Rise of the Jumbies (The Jumbies, #2)
Corinne LaMer defeated the wicked jumbie Severine months ago, but things haven’t exactly gone back to normal in her Caribbean island home. Everyone knows Corinne is half-jumbie, and many of her neighbors treat her with mistrust. When local children begin to go missing, snatched from the beach and vanishing into wells, suspicious eyes turn to Corinne.
To rescue the missing children and clear her own name, Corinne goes deep into the ocean to find Mama D’Leau, the dangerous jumbie who rules the sea. But Mama D’Leau’s help comes with a price. Corinne and her friends Dru, Bouki, and Malik must travel with mermaids across the ocean to fetch a powerful object for Mama D’Leau. The only thing more perilous than Corinne’s adventures across the sea is the jumbie that waits for her back home.
With action-packed storytelling and inventive twists on Caribbean and West African mythology and fairy tales, Rise of the Jumbies is a breathlessly exciting tale of courage and friendship.
As children disappear around water, Corinne decides to help by confronting the water jumbie, Mama D'Leau, who she assumes has been taking them. Mama D'Leau does not give information for free, and to learn where the children are, Corinne must first travel across the ocean with her friends and Mama D'Leau's mermaids to Ghana where she will get the stone Mama D'Leau wants in exchange for the information.
Fraught with danger and loads of adventure, this is an even better continuation of an imaginative and unique series. Corinne and her friends endear themselves to the readers' hearts and watching their journey, bravery, and stealthiness is a pleasure. While there are some scary elements, this felt less like a horror than the first, though the kidnapping, discussions of slavery, and danger from jumbies is all very real.
The book moves quickly with a fast pace that will appeal to a younger audience, and there is also some great humor in the book (such as when Corinne works with the snakes). Another theme of the book is about the families we create and their importance (such as with the boys being adopted and Mama D'Leau's mermaids). The creatures that exist within these pages are fascinating and come to life just as much as the main four friends do, giving them all a three-dimensional feel.
Overall, this is a really wonderful middle grade series that I would certainly recommend to fantasy readers!