Author: Shannon Duffy
Release Date: April 10, 2012
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.
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Spectral is an interesting paranormal young adult book that centers on Jewel, whose family has been on the run her entire life. Her parents led her to believe they were in the Witness Protection Program, but it seems that all they've told her is lies. She overhears her family talking about strange prophecies that have to do with powerful witches - and her. Jewel has to face the frightening new world of being the Spectral, trying to survive to her 17th birthday, and figure out what are lies and what - and who - is telling her the truth.
Jewel is a great heroine in this book. She is very likeable and the reader easily identifies with her struggles and triumphs. I found myself rooting for her from the beginning. Among the normal teen issues of trying to survive high school, first loves and friendship, Jewel also has to deal with assassin witches trying to kill her, new found magical powers, and discovering her entire life has been lies. The narrative of the story was fast paced and I flew through the book. It flowed really well and it was interesting to watch Jewel's character develop from a timid teenager who always followed the rules to a powerful young woman who could stand strong by herself. There were some parts of the story, namely the romance parts, that I thought were a bit too syrupy. Jewel kept gushing about the hotness of Chase and Roman and how awesome and perfect they were. I found myself rolling my eyes at these moments, but they didn't inhibit my reading experience that much. I think that Spectral is a great paranormal YA book and I'm definitely going to be reading more of Shannon's work in the future.
About the Author:
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.
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