, riddled with self doubt, and tasked with an impossible calling that kept me guessing. And most excitedly, the book showcased a vast variety of cultures and backgrounds, and Toronto was the perfect setting for it all. I loved learning about Voya’s Trinidadian background, especially through her cooking, as well as the other witch families and their own histories. I also appreciated that, despite being set in the future, Sambury still addressed issues of race and bigotry that, like Voya mentioned, likely will take centuries more to dismantle. Similarly, I loved that social issues we are currently working through were near old news. There were a few story-telling issues that brought me out of the book. Comprehensive world-building is so important, especially for such a unique story, but the novel was a bit slow to start. I’m also a bit torn on how I feel about Voya’s task, about Justin’s ideology, about the pure vs. impure magic concept. I won’t post any spoilers, but some reasoning felt a bit weak, and I couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to let it slide. That said, this is a strong debut and great for young adult fantasy and sci-fi lovers everywhere.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Rep: ownvoices Black (Trinidadian-Canadian) mc and scs, Mexican-Canadian trans boy li, Black trans girl sc, Black demiromantic lesbian sc, Black gay sc, Chinese scs, Sri Lankan sc CW (listed in front of book): whipping scene (within the context of slavery), gun/police violence, eating disorder, blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction, mentions of child neglect Wow. I went into this book with high expectations, and they were definitely met. BLOOD LIKE MAGIC is an urban fantasy/sci-fi Rep: ownvoices Black (Trinidadian-Canadian) mc and scs, Mexican-Canadian trans boy li, Black trans girl sc, Black demiromantic lesbian sc, Black gay sc, Chinese scs, Sri Lankan sc CW (listed in front of book): whipping scene (within the context of slavery), gun/police violence, eating disorder, blood/gore/violence, death, substance abuse/addiction, mentions of child neglect Wow. I went into this book with high expectations, and they were definitely met. BLOOD LIKE MAGIC is an urban fantasy/sci-fi novel that follows Voya, a girl tasked to kill her first love to save her famliy's magic. The problem is: she's never been in love. A genetic matchmaking program leads her to Luc Rodriguez, who she's not the biggest fan of. As time runs out, Voya must make a decision between her morals and her family. The world of this book is super interesting because it not only includes witches and magic, but it also takes place in 2049 and features sci-fi elements. One of the major conflicts revolves around the genetic modification that is prevalent in this futuristic world. Also, for my Canadian friends - this book takes place in Toronto! I really enjoyed exploring this world and found the world-building very easy to understand. I also thought the plot was really interesting and really kept you on your toes asking questions and wondering what was going to happen next. There were a lot of plot twists that came in that surprised me, and I think the pacing was done relatively well (there were some slow points, but more dynamic plot points made up for that). I enjoyed the discussion of morality and purity vs impurity, and that will definitely be a conflict that continues in the sequel. When it comes to characters, I felt really attached to all of them and enjoyed getting to know them. I think the side characters were well-developed, and Voya was a great protagonist that I loved following the journey of. The events of the book tested Voya quite a bit, and she grew a lot as the story went on. AND LUC. RODRIGUEZ. I need a moment to talk about him because he is quite literally "I hate everyone but you" excellence. I loved seeing his walls come down and learning about his background - he's such an interesting and complex character that I'm so excited to see more of. Him and Voya's dynamic was also very well-crafted, their relationship made me swoon, and their witty banter made me so happy. This is enemies to lovers at its peak (also hurt/comfort hehe). This book also has a super diverse cast, as it centers a community of Trinidadian-Canadian witches with other POC side characters (Chinese and Sri Lankan). There are also many LGBTQ+ characters within Voya's family (including demiromantic rep, which was great to see) and Luc, the love interest is a Mexican-Canadian trans boy, There were also many aspects of Trinidadian culture incorporated into the novel (especially food, as Voya is an excellent chef) that I enjoyed reading about. Above all, this is a story about family. The ties within Voya's family are so strong, and despite cracks and arguments, they still see each other as home. All of the family members had something different to offer, and I loved watching Voya's family history unravel. Overall, a wonderful debut by Liselle Sambury that I'd definitely recommend! Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  24. 4 out of 5

    ✨navier Empress✨

    🌺🌿-“Kill Luc. Or do nothing and lose our already dwindling magic, along with my baby sister. No matter what I do, this task will break me. And none of that changes the fact that it has to be done.” -🌿🌺 de·stroy /dəˈstroi/ verb put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it. "the room had been destroyed by fire" I still think that she was jumping to conclusions but I guess “put an end to the existence of something” really sounds like immediate death. Voya Thomas is a witch, her 🌺🌿-“Kill Luc. Or do nothing and lose our already dwindling magic, along with my baby sister. No matter what I do, this task will break me. And none of that changes the fact that it has to be done.” -🌿🌺 de·stroy /dəˈstroi/ verb put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it. "the room had been destroyed by fire" I still think that she was jumping to conclusions but I guess “put an end to the existence of something” really sounds like immediate death. Voya Thomas is a witch, her family: a family of pure witches(meaning they don’t murder for magic). So when she has to kill her first love, it is a bit suspicious. Although, first she must HAVE a first love so she turns to NuGene’s new dating match thing that she was chosen for. Unfortunately (for her) she was paired with the person who humiliated her. I was very excited about this aspect of the story because 1, enemies to lovers and 2 she actually has a reason to hate him. (no insta hate!) and even then, she hated him realistically. She was able to give him the benefit of the doubt without the insta love that sometimes follows the insta hate. More on Voya… I really liked her character, she is an aspiring witch, but also has a passion for cooking and has insecurities about not moving up in the world, and her future being set in stone. Sometimes in books it’s FL meets ML and her life changes, but here everything was driven by Voya’s choices. This, I think, made her a great character.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Auri

    R E V I E W ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 ✨ In order to pass her Calling and receive her magic, Voya must complete a task set by one of her ancestors. After failing the first time, she was given an unprecedented second opportunity. The stakes are high, her entire family’s magic depends on her success. But Voya has been given an impossible task—she has just under a month to find, fall in love with, and destroy her first love. ✨ Blood Like Magic is set in Toronto in the year 2049. Technology has advanced quite sign R E V I E W ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 ✨ In order to pass her Calling and receive her magic, Voya must complete a task set by one of her ancestors. After failing the first time, she was given an unprecedented second opportunity. The stakes are high, her entire family’s magic depends on her success. But Voya has been given an impossible task—she has just under a month to find, fall in love with, and destroy her first love. ✨ Blood Like Magic is set in Toronto in the year 2049. Technology has advanced quite significantly. Characters have AI implants and live on essentially a large social network where everyone rates interactions with each other on a public “feed.” I loved so much about this world, it felt exciting and new. The magic is unique and definitely worth exploring. Although we don’t really see a lot of it in this book, I have a feeling we will see much more in the sequel. ✨ This book was slow to start, but once I got into it I could hardly put it down. Voya was an incredibly relatable character, she’s presented with an impossible task and toils over the possible consequences. She faces immense pressure and scrutiny for how she’s handling the task from her family, which creates tension where she used to find support. ✨ I absolutely loved Voya’s relationships with her family members, for as many side characters as there were I felt like we got to know each of them. Two of the main characters are trans and their stories are not just anecdotal. In this world, gender fluidity is a natural inclusion of genetic manipulation. I came into this book thinking it would be a love story. The romance between Voya and Luc is sweet, but is not the main focus. Science and magic combine in Blood Like Magic to create an unforgettable backdrop to this coming of age story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    BOOK 200 OF 2021 SUCH AN AMAZING CHOICE 4.5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟✨

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela Anne

    This book is phenomenal!! Anyone who enjoys well written sci-fi or stories about witches needs to read this book. Sambury pulls you into a world and plot line that is unlike anything I’ve ever read. The entire time I was at the edge of my seat, wondering how our protagonist was going to get out of the impossible situation her ancestor put her into. The magic system was thought provoking and melded with a futuristic world to create a rich world which came alive on every page. Against that backdro This book is phenomenal!! Anyone who enjoys well written sci-fi or stories about witches needs to read this book. Sambury pulls you into a world and plot line that is unlike anything I’ve ever read. The entire time I was at the edge of my seat, wondering how our protagonist was going to get out of the impossible situation her ancestor put her into. The magic system was thought provoking and melded with a futuristic world to create a rich world which came alive on every page. Against that backdrop, Sambury gave us not only a gripping plot, but a protagonist who was equally lovable and frustrating (which might sound like an odd combo, but I loved how Voya wasn’t perfect. She was relatable and human in a way which made me more emotionally invested in the story). It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book which pulls me into the world as much as Blood Like Magic and when I finished reading, I instantly missed the characters and wanted to dive back in. If you enjoy jaw dropping storylines, a dynamic cast of characters, and reading stories so good, it’s hard to recover after, then you need to pick up Blood Like Magic. Oh, and when you do read it, carve out a weekend or a couple days off because this book is impossible to put down!

  28. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    4.5 stars read on my blog rep: ownvoices Trinidadian-Canadian protagonist and side characters, Mexican-Canadian trans boy love interest, Trinidadian-Canadian trans girl side character, Trinidadian-Canadian demisexual lesbian side character cw: blood, gore, whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, violence, mentions of substance abuse and addiction, mentions of child neglect **I received an ARC from the publisher (than 4.5 stars read on my blog rep: ownvoices Trinidadian-Canadian protagonist and side characters, Mexican-Canadian trans boy love interest, Trinidadian-Canadian trans girl side character, Trinidadian-Canadian demisexual lesbian side character cw: blood, gore, whipping scene within the context of slavery, gun/police violence, discussion of and character with an eating disorder, violence, mentions of substance abuse and addiction, mentions of child neglect **I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you, Simon Teen!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** When I saw the cover and read the premise, I was immediately intrigued by this book. Despite the flood of ARCs I had at that moment, I knew I had to request it, and I’m so glad I did! Set in the near future, Blood Like Magic follows a witch who sets out to kill her first love in order to protect her family’s magic, unearthing family secrets along the way. After years of waiting, Voya has finally received her Calling, something witches must pass in order to get their magic. She’s never doubted she would fail, but she panics when her Calling is given by her most notoriously difficult ancestor, Mama Jova, who still decides to give Voya an unprecedented second chance. She tasks her with destroying her first love; luckily, Voya has just the person in mind: Luc, the boy who she recently genetically matched with and who gave her a horrible first impression. Her family isn’t sure she can go through with it, but her cousins Keis, Keisha, and Alex try to help her along the way. The worldbuilding is one of the most unique I’ve ever read before. This book is set in the 2040s, in a world focused on genetics and technology. I already found the different ways genes play a role in this book interesting, but combine this with the magic system, and I couldn’t put this book down. Magic, in this book, is blood and intent. Voya lives with her large extended family of witches; they practice pure magic, which comes from themselves, but they also live in a community with impure families, who torture and kill people for their magic. Voya herself has been looking forward to her Calling for ages, but her Calling has dire consequences: if she fails, her entire family will lose their magic, something they need to survive in an increasingly capitalist society. This is, of course, a large part of the plot, as Voya must fall in love with Luc while also knowing she has to kill him. However, she also unknowingly stumbles across a buried family secret, one that she wants to uncover, which has larger consequences than she anticipates. The pacing of the book is a bit on the slow side, but it was more realistic since this book juggles so many things. Voya has a month to fall in love with Luc, and I liked that they didn’t have instant attraction despite being genetic “soulmates.” I also liked getting to know each member of Voya’s family so well, especially her cousins, Keis, Keisha, and Alex. The book builds up to a tense climax, culminating in the last 10% and an ending that bumped up my rating alone. I thought the romance was really cute! Voya and Luc were so great together; Luc is very much the repressed, “doesn’t want to open up” person while Voya is the warm, heartfelt one. I really liked their dynamic! Like I said, we get to see how their relationship develops slowly, and it felt really genuine. Add in the fact that Voya is falling for him but is also hesitant because she knows she has to kill him, and you can’t help but read their scenes with bated breath. While the romance is a prominent aspect, family plays a far larger role in Blood Like Magic. Voya has lived with her mother, her aunt and uncle, her three cousins, and her grandmother her entire life. Recently, her dad, stepmom, and little sister moved in as well. They’re a tightly knit group, and Voya would do anything for them and vice versa. To her, family is the most important thing in life, and I loved reading about their dynamics. Much of this book builds on the author’s cultural background; she is Trinidadian-Canadian, as is Voya and her family. In the book, Voya and her family participate in Caribana, a festival celebrating Caribbean heritage. Voya loves to cook, so food is also a huge connection to her Trinidadian culture. The Thomas family belongs to a community of Black witches, and there are also magical families of Chinese, Sri Lankan, and other different backgrounds. As for other representation, Luc is a sponsor child from Mexico and trans. Voya’s cousin Alex is a trans girl; their other cousin Keisha is a demisexual lesbian. A bold debut, Blood Like Magic captivated me. I loved the worldbuilding, with its futuristic science-fiction elements and urban fantasy aspects. The characters were amazing, and the romance was so cute. If you’re looking for an urban fantasy, strong family ties, and/or a heart-pounding plot, I definitely recommend Blood Like Magic! original review: chills. i have CHILLS after that ending omg pls add this book to your tbr lists!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅

    Filled with thrilling adventure and lovable characters, Liselle Sambury delivers a 2021 release you do not want to miss. First, let’s talk about the plot. A futuristic world revolving around a BIPOC Canadian witch sounded amazing. Luckily, the book was just as good as I hoped it’d be! The plot was constantly moving, and I was gripping on to every page wondering what would happen next. Moreover, the characters were very likeable! Our main character Voya is strong and relatable. She constantly tries Filled with thrilling adventure and lovable characters, Liselle Sambury delivers a 2021 release you do not want to miss. First, let’s talk about the plot. A futuristic world revolving around a BIPOC Canadian witch sounded amazing. Luckily, the book was just as good as I hoped it’d be! The plot was constantly moving, and I was gripping on to every page wondering what would happen next. Moreover, the characters were very likeable! Our main character Voya is strong and relatable. She constantly tries to put on a brave face, even when the odds aren’t in her favour. Her friends and family also play a huge role in the book. I absolutely adored the best friend dynamic, as well as Voya’s relationship with her grandmother. It was so unique and amazing to see! The dialogue had it’s snarky and witty aspects to it, that I will admit, were very enjoyable. Voya and her best friend Keis had some sweet moments, but kept a steady flow of sarcastic banter. Unfortunately though, I did have some trouble with the writing. It was a bit too dull, which then caused the pacing to slow. I also think the book would have benefited from more descriptions and less dialogue. Blood Like Magic is set in the future, so I was hoping to get more insight on how things would work 30+ years from now. The overall enjoyment level of Blood Like Magic is fairly high. Personally, I feel as though it could have benefited from a shorter page length. Nevertheless, if the idea of futuristic witches intrigues you, then I say read on! Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.75 out of 5 stars) I recommend this one for ages 14 and up! (Many thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for a review.) For the full post, and a moodbard, visit my blog -- https://sunnysidereviews.wordpress.com/

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/06/20/... Meet Voya Thomas. She’s a Torontonian teen, with the magic of her Trinidadian ancestors running through her veins. At sixteen, she must now face what every witch in her family had had to go through in order to come into her power—the Calling. During this trial, Voya would be assigned a task, and only if she completes it will she pass the test and become a full-fledged witch. Given the intense pressure to succeed, Voya has 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/06/20/... Meet Voya Thomas. She’s a Torontonian teen, with the magic of her Trinidadian ancestors running through her veins. At sixteen, she must now face what every witch in her family had had to go through in order to come into her power—the Calling. During this trial, Voya would be assigned a task, and only if she completes it will she pass the test and become a full-fledged witch. Given the intense pressure to succeed, Voya has been preparing for this moment her entire life. Still, she can’t help but be worried. She’s always been indecisive, and just her luck, the Calling always involves making a difficult choice. Of course, whatever it is, she could always choose to refuse…except, doing so would mean that no one in her family would ever be Called again. Worse, those who have their powers now would also lose them, and a life without magic is simply unthinkable to Voya. So, the Calling it is. And just as she feared, the challenge her ancestors have chosen for her is a doozy. In one month’s time, coinciding with the city’s Caribana festival, she must kill her first love. Needless to say, Voya is devastated. While she’d be willing to do anything to save her family’s magic, taking a life also goes against everything she believes in. On top of that, how could she ever hope to fulfill her task, if she’s never even been in love? Fortunately, Voya has hatched the beginnings of a plan. Everyone’s been talking about a new matchmaking program, one that promises to pair you with your perfect mate based on your DNA. Voya intends to join this program, get matched with her one true love, then sacrifice him to fulfill her destiny, all in the span of one month. This should go off without a hitch, right? Yeah, no. Things start off poorly right away as the genetic program matches Voya with the insufferably arrogant Luc Rodriguez, whom she can’t stand. But, a plan is a plan. More lives than hers are at stake. Putting her trust in technology and magic alike, our protagonist sets out a path to secure her family’s future. So, I didn’t really know what to expect from Blood Like Magic, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Also, I feel I need to make a confession: the main reason I was drawn to this book, at least initially, was the setting. Lately, I’ve been real picky when it comes to YA, but a novel that takes place in my hometown of Toronto? Still going to be irresistible. And wow, if nothing else, author Liselle Sambury has written a love letter to the city that holds my heart. It’s been years since I last lived there, but this book transported me right back. All the neighborhoods, landmarks, and vibrant communities are represented. Even my old haunts at the University of Toronto, uptown in Richmond Hill, even good old Pacific Mall! And the cherry on top was of course Caribana. Ah, the memories of dangling our feet from apartment balconies overlooking Yonge Street, watching the parades from above. Of course, this being an urban fantasy story set in the future, we’re also looking at an incorporation of paranormal and sci-fi elements, but deep in its bones, this is still the Toronto of diversity and culture that I know and adore, and reading this book made me realize how much I miss it. Then there are the characters who gradually grew on me. Voya is a fun and refreshing voice, and realistic in her uncertainties and fears of failure. It’s also clear how much she loves her family and cares about preserving their traditions. Admittedly, it took me longer to find a connection with Luc, but perhaps that’s not so surprising considering he was a character who held himself at a distance, at least at first. It was certainly a while before Voya could get through to him, and only then was I able to see deeper beyond his haughty and aloof demeanor. I also can’t say I was crazy about the whole genetic matchmaking concept, which reminded me of the premise to The One (as it so happens, I thought it was completely ridiculous there too) but thankfully that only turned out to be a minor aspect, and ultimately I became curious to see how Voya would resolve her conflict of having to fall in love with Luc knowing that she’ll end up having to kill him. My only big point of criticism? I thought the book was kind of slow. I found as I read there would be pages and pages going by without any real advancement in the plot. I suppose everything came together in the end, but for all that there was plenty going on, sometimes it just felt like we were zipping back and forth yet still not getting anywhere fast. That said, despite its flaws, Blood Like Magic was still a promising first book to what I think will be a very successful series. While the ending didn’t go exactly the way I wanted, the fact it mattered to me hopefully shows how much I was invested in the story by that point, and the leadup to the climax was definitely riveting and I want to know more. I just love how central the themes of family are in this one, and it’s one of the main reasons why I’ll probably continue with the series. Something tells me there’s still much more in store for Voya, and I want to find out what.

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