Relatable characters, a fun writing style, and an interesting spin on witchcraft are just a few of the reasons why I loved Spectral by Shannon Duffy.
If you’re like me, you had no clue what a Spectral is. Apparently, it’s a witch who was born during a total lunar eclipse that coincides with the full moon of the Summer Solstice. This doesn’t happen very often, but it has happened in Jewel Rose’s lifetime and it causes her a lot of trouble.
Living the life of a gypsy as she runs from town to town as members of the Witness Protection Program, Jewel longs to be normal. But as she gets used to life in her latest hometown, Ponoma Park, FL, Jewel begins to realize how unique her family’s life really is. Strange things keep happening to her. First, two really hot guys are actually interested in her. Then she actually makes a real friend. As she tries to get used to the oddness of normal teenage experiences, Jewel starts to experience things that cannot be part of the average teen’s life. Like a guardian appearing to tel her that he is assigned to protect her and that she is in danger. Or the strange conversation she hears her parents, aunt, uncle, and grandmother having. As her life gets weirder, Jewel starts to suspect that her family may not have been truthful about why they are on the run. But, when you can’t trust your family, who CAN you trust?
It’s almost as hard for the reader to tell as it is for Jewel to figure out. Roman, her guardian, has admitted that her protection was not his initial reason for moving to town. His devotion to her and their burgeoning relationship-that-can’t-be are steamy and intense. But an attraction doesn’t mean that he really cares for her.
While Jewels family at first seems so together (aside from being constantly on the run), there are so many twists and turns involving their past and their future plans that you’re not sure what to think. Add her ice queen Aunt Eva and creepy Uncle Boris into the picture, and it’s difficult to know what they actually want.
But even if you have never lived a life-on-the-run, you will have no problem relating to Jewel’s insecurities about boys and being a teenager.
And, the addition of the Spectral into witch lore and the world Duffy has created are fresh and intriguing. There is as much mystery as there is romance, so if you are not busy rooting for one of the guys, you will be enraptured by the covens Jewel encounters.
Shannon Duffy’s Spectral is so well-crafted, it is difficult to believe that it is her debut novel and I will be recommending it to everyone.
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.
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.