Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spectral Blog Tour: Review

by Shannon Duffy
Genre: YA paranormal
Format: eBook
Pages: 334
Publisher: Tribute Books (April 10, 2012)
ISBN: 9780983741879
ISBN: 9781476293585

Blurb: 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.

Spectral links: website | Twitter hashtag: #Spectral | GoodReads 
Purchase links: Kindle | Nook | Google | Smashwords | PDF

Our review: I was surprised at how easily I fell into Spectral. I began reading it Friday evening and stayed awake until I had finished. What pure, escapist fun! I immediately liked main character Jewel's voice, how she mentioned her family being in the witness protection program and their moving around the world--26 times, two times each year. She accepts her life for what it is. Until she winds up in Pomona Park, Florida. Six weeks until summer vacation and one month before her seventeenth birthday, Jewel kind of wants to stay in a town where the students are nice to her. 

There's Taylor, helpful and friendly, and the hot, blond Chase. Then Jewel, now called True, spots the dark haired new guy, Roman, whom she feels an intense unexplainable connection to. Jewel/True is trying to keep to herself but with so many friendly students and hot guys, what's a teen to do? Sneak out. When she meets up with Roman things first seem as if they're going one way but author Shannon Duffy doesn't let you forget this is a paranormal YA novel. Roman turns out to be something completely different than what Jewel/True expected as she, too, learns she is not who or what she thinks she is either.

Surprises, twists, and lots of action ensue in Spectral. Jewel/True is not a normal sixteen year old, she's a Spectral, a powerful witch (born during a specific time) and she has the birthmark on her upper arm to prove it. Kept in the dark by her family, she begins to search for answers on her own, and seeks Roman's help for the rest. What she learns is in one month's time she will go through the "quickening" and become the most powerful witch and her coven will also become powerful. If she can live long enough. With the police-like Augustr Forza coven seeking her and other covens considering her a monstrosity, many simply want her dead.

There were a lot of characters in this story, some well written, others came across more like caricatures (Aunt Eva for example). Jewel became my favorite but she didn't stand out for me like other strong heroines do. What I found interesting was by the the end of the story I saw that she had the potential to become a tough heroine (maybe there will be a book two?) The story did have the love triangle of Jewel-Chase-Roman and suffered from the 'fall in love/lust overnight' theme I find prevalent in many YA books today. The witches in this book don't make circles and chant spells in unison, they're more like Marvel superheroes with amazing powers. I would have liked a little more about the way the covens worked or how they were organized in their world (some back story) to help me understand them. Since this is fantasy, some parts felt implausible but we have to stretch our imaginations in order to enjoy any supernatural story, don't we?

Placing a different and unique spin on witches, Spectral is an exciting YA paranormal story fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating: 3.5 stars. I liked it.

Cover comment: Very pretty and I understand the symbolism of the butterfly, it just doesn't tell me this is a paranormal story.

Book source: I received a promotional ebook from the publisher for my honest review during a blog tour stop.

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.

Author links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | GoodReads | Tribute Books

1 comment: