Title: Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice #1) [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Lea Nolan
Release Date: October 23, 2012
In My Opinion: Don’t even touch!
One Line: The characters were a serious turn-off for me, so this one was a MISS.
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.
Sadly, this one was a “miss” for me. I seriously couldn’t get into the story at all. Yes, I did like the idea of the hoodoo magic and learning more about that, but that’s the extent of my interest in this book. The characters were so immature, the pacing dragged on and on, and the storyline was a bit too underdeveloped for my tastes. Everything was too predictable and mediocre for me and this was yet another book I had to force myself to finish.
When it comes to characters, I don’t think I’ve ever disliked one as much as I do Jack. Not only is he whiny, unappreciative, and self-centered, he’s annoying to boot! I understand, he’s being swayed by the “magic” and it sucks he’s cursed with “the Creep”, but damn, be a BIT more understanding and respectful to the people who are trying to save your life! I get that some characters are written so you can hate them, and I’d generally accept that and sometimes even love the fact that I hate them, but it was not the case in this situation. I just flat out didn’t like Jack at all. Emma and Cooper didn’t help matters much either. Sure their love was sweet and innocent, but she’s only 14! I really wished the author had aged her characters a bit more so the “love” could be more realistic, because I find it hard to believe that their love was a serious as the book wants you to feel.
While I enjoyed learning about Hoodoo and say it’s different from what’s out there now, I definitely need more than a unique premise to really enjoy a book. Probably the most interesting parts for me were when Emma and Grannie (the Hoodoo witch) practice Hoodoo and she teaches Emma all about it. It was cool reading about that kind of spiritual magic and seeing just how powerful it is. Emma is a pretty fast learner and there were a couple funny moments when she did some spells.
I know that quite a few people really enjoyed this book, but it didn’t hit the spot for me. Maybe it was because the characters were too young or that the story was a bit too underdeveloped and simple. If you’re interested in reading something fresh, and haven’t read a TON of Paranormal books like I have (and so have pretty much seen it all and have, I guess, higher standards for what I call a “great PNR book”), then you might want to give this a try. If you’re like me (and like the books that I’ve raved about), then you’re probably better off skipping this one.