Synopses & Reviews
Life is lonely for 13-year-old Jane Riggs in the historical New England village that is her new home - until she discovers a four-hundred-year-old book of spells that really works. Guided by the ghost of the witch who wrote the conjure book, Jane embarks on a terrifying but glorious quest for magical power. Her ambition is to contact her mother, dead these ten years and remembered only in photographs. For such a great prize, Jane is willing to risk much among the weird creatures she conjures out of the spirit world. But she will need more than courage when her magic follows her to school. After an evil spirit fox steals her classmate's soul, life suddenly gets very complicated. Coming of age among dark, elemental powers while not missing a day of seventh grade is not easy. And the answers Jane needs for growing up don't seem to be in the conjure book.
"Nancy Drew meets a do-it-yourself Harriet Potter in this disappointing YA coming-of-witchery-age tale from Attanasio (The Eagle and the Sword). One day, spunky 13-year-old motherless spelunker Jane Riggs, newly installed by her widowed geologist father in Bosky Glen, Mrs. Babcock's historic Massachusetts house near the wild countryside, rappels herself into an under-the-knoll witch's kitchen and finds the 400-year-old grimoire, a Wiccan training manual, of Hyssop Joan, a white witch Puritan villagers had tormented into going black. With digital appearances of Hyssop Joan via Jane's laptop and of Joan's familiar, Jeoffry, now using the body of Mrs. Bab-cock's white Manx cat, Jane sets off to contact her dead mother and defeat Trick E, an evil spirit fox who hates all environment-destroying humanity. Attansio's hamfisted attempts to shape each character's speech to his or her personality result in mangled syntax and abortive metaphors, while even less digestible chunks of pop psychology clog a derivative and pedestrian story line." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)