Monday, November 7, 2016

MMGM: Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith


ABOUT THE BOOK

Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can't seem to cast a simple spell.   Then a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, and Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo. The entire town is at risk from the Stranger’s black magic, and only Hoodoo can defeat him. He’ll just need to learn how to conjure first.       Set amid the swamps, red soil, and sweltering heat of small town Alabama in the 1930s, Hoodoo is infused with a big dose of creepiness leavened with gentle humor.

REVIEW


The creepy Southern swamp atmosphere of Ronald L. Smith's Hoodoo is particularly effective.  And the crow with the glowing eyes on the cover works well also.  Hoodoo makes for a highly sympathetic character as he struggles with harnessing his hoodoo magic in time to defeat the stranger who has arrived in his small town looking for him.  This stranger turns out to be a daemon who wants something Hoodoo has and is willing to hurt everyone that Hoodoo cares about to get it.   But Hoodoo has never learned to harness his abilities and isn't sure he can do it before it's too late.  But with the help of his friend, Bunny, and the wisdom and experience of his Mama Frances, and the local fortune teller he just might learn what he needs to in time for the final confrontation.  A rather unique blend of southern charm and creepy fantasy, Hoodoo takes the reader on quite the ride.  With a talking crow, an evil daemon, and the mystery of his father's demise, Hoodoo marshals his religious and folk beliefs to overcome the evil that has entered his home.  The setting is beautifully depicted giving the book a powerful feel of down-home country charm along with the increasing creepiness brought on by the arrival of the stranger.  The characterizations work wonderfully well and the plot moves along briskly with plenty of tension.  A great read for young readers who love creepy stories involving folk magic and beliefs.


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