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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice)

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice) - Lea Nolan 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.