A supernatural thriller about a priest, his wayward son, and the voodoo sorcerer who could exploit their secret.
The Caribbean fishing town of La Croix has seen a decrease in tourism lately. This summer, a monstrous storm approaches, bringing unbearable humidity. While the older generation sees the storm in terms of angry spirits and evil omens, the young people don’t believe in magic. Jaime—son of Panon, a respected priest—only wants to work, raise money, and move to America, where riches and modernity await. He wants nothing to do with his father’s profession. The rift between father and son widens when the government is overthrown and Jaime risks his life as cheap labor during the new government’s reconstruction. Because Panon carries a secret regarding Jaime’s birth, he’s afraid to ask his patron spirit, Dela Luamba, for help. He goes instead to the new sorcerer of La Croix, Bougné, who has moved into the jungle shack of Uzoma, the previous sorcerer, who died under suspicious circumstances. Will the enchanted contents of a wooden box help Panon bring Jaime back into the fold—or is something darker afoot, better fought with a touch of ordinary magic? Author Thibeault (co-author: Recommend This!, 2014, etc.) beats a steady, foreboding drum in this unique supernatural thriller. He concocts a sinister atmosphere early on, during the government coup: “flashes of light in the distance...merged into a single glow, as if the world itself burned.” The spirit Dela Luamba brings some humor to the tale in snarky missives between chapters and in communion with Panon: “You’re such a good dancer. And you have a sexy ass.” Thibeault deftly explores both the father’s and son’s perspectives, including Jaime’s frustration with magic: “People danced and shook when they should have been discussing the matters at hand.” The story’s latter half is a claustrophobic jungle crawl punctuated by scenes of voodoo horror. In the end, the ordinary magic steering Thibeault’s incredible narrative is Dela Luamba’s to vouch for.
A superb magical tribute to fathers, sons, and those who love them.