Publishers: Tribute Books
Published Date: April 10th 2012From: Publishers
My rating: 4 out of 5
Thanks to Shannon and Nicole at Tribute for allowing me to read this book and give my honest opinion.
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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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Review:Shannon Duffy's Spectral is fascinatingly unusual straight from the off. To begin, Jewel is moving to a new location. Her dad, mum and younger brother all have new names to get used to (for Jewel its 'True'), and Jewel has a new school to attend. They're all part of the witness protection program and on the run from bad guys chasing her father...or so she thinks. Things start getting weird when Jewel overhears a strange conversation her parents have with the horrid Aunt Eva and Uncle Boris involving her seventeenth birthday. True's gut instinct of fear and distrust become real when her family's odd behaviour sets off alarm bells.
Part of the story happens at school with all the usual school things. Jewel is new, afraid, stands out and gets picked on by the popular girls, but meets the lovely Taylor who shows her around and becomes a good friend. Taylor's boyfriends best friend is Chase and Jewel builds an immediate rapour with him over a basketball game. Something in her goes ting every time he's near and for Jewel this is a new raw emotion she's never experienced. Another newcomer to the school is Roman. Roman is dark with a seductive smile and a mystery that surrounds him. He also offers Jewel his hypnotic smile and after a couple of encounters he tells her he's her Guardian. This freaks her out. She hasn't a clue whats going on. Guardian of what? After a little investigation Jewel soon realises her life's been built on lies, the exception being her little brother Jayden who is an innocent in the whole set up. When Jewel gets kidnapped the mystery starts to unfold and the dangers become very real. Jewel is a Spectral, a witch that comes along every millennium, that can absorb other witches endowments and use them herself. And the other covens want to use her for her powers and will stop at nothing to get to her. None more so than the Augusti Forza, a coven that has killed many Spectrals in history. They fear that a Spectrals new found powers will get misused and the Spectral will turn evil. For Jewel, she just wants a normal life where she can take care of her brother and stop the bad guys from hurting her family.
The story twists and turns many times. The mystery and suspense based around Jewel's adventure is non-stop. We travel from the US to Russia and then to Venice in the middle of carbival season. Jewel has to make hard choices and at times I felt sorry for her and was at a loss as to who she should side with. She can't trust her family. She can't trust Roman. Taylor's mother goes all weird so is Taylor trustworthy? The romancing between the two boys was an excellent diversion to the chaos. Chase is a good honest guy who accepts her for who he thinks she is, an innocent, beautiful girl. Roman puts on the brakes almost at the start but soon falls for her completely. Jewel has to make a decision and in the end she chooses wisely.
Overall I loved the story. There wasn't a huge amount of actual spells or conjuring, it was more about witches using their powers like superheroes. But this new conception of witchcraft in the modern day was a refreshing change. In the beginning Jewel was a little too naive but her character grew so much in the story and by the end she showed how strong she could be. And she couldn't have been that person without the journey she'd had.
I'm almost sorry that Spectral is a stand-alone novel. I would have liked to find out what happens next, and travel with Roman and Jewel on their incredible adventures. But all loose ends get tied up with a great ending. If you have a witchy side then this one is definitely for you!
Spectral is out now and available to purchase using the links below.
Don't forget to check in on the Blog Tour so learn more about Shannon Duffy and Spectral.
About Shannon Duffy
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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