Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spectral, Shannon Duffy (4.5 stars)

Spectral Summary
Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe — the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

For more information, please visit the Spectral website, GoodReads page, and #Spectral on Twitter.

Jewel has been running all her life, but she's always had her family. Or so she thinks. Now known as True, since every location requires a name change, Jewel faces her seventeenth birthday in a new town with no friends. Then she meets Chase and Roman. She's drawn to both boys, but Roman is different. Soon she finds out, so is she.

The story takes the reader through a maze of self-discovery with scenes full of emotion, confusion, action, peril, and romance. Jewel is drawn to Roman, who declares himself her guardian, but she's had so many people lie to her that it's hard to trust anyone fully. Her true destiny unfolds before her in a race against time that takes her from home to Russia and Italy.

What I found most endearing about this story... the strong teenage voice of Jewel. In between running for her life, she complains about the color pink or debates her boyfriend choices. She's fiercely devoted to the idea of family, but she still gets annoyed when they tell her she can't go to a party. Jewel is a character that will stick with me. I don't know if Shannon Duffy intends on making this a series, but I sure hope so. I'm not ready to be done with Jewel yet. Or Roman. My only complaints: some of the story elements seemed rushed, and I wanted more of Roman and Jewel.

I highly recommend Spectral to readers who enjoy a well crafted coming of age story with interesting and engaging characters. The paranormal aspect adds to the story, but Jewel could be any teenager struggling with finding herself while surrounded by adults who think they know best. But, not to fear, the witchcraft elements are captivating and unlike any I've read to date.

Note: I often struggle to find books for my daughter, an advanced 12-year-old reader. Books classified young adult can be inappropriate for young teens. Spectral, however, is a book I would pass on to her. The romance is sweet and, in my opinion, acceptable for younger young adult readers. While there's plenty of action, none of it seemed over the top or too scary.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Shannon Duffy's Bio:
Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, SPECTRAL. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is scheduled for a January 2013 release.

For more information on the author

Buy Spectral
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Note: I received a complimentary copy from Tribute Books for review purposes. No other compensation was received. A positive review was not guaranteed or asked for; the views expressed are my own.

For more information on Tribute Books, please visit their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


Tribute Books said...

Tia, thanks for the review!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, another great read!