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Evangeline of the Bayou

Review

Evangeline of the Bayou

written by Jan Eldredge with illustrations by Joseph Kuefler

EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU is an atmospheric paranormal adventure with a spunky heroine who is a haunt huntress in training, from Jan Eldredge with spooky illustrations by Joseph Kuefler.

Using settings in both the swamps of the Louisiana bayou and historic New Orleans, Eldredge has captured the most perfect eerie setting for EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU that encompasses the paranormal creature fest of the novel while adding to the tone and mood. While this story isn’t necessarily scary in a horror sense, the setting brings a creepy darkness that offsets the humor and hijinks that Evangeline ends up in.

"EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU is a creepy mystery with a great heroine who saves the day and makes a friend; perfect for fans of Goosebumps and Harry Potter!"

Paranormal creature stories have been done so many times in so many ways, but EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU actually feels fresh and unique in its use of unique creatures of lore such as the prominent rougarou that Evangeline faces off against that is equal parts werewolf and vampire.

Julian, the son of the woman Evangeline and her grandmother are called to help, really shined in this story. It is never stated within the text, but Julian has anxiety and difficulties with socializing. I think it was great to see a character, who wasn’t neurotypical in a story that was about paranormal creatures. I would have liked to see the character state that he wasn’t neurotypical because many kids don’t get to see themselves represented in stories that aren’t solely about mental disabilities.

While I loved that this was a paranormal mystery, there was so much more backstory and world building than I expected. The plot line that connected Evangeline’s mother to the rougarou added a great amount of depth and character development but also reflected the interesting world of haunt huntresses that felt new and inventive.

I’m not sure if this is a standalone, but I would love to see more adventures for Evangeline, her grandmother, her grim familiar, her two-tailed lizard cat and Julian as they protect the bayou and solve more paranormal mysteries.

EVANGELINE OF THE BAYOU is a creepy mystery with a great heroine who saves the day and makes a friend; perfect for fans of Goosebumps and Harry Potter!

Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado on May 29, 2018

Evangeline of the Bayou
written by Jan Eldredge with illustrations by Joseph Kuefler