Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review # 163: Spectral by Shannon Duffy

Description: (from Amazon)
     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.

     First-off, I must acknowledge Spectral's amazing cover art - the color palette is ethereal and alluring to the senses! It is one of my favorite covers of 2012, as is the story-line. This paranormal romance is anything but ordinary, with more page-turning thrills and hunky heart-throbs then the usual offerings of the supernatural genre. Chase, Stefano and Roman can "guard" me any day! Speaking of the characters, Jewel is one of my favorites, her devotion to family and her inner strengths really spoke to me. I felt like I related to her and Roman the most, particularly when they were at their most vulnerable points. Every character has a distinct personality, which is sometimes hard to pull off, but Shannon Duffy does a tremendous job with character development - there were only two characters I didn't like, and it was more about the "annoyance" factor. The dialogue is spot on, high-school with a little bit of "grown-up" thrown in; however I wish certain words wouldn't have be used so often to describe "the guys". Plot-wise, I loved the unexpected twists and turns - especially towards the end, (no spoilers!), and I thought that the characters acted realistically when faced with certain dilemmas. The level of romance was medium, I would have liked to see a lot more build up to Jewel's relationships, not just high school "crush" material, but overall it worked. I enjoyed the ending, but I hope that Shannon Duffy is not done  with these characters yet. Sometimes I like when authors tie all the loose ends, and other times I just want MORE! This is one of those times. My only reading regret is not taking more time to savor it. Recommended to teens through adults with a penchant for the paranormal; and a little romance too!

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Author 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. 

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