Review: Spectral by Shannon Duffy (Blog Tour)

Posted May 15th, 2012 in Blog Tour, book review / Leave a comment


by Shannon Duffy

Publisher: Tribute Books (April 2012)
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Format: eBook (242 pages)
Source: Publisher (Blog Tour)
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

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. ~Goodreads

The Good
Okay, this review is going to be difficult. Spectral is the kind of book that hits you with surprise after surprise. With so many twists, I don’t know what I can talk about without revealing too much. I’ll try not to divulge any more than what’s in the summary.

A Special Jewel…
Jewel and her family have been running since Jewel’s birth. Staying in different cities across the world for no more than a few months. But why they have to pack up at a minutes notice and run from unknown pursuers, Jewel has no idea. Then one day Jewel overhears something she shouldn’t have. According to her family, she is something special, and when you’re special, others either want your powers or your death. But the biggest question is who can she trust: the family she has known all her life, the mysterious stranger who says he will protector her no matter what, or her new friends. One things for sure, people are out to get her. Some want to save her, as others want her dead. And no one will tell her why.

Fiction Euphoria…
This book blew me away. I wasn’t expecting the level of depth this story had. The plot was simply excellent. It was original and had so many twists and turns my head spun in fiction euphoria. I am still shocked by the lengths this novel went to entertain me. The suspense was nonstop and the mystery was superb.

A Rare Jewel…
Jewel was a great main character. She had a love for her brother that no one could sever. During her dangerous adventures, she always thought about her brother, wanting to be there with him, wanting to protect him. She also grew a lot during the novel. Despite the lies and betrayals that almost consumed her, she stayed strong. She kept moving forward regardless of her fear and did what she thought was best.

Two Sides of a Triangle…
I had a hard time finding faults in either love interest. Chase was like the perfect guy: chivalrous, strong, playful, and genuine. He really liked Jewel and wasn’t afraid to put himself out there. Then there was Roman: sexy, mysterious, and forbidden. We never quite knew who he was and which side he was on, but Jewel wanted to trust him. But trusting him put her in some tough situations.

A Great Plot…
I think Spectral has one of the better plots I have seen this year. I was in the dark for a lot of the book, not knowing who Jewel should trust, or what kind of people were after her. I like that. I like being genuinely surprised by the twists in a book. The revelations about her family and who were the bad guys left me dumbfounded and shocked to my very core. This book is about Jewel finding out who she really is and what she is capable of. And though the ending was pretty much wrapped up, I would easily read book #2 if there ever is one.

The Bad
The beginning of the book was a little slow. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it took some time to finally get to the meat of the story.

Jewel was a little too gullible and trusting. If she wasn’t lucky, she would have been dead years ago. She just happened to trust the right people (sometimes), even though those people didn’t seem trustworthy at all. This is Jewel: Hey person I’ve known for 2 days. Oh, you say I should trust you and not my family? I should leave with you right now to an unknown place? Sure, let me grab my bag.

The Snuggly
There is romance in this book. Not as much as an average paranormal romance but enough that it was a subplot. We get a little bit of a love triangle between Jewel, Chase, and Roman. And though Roman’s motives are 100% sketchy, he was just downright intriguing. The times that Jewel and Roman are together were magical. There was nothing overly sexual in this book except for a one scene that dealt with unwanted sexual touching.

The plot was very well done, the story held my interest, and the characters drew me in to begin with. I had fun finding out the truth about Jewel’s past and future at the same time she was. It made it feel like I was a part of the story. Duffy knows what she is doing when it comes to writing an enthralling YA paranormal story. A highly recommended read.

We danced against each other, the music and neon lighting transforming our bodies into fluid rhythm. His toned chest through the soft fabric of his t-shirt and the gentle sway of his hips against mine was intoxicating.

“True?” His voice rose at the end of my name softly as he tilted my head up towards him.

I willed my eyes to stay focused on his as my heart rate climbed. “Yeah?” I asked, secretly hoping he would ask to kiss me, my eyes beginning to linger on his lips. I couldn’t tell if it was just the alcohol, or his total hotness that was making me swoon. Probably a combination of both.

“You’re not safe here.”

It took a second. I stared at his lips, watching the words form, then slowly they connected in my brain.

Wait. What?

Shannon Duffy’s 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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