The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

22859559How did I get the book? Netgalley, thank you Algonquin Young Readers

Genre: Paranormal Folklore

Synopsis: A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They’re just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for Corinne’s father, Corinne is sure that danger is in the air. She soon finds out that bewitching her father, Pierre, is only the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn’t know she possessed to stop Severine and save her island home.

With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree,” The Jumbies will be a favourite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

200words (or less) review: I am not familiar with Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree” so can’t comment on Tracey Baptiste new take on the story but what I can talk about is the things I enjoyed while reading her book.

Reading Jumbies was like stepping into the pages of a new and wonderful place. I could picture the Island exactly, could almost taste the oranges and I was half expecting Corinne to be standing next to me if I turned. I adore books what take me away from reality like this.

The characters are rich, just like the environment they reside in. Corinne is strong, intelligent and kind. She’s also vulnerable. When Severine threatens to take Corinne’s father away she’s afraid. Corinne’s friends are characters you meet at the same time as her so it’s a bit like your making friends with them to.
I thought that worked well.

Beautifully written and utterly enthralling, Jumbies had my attention throughout.

Recommend it?


Expected publication:
April 28th 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers

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