Saturday, March 9, 2013

Book Review: Conjure by Lea Nolan

Title: Conjure by Lea Nolan
Series: The Hoodoo Apprentice #1
Finished on: February 25, 2013
Released:  October 23rd 2012 by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Source: PDF from Publisher
 Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:
Be careful what you search for...
Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry--hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends--are lost forever.
I went into this book knowing next to nothing about Hoodoo or the Gullah. Learning about all of that is what makes this book so interesting. The moments with magic are fun to read and there is enough mystery to keep you turning pages to the very end.

The characters are kind of hit-or-miss. They are described as being younger than a lot of YA characters (14 and 15) but they really read like 16 or 17 year olds.  I really liked Emma. She was the logical character that kept everyone calm and thought out the problems that needed to be solved. It was a good thing, too, since that was her main role in the plot: to solve Cooper and Jack's problems. I couldn't stand Jack. He was whiny, selfish, and lazy. If he wasn't Emma's twin I don't think there would be any reason for her to work so hard to try and save him. I really couldn't care less whether he got cured or not. Emma trying to learn the way to cure The Creep was the fun part. Cooper was just... Copper; a typical side-kick. Nothing too special about him, really. He just added a small bit of a romance element. (By the way, romance is a very, very small part in the plot.) In my opinion, the most special character was the Gullah "granny", Miss Delia. Her wit and wisdom added a lot to the story.

There were a lot of twists and turns and the mystery was written in a way that kept me guessing up until the end. I liked Lea Nolan's storytelling style quite a bit and I'll be looking forward to the release of the sequel, especially since she ended on a cliffhanger.

Oh, and I have to give Lea Nolan props: the dialogue, especially from Jack and Cooper, is some of the most realistic that I have ever read, especially considering the age group. Nothing that makes or breaks the story obviously, I was just impressed to see an author have such a firm understanding of the demographic she's writing.

If you're looking for a fun, adventurous, mystery or if you like stories with magic as a heavy theme, I definitely recommend giving Conjure a try.

I read this for:
The 2013-TBR-Pile-Challenge - 16/21
Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge March 2013 -2 Books


  1. Sounds interesting! I don't think I will like Jack either, but Emma sounds nice and I always love a mystery :) Great review!


  2. "Cooper was just... Copper; a typical side-kick."


    Cooper is oh-so dreamy. His broad shoulders, narrow waist, sun-kissed hair - he's like the ultimate! Trust me, when you are married to a middle-aged, no chinned, roly-poly, dweeby, fanny-pack wearin' gym teacher-teacher, you'll appreciate guys like Cooper a whole lot more!


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