Voodoo Season by Jewell Parker Rhodes

voodooVoodoo Season by Jewell Parker Rhodes
275 Pages

I found a book tent this year at Jazz Fest and knew that I had to go visit it. It was filled with nothing but New Orleans authors or authors who wrote about New Orleans. Yeah, I was like a kid in a candy shop. My eye was immediately drawn to the voodoo section as I’ve always found voodoo to just be fascinating…maybe it’s because I live in the voodoo capital of the world, who knows. On the shelf was a book by an author I had never heard of, Jewell Parker Rhodes. She’s an african american woman who seems to wrtie a lot about voodoo! Couldn’t pass that up. Especially when I found a fictional account of the great granddaughter of Marie Laveau, Voodoo Season.

Voodoo Season is a fascinating book. It’s the story of a young doctor named Marie Levant who is doing her residency at Charity Hospital. Marie has always noticed that something was a little different with her….a little strange. She has a seemingly sixth sense. She knows things about people without knowing how she knows them, she takes in lovers that show such passion. But when one of those lovers turns up dead at her hospital, things take a turn. Not only has her lover turned up dead, but so are numerous young women. And they all have crosses on their heads. When Marie has an intuition that one of the girls is pregnant, she performs a C-Section and forms an instant attachment to the child. She wants it to be hers. She searches for the babies grandparents and in doing so falls into the world of voodoo.

There’s a myth that voodoo is an evil religion. It wasn’t started that way and it’s not an evil religion. But like all religion, there are those that use it for evil purposes. These are some of the people that Marie runs into as she begins to come into her own and begins to realize that Marie Levant, her own name, is a transformed version of Marie Laveau. She is a direct ancestor of Laveau and it is she that holds the ability to be the next voodoo queen.

I feel like I’m doing a horrible job of describing this book, but take my word for it…it’s damn good. Jewell Parker Rhodes is another author that captures the essence of southern Louisiana perfectly. The city of New Orleans, the swamps further down south, the madness of Charity hospital, it’s all there. She awakened a fascination with this part of the city that has lay dormant in me for a long while and I’m anxious to scoop up all of the information I can now on Marie Laveau. I’m also dying to read the rest of her books. The prequel to this one is Voodoo Dreams and is a telling of the tale of the actual Marie Laveau, a woman who is to this day still shrouded in mystery. There are also two sequels to this book that further the storie of Marie Levant.

The only slight problem I had with this book was the ending. I was happy with the way it ended but it felt so rushed. I don’t know if she was given a page limit by the publisher or what, but it would’ve been much better I think if it had been a longer novel. Everything seemed to happy to quickly and a little too conveniently at the end, but that’s ok I guess :p The scenes of Marie performing her voodoo rituals for the first time more than make up for that. Read it!

17 Responses

  1. I just put it on hold at my library! πŸ˜€ I think I’ll count it towards the Southern Lit challenge.

  2. Eva, Awesome! It will indeed count towards the Southern Lit challenge. In fact, I thought about joining that challenge just because of this book!

  3. I never thought about voodoo being a religion. But then, I never would have considered witches to be part of a religion either, until I heard about wicca.

  4. Ooooooh. That sounds absolutely fascinating! (And you know you can trust a book’s representation of something/where if the people who know it are full of praise!)

    I would love to say I added this to my wishlist, but… Instead I ordered it. ^-^;

  5. hey baby boy.. i can’t say I am into voodoo .. you timing on reading this is uncanny though.. have you seen on the news about children being told they are evil and parents abandoning them because they believe it??

  6. I am not sure that this would be a book for me, but I must say I wish I lived closer to a Jazz Festival!

    I wanted to let you know that I gave you the “splash” award today.

    I hope you are able to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend!

  7. Actually….I gave you two awards: the splash award for your love of fantasy/science fiction literature and the One Lovely Blog award for your dedication to moving your blog to its own domain. I’m not sure I will ever have the patience to do that, but yours looks so professional!

  8. I’ve been toying with joining the Southern Book Challenge, and I would definitely include this one on my list if I did. I’ve never been to New Orleans/Louisiana, but I’d love to visit. But until I can, I might have to do some “armchair traveling” by reading some books that are set there. This sounds like a great way to kick things off. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the rest of the series.

  9. You did a fine job describing it, Chris! It does sound incredibly good. I find voodoo fascinating too. Have you read Tell My Horse by Zora Neale Hurston? If not, you need to! You’d love it for sure.

  10. Man, you’ve been killing me lately, Chris!!! I’ve simply must read this. Must. I find voodoo fascinating, too. In fact, I’ve been thinking for a while about doing a unit on world religions with Annie, just so we can delve into some of these “lesser known” beliefs.

    Okay, and now, would you mind reading a few duds to give my poor wish list a rest. πŸ˜‰

  11. Ooo this sounds excellent! I’ve put library holds on both Dreams and Season! I like reading about voodoo also, but it’s hard to tell what books will be serious or more joking about it. One non-fiction on voodoo I really enjoyed was The Serpent and Rainbow.

  12. Jeanne, Voodoo is sort of a mish mash of various religions. It actually takes quite a bit of it’s beliefs from Catholicism believe it or not!

    Shanra, You ordered it? Yay!!! I think you’ll enjoy it…I hope you enjoy it at least :/

    Deslily, No! I totally missed that! What happened? Some people are just nuts…literally, nuts. Sadly, that kind of thing happens all too often.

    Molly, You are so darn sweet! πŸ˜€ Thank you so much πŸ™‚ Yeah, this isn’t a book for everyone, but I enjoyed it. You should come down for Jazz Fest one year!!

    Steph, I’m sure you’d love it down here. The good thing about New Orleans in literature is that it’s so easy to capture the feel of the city! And Rhodes does it really well with this book!

    Nymeth, No I haven’t read Tell My Horse yet, but it was literally right next to this book at the jazz fest tent! I almost bought it in fact. Ok…*runs and adds it to his already ridiculous now 10 page wishlist* :/

    Debi, I’m afraid you may just want to stay away from my blog for a little while then, lol. I’m reading Starfinder by John Marcos right now and it’s so much better than I expected! And I’m sure I’ll just fall in love with the Simon Van Booy book if it’s anything at all like his first. You and Annie should totally study voodoo!!! It’s such an interesting religion! Great history behind it too.

    Joanne, Oh I think you’ll like this one…and there’s zombies in it too! Not your normal zombies, but the ones that Marie Laveau was said to have made. Sort of a state of being dead (no heartbeat) yet still alive.

  13. Of course I ordered it, you silly! Nothing above a bit of retail therapy after all. ^-~ And it sounds absolutely fascinating. If I do dislike it, though, it also sounds like the kind of book my mum might enjoy reading, so that’s a bonus. ^-^

  14. OK. You talked me into it!! I’ll see if I can get this one from my library system!!

  15. The cover of this book is amazing. Very intriguing!

  16. I have read all of Jewell Parker Rhodes books and enjoyed them. Beautiful writing that informs as well as entertain

  17. […] Southern Challenge), Voodoo Season by Jewell Parker Rhodes (for the Southern Challenge, thanks to Chris’ review), Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (for the Southern […]

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