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Blood Like Magic cover art

Blood Like Magic

By: Liselle Sambury
Narrated by: Joniece Abbott-Pratt
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Summary

“High stakes, big heart, and lots of Black Girl Magic…unputdownable.” (Aiden Thomas, New York Times best-selling author of Cemetery Boys)

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 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.

©2021 Liselle Sambury. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Blood Like Magic

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Had me in a chokehold

Upsides:
•Complex story and characters
•Fascinating social commentary (super thought-provoking).
•Examines and explains the distrust often expressed by Black communities around scientific research.
•Enemies to lovers trope
•Trans rep
•Represents communities (especially Island nations) that deserve much more acknowledgement!
•Made me cry while listening to it on the street.

Downsides:
•Slow start
•Pacing tests your resolve at times throughout. The only way out is through!
•Confessions and reactions towards the end were unexpected but not entirely in a good way.
•Made me cry while listening to it on the street.

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Great premise, too slow of an execution

This was one of the most alternative spec stories I've ever read. It has so many things to say for the BIPOC & LGBTQ communities & it has a very clever worldbuilding system, mixing magic and science fiction. I loved the emphasis in community & all the aforementioned but the story was too long and the pace too slow. Also, the plot twist with the heroine's calling was predictable. I might get back to the sequel though as the book is a great example of contemporary social spec fiction.

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A book with everything you’d want

Great narrator, great storyline and great plot. I kinder saw the end coming in a way but not in a bad way. Absolutely loved the family element of the book and how a few things weren’t obvious.

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Fabulous future fantasy

What an amazing magical world Sambury has created. Unlike many fantasy books, this is set in a very near future and it's really interesting seeing her imaginings of how technology might have developed in the next 20+ years.

The story focuses on Voya, and her family of Black witches, who use magic created by blood and intent. They all have individual gifts as well as more general magic, after completing a task given by their ancestors. The novel starts with Voya being given her task and being forced to face her unknown future.

Great YA, coming of age story. Wonderful world building & magical system. I did feel Voya's indecisiveness was pressed a little hard - but that might be because I'm indecisiveness and it felt like me haha.

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Amazing story!

So many black stories are about suffering and its exhausting. But this is a great book that doesn't make me feel that way. The story and the reader were so good and it was just enjoyable. I got this because I saw the forward on tiktok and it really made me happy. Its worth reading.

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Loved it

Really enjoyed this, I feel like I can’t say why I rated it a 4/5 without spoiling so I won’t. It was nothing to do with the writing or anything like that I just was not keen on a particular character and the choices made😅 but I’m so glad I read this, will be recommending to my YA readers and honestly any book with Joniece Abbott-Pratt narrating I’m reading!

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Hoping its part of a series.

Well written. Loved it. A progressive, magical tale. Hoping for the story is part of a series.

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  • Timisha
  • 07-01-22

Message: Morality is a myth & Balance is essential

Morality is a myth! Balance is Essential
That's the main message I got!

Beautifully written.

The author clearly plays with what morality means, what love is, what constitutes family, the risks and benefits of choice, and finding the ability to balance it all.

She also effortlessly weaves in the entire sexuality spectrum so nicely. Like, one character I didn't even realize was gay until the end. They are normal characters with normal emotions. she normalizing so many people's experiences...even DEMI SEXUALS (ME) !

Then she adds the transitions of past black history with the future she sees for us on the path we are on at this point, because the book is set in 2040s

Thank You to Liselle Sambury

And Thanks Joniece Abbott Pratt has given me great performance every time I listen to her on Audible

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vette
  • 24-06-21

GREAT BOOK!

I absolutely loved this book from the sortyline to the narrator. Praying for part two

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie Bush
  • 28-04-22

I didn’t care for the main character

I really tried to like it but the main character was not likable nor relatable. I cringe a lot reading this also I was confused and underwhelmed at the end. However there is a lot of potential so I would definitely give book 2 a read if she releases it. And as always Joniece does a great job at narrating so that’s a plus.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ezra
  • 12-04-22

Emotional and Personal

Not only did this book have me the moment it started, it kept me captivated and eager to finish.

There were so many aspects of this book I connected to on a personal level, to the point of tears because it mirrored aspects of my life that I’m not used to seeing in books. From the complex emotions of being the oldest child of divorced parents, to seeing a family dynamic that makes me think of my own, to being a trans man just like the love interest of this book.

I truly cannot wait to see what else happens on Voya’s journey and August can’t come any sooner if you ask me!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-01-22

Good story

The story overall was good. I feel like it was long and drawn out. Definitely seemed like the longest book ever!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • N Douglas
  • 25-12-21

Hella Slow- with major yuk factor

I kept trying to give this book a chance but just could not finish. I love YA fantasy books, esp African American authors. I wanted to like this but it was way too slow for my taste. I kept going for chapters with nothing happening except hearing this girl's day to day basic events, scene descriptions and thoughts in her head. I should have dropped it when first chapter or two droaned on about witch menstrual cycle.

Finally did finish. Book was not my cup of tea and borderline depressing when plot finished. Unique story and we'll developed character but not a story I enjoyed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Skyy
  • 18-12-21

Love all the Caribbean references!

Only wished the reader had proper pronunciations. It was great hearing descriptions of places of my youth celebrating August Monday 💜

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 18-08-21

Amazing Read

I really enjoyed this book. The story kept me interested from the start to the very end. I cannot wait to read the next book. If you like urban paranormal fiction this is a great read. This book feels like a paranormal, historical. futuristic YA, tech and medical drama combined. If you are looking for something a little different from a typical paranormal romance give this one a try. Also if you are looking for something that is not spicy this would me a nice read. The reader was great.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dash
  • 09-07-21

Good Story but slow

I did enjoy this book, but it was very slow getting to the point. It’s a hard book to get into but the story does get good….eventually.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Serena McRae
  • 01-12-22

Great story, insufferable indecision.

So much of this story was new and interesting, so many great concepts brewed up also with history. But it was like waiting for my husband to choose a restaurant… for days. I almost returned the audio book without finishing because of the rigamarole. The ending left me very satisfied in book 2.