Review: The Hoodoo Apprentice series by Lea Nolan
Thank you so much to Lea Nolan for the review copies of book 1 & 2 of The Hoodoo Apprentice series, we then purchased book 3 and have reviewed each book below! Hope you check out this completed series that I just loved – 5 out of 5 hearts across the board!
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication: October 23rd, 2012; Entangled Teen
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.
But when a strange girl bent on revenge appears, 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 the last days of summer–and her friends–are lost forever.
Remember, as a kid, summers were a time when anything was possible? A time for fantasy and magic…or in my case, staying up late, eating cheese and whipped cream out of a squeeze can with my cousins (and yes my almost 30 year old stomach turned a little at that memory 🙂 ).
In Conjure we meet the quirky Emma, her twin brother Jack, and their lifelong friend (and Emma’s secret crush) Cooper. After a year apart at school, they are all looking forward to their annual beach filled summer in the hot South Carolina low-country. Their relaxing summer takes a nosedive when they discover an ancient message in a bottle that leads them to a flesh-curse that has been hidden for 300 years. The trio quickly trades a summer of swimming, boating, and sunbathing for one filled with demon dogs, walking skeletons, and old magic. Emma has to make a tough choice: watch her twin brother become a walking skeleton, or learn hoodoo magic and try to undo his curse. Decisions, decisions…
I devoured this book and was hungry for more. Lea Nolan was brilliant in her story telling and fluid in bringing you into the lifelong relationship of these three teenagers. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth of these young characters emotions, the maturity that they handled themselves, and the humor used throughout. I would also commend Nolan on the respect that she gave in dealing with the Gullah people and the practice of hoodoo. Conjure is the first installment of the Hoodoo Apprentice series, and I am very excited to see where this story goes.
All in all, I give this book 5 out of 5 hearts. I thought this book was creative, witty and fantastic read!
Publication: October 1st, 2014; Entangled Teen
Worst. Summer. Ever.
Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.
Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Faced with the horror of a soul-eating boo hag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.
In Allure, book two in the Hoodoo Apprentice series, we reconnect with our favorite teens Emma, Jack, and Cooper. This review contains minor spoilers so if you haven’t read Conjure (and really what are you waiting for) then proceed with caution.
After saving her brother Jack from The Creep, an ancient curse that was literally turning him into a walking skeleton, poor Emma just cannot catch a break! We pick up where we left off in Conjure, now that The Creep has finally been defeated, the three enterprising teens need to figure out how to break the Beaumont Curse. To add more drama to the fray, the curse has to be broken before Cooper turns sixteen in a few weeks…no pressure!
I was so happy to come back to this world and the Gullah community and to revisit my old friends from Conjure. In this installment, Emma, in particular, seems much more confident in who she is and what she wants.
The trio all knows that the curse on Cooper needs to be broken and they have NO idea how to make that happen; but even that daunting task isn’t enough of a challenge for Lea Nolan! In Allure we meet some interesting new characters and face more fantastic twists and turns. We also see that curses are not always as straightforward as they seem.
Lea Nolan is a beautiful writer. Her writing is not only descriptive and cohesive, but I truly admire that she handles the culture of this story with so much reverence. You can tell that she put a lot of love and effort into keeping with the authenticity of the hoodoo community within the story.
I think this book was a fantastic sequel, and I cannot wait to read the next one!
All in all 5 out of 5 hearts!
Publication: October 5th, 2015; Entangled Teen
New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems as the first day of her sophomore year dawns. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies—human and spectral—who may or may not have joined forces against her. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.
Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use the black magic she’s always fought against, endangering her own soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must finally harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.
Illusion is the gripping conclusion to Lea Nolan’s Hoodoo Apprentice series. If you haven’t already checked this one out, I recommend picking up Conjure, book one in this epic series, and see why I am unabashedly obsessed!
To begin, we are reunited with our favorite twins Emma and Jack and their best friend/first love Cooper. I have to say that I was REALLY looking forward to this book and it definitely did not disappoint! *Minor spoilers for the first two books in the series are to follow*
These last few months have been absolutely crazy for this trio. They have gone up against a centuries old curse, unearthed some family secrets, and made friends (and enemies) with some unlikely spirits. Couple that with having to start at a new high school while trying to mend a broken heart, and the weight of having to save your family (again) and you can see how Illusion offers non-stop drama and action.
I really liked that in the mix of all of these magical and spectral maladies, we get to see Emma go through something as trivial as being the “new girl” at high school. The fact that she faces this problem with the same intensity as she did going after ‘The Creep’ (the big bad) in the first book, is a fun reminder that she is indeed a teenager, and to her all the problems of the world are life and death, some maybe just a little more than others. <- Sarcasm 🙂
On the flip-side, we get to see a slightly more mature side of the boys, which was a nice change of pace, because with the epic moral battle that Emma is going through, while trying to do the “right” thing, she needed that balance. I love that this book still has the humor of both Conjure and Allure. This book maintains Lea Nolan’s unique and beautiful style of writing that intrigues you as a reader, makes you constantly theorize what happens next all while guiding your hand to turn the next page.
This book made me laugh, scream, and cry. It gave me tingles and utterly broke my heart. All in all I give this book an enthusiastic 5 out of 5!
Join Emma, Jack, and Cooper as they finish their fantastic journey, and the summer of their lives.
Author Bio: Lea Nolan
Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance.