Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: Conjure by Lea Nolan

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice, #1)Conjure by Lea Nolan
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publish Date: October 23, 2012
Paperback, 314 pages
Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
The Hoodoo Apprentice #1
My rating: 4.75/5.0

My Review:
Hoodoo, South Carolina Low Country, a cute love story, pirates of a sort, a curse, what is there not to love about this book?

I was drawn in by the setting. I spent my first visit to Charleston last weekend but didn't get to do much traveling around because it was a Boy Scout visit to the USS Yorktown. That was a wonderful trip, but I must admit I was intrigued by the low country because my parents visited Charleston the year before and brought us back some spices from the market from the Gullah women. I honestly had not heard of the Gullah before that. History does not teach you about them personally (maybe SC history does). But I was intrigued by this group of people and these women that still cling to their heritage proudly. So when I saw Conjure used them as a backdrop, I jumped. And then add in hoodoo, white magic and I was more in love.

I loved the characters, they behaved as teenagers, typical 14 and 15-year-olds on summer vacation. I liked Emma and Cooper especially and Jack too, though sometimes he irritated me with his attitude but i understood the attitude and whining at the same time. Emma loves Cooper and looks forward to her summers with her father so she and Jack can spend time with Cooper who is there best friend. But when the mysterious bottle appears and the mysterious girl things take a turn for the worse and the plot begins to move along quickly. I also loved "the grannie" who takes Emma on as a hoodoo apprentice. She is everything I would expect her to be and so much more. I loved the scenes she was involved in, her language, her actions and how she loves what she does and how she can help no matter what. I also enjoyed the light romance between Cooper and Emma. Cooper is a great character. He is a privileged boy, but he doesn't act it, in fact if anything he seems to want to escape his upbringing and I really like him for that. I like Emma also for her just being who she is and not trying to be different for him. They work and I like how they work. It's just cute.

The plot moves quickly from the very first page. The characters are established, the bottle and curse are introduced and then it's a non-stop thrill ride to find a way to remove the curse and save Jack and Cooper before it's too late. As new people and things are introduced I think Ms. Nolan does a great job of weaving them into the story without being to wordy or weighing the story down wiht extraneous things. The story keeps moving at a brisk pace and kept me wondering what would happen next and how things would end up. I found the ending to be very satisfactory while leaving some things open for a second book that I will be eagerly awaiting.

Ms. Nolan has created a fresh new setting for a book that has me wanting more and anxious for the next book. Her characters feel real, the elements of the paranormal exciting and believable. Conjure really works for me as an enjoyable read and I will anxiously await book #2 in this series.

About the Book:
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.

About the Author (from
Believe it or not, I couldn’t read until I was in the thrid grade. After a lot of hard work I finally got the hang of it, and quickly learned the best way to get out of doing chores was to tell my parents I was reading. Soon I was hooked, devouring books by Roald Dal, E.B. White, Judy Blume, C.S. Lewis, and anything I could find with a shiny Newberry Award sticker on the cover. Books provided a portal to enchanted lands where anything was possible and characters relied on their wits to wiggle out of sticky situations. Today, even though I'm all grown up, I write the kinds of stories I sought as a teen -- smart paranormal with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. I've got an undergraduate degree in history and a master's in public policy and women's studies, which believe it or not help a lot in my fiction writing. I live in Maryland with my heroically supportive husband and three clever children, who’ve figured out how to get out of doing their chores.

Lea Nolan's Website 
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***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***


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