Welcome to the IFB stop on Shannon Duffy's SPECTRAL BLOG TOUR, hosted by Tribute Books/AToMR. Check out my review below:
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 is a delightful novel that romanticizes the witchy and the wicked. This book is filled with spontaneity and danger that keeps your heart racing with curiosity.
The story started out pretty good. So much began to unravel and I sort of eased my way into it.
Jewel is constantly on the move with her parents and kid brother for something her father did in his past. She never truly knew the reason why, just that her name was always changing, and her birthmark had to be kept covered and out of sight. It's the kind of life no one would wish for, especially if you're never in one place long enough to establish friendships or even fall in love. Yikes! I do not envy her. No wonder this teen is miserable.
Underneath all the layers I was hoping
to find an ordinary girl, with a normal life and a regular family. Not one on the run from
the mob or whatever. I mean, it had to be the mob, right? Who else would want to kill us?
I found quite a few admirable things about Jewel. For one, she's not some naive, girly girl character. She's quite fierce and determined. Also, her bond with her brother, Jayden, is one you'd classify as...rare. Siblings hardly get along so this healthy brother-sister relationship was quite wonderful to read about, especially since they've both come to the realization that all they have is each other. Jewel like myself is trying to piece things together in order to make sense of all that's taking place around her. Discovering that her parents are on the run because of her just adds to her confusion. Why would anyone be after her? What made her so special? You'd have to read to find out.
Amidst all the frustration here comes Roman, a very strange and mysterious guy who attracts Jewel in ways that'll take an entire week to describe. I liked him and how surreal his character is. I was unsure of whether or not to trust his words, but his electrifying presence made it hard to turn away from him. Of course every love interest needs outside obstacles to challenge the growing emotions. Thus, the significance of Chase's character. This love triangle brought on a softer side to the story, whereas for the most part it had a lot to do with intense power.
There were some other characters that either captured my heart or totally turned me off. Aunt Eva for one was like this first class bitch the moment she entered the pages. I couldn't for the love of all things good understand why someone's relative, an aunt, would be so unsympathetic and bitter. Eva's attitude was just too strange for me. And as the truth came out, I finally understood why she was the way she was.
Jewel's mother was a bit off where her mothering skills were concerned (she wasn't as gentle from start as I'd expect her to be) but the dad was much cooler.
Overall, it was a good read. Sure there were times I felt overwhelmed by the details, but otherwise it was well-written and I kept up with the pace. Shannon did a great job and I'm sure she has bigger and fantasy-er to come!
Shannon Duffy writes MG and YA. She is repped by the amazing Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is a mom of one boy, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. My YA Paranormal romance, SPECTRAL is out now, and my upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA, is set to release January 1st/13.