Review “The Jumbies”

Posted 09-10-2020 by Marion in Allgemein, Review Archive (Sortable), Reviews / 6 Comments

Title: The Jumbies |Author: Trayey Baptiste |Series: The Jumbies #1 |Genre: Middlegrade |240 pages

This was actually the first book I actively read with my bookclub. It was a totally new experience and I loved being part of it and spitball with them what might happen next. Although I still have to work on sticking to the sections and not reading the book all in one go.

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.

There were many things I liked and loved about this book, so it’s probably best to start from there.

I loved the overall air of the book. It’s all about a simple life on an island, where most of the day consists of fishing and selling produce at the market, where hard and honest work is everything and where children play in the dusty streets with slingshots and sticks and swim in rivers and help their parents with their work. There was something simple and honest about it and I really liked that.

With this simple life come the legends, the imps and monsters and witches and ghosts. With it come the Jumbies. I loved the depiction of the Jumbie or the other demons that roam the forest where no human should ever go. Little demons that look like children with inverted feet that steal kids. Huge dogs wrapped in chains, fire demons.
It was new to me and fresh and I loved experiencing it.

The story in itself was fascinating and engaging. A Jumbie, a demon, trying to take over the island by trying to bring the main character Corinne (and her father) over to her side and by trying to overrun the whole island and rid it of the humans? Bring it. It was great, it was thrilling, it was a little scary. I loved it all.

What I’m not entirely sure about, is the main character Corinne.

Corinne has the air of a girl that is used to be on her own a lot and to be the woman of the house. She seemed to be determined to be all grown up, even though she’s only eleven, and to be of use and make her father proud. This makes her brave and outspoken but also bossy and headstrong. I couldn’t quite bring myself to like her too much because while I understood her behaviour I also saw how it made her treat her friends and I didn’t like that.
I did like the other characters in the story though. The witch and the Jumbie, Corinne’s friends. They were intersting and brave and maybe a little cocky. I’m almost sad to say that I found them more likable than the main character.

All in all, it was an easy to read book. It was a fast read with short chapters and an interesting plot line. That was what ultimately carried the story and made me carry on and maybe even interested in the other books in the series.

6 responses to “Review “The Jumbies”

  1. That whole sticking to the sections and not reading it all at once thing? Yeah, that’s so much easier said than done. xD

    Fabulous review! I think I loved all the same things as you did. Especially the Jumbies! I’d never heard of them before, and I looked up some legends and such about them after reading this book, and it’s something I look forward to reading more about! Thank goodness there’s two more books in the series, right?

    • The thing is just that I didn’t like Corinne that much and that kinda keeps me from diving into the next book. But I might just read it next year. I will definitely keep it in mind.
      Do you feel the need to read it immediately?

      • *looks at city-sized TBR* I mean … not really? I think it felt wrapped up, so while I’ll definitely check out the rest, I’m also not feeling like I need to rush out and pick up the rest of the series.

  2. Great review! So fun that your bookclub picked this book~ I know all about wanting to read the book in one go, but you can’t. We had buddy reads on a Goodreads group and we set limits how much we could read, not always easy when the book is fun!
    This sounds like a really fun book, I love book with legends/spooky stories, though I think I would also end up not being too happy about Corinne. She sounds like quite the character.

    • Thank you! Reading books with the bookclub is really the best thing. I love the discussions. I wish I would have liked the mc a little more but despite all that it was a really quick read and the story was overall rather enjoyable.

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