published by Tribute
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Mystery & Suspense, Debut Author, Horror & Urban Fantasy, Witches & Witchcraft, Paranormal Fantasy, 100 Books in a Year
Shannon Duffy mixes an ancient occult feel with contemporary romance in her YA paranormal, Spectral.
Jewel Rose has spent her entire life on the run. Every few months means a new town, a new school, and a new name. Jewel thinks her parents are hiding from the mafia, but shortly before her seventeenth birthday, she learns the truth after moving to the sleepy little town of Ponoma Park, Florida. Arriving at the same time as her family is another new student, Roman. The mysterious and attractive Roman explains to Jewel that she is a spectral, a special witch who turns seventeen on a summer solstice with a full moon. What makes a spectral so special is that she is able to assimilate the powers of any other witch if those powers are used on her. Every coven wants her – either to use her power or to kill her because of it – and that is part of the reason her family has been running for so many years. The other reason is that they kidnapped her for their own coven. Now with Roman’s help, she must find her real family…but can she trust someone whose coven is out to kill her?
Spectral is very fun and fast-paced. The pages fly by as Duffy doles out twist after twist, shaking Jewel’s sense of whom to trust with each new development. The only problem is its lack of believability. Yes, it is a paranormal, and by that definition alone, it is unrealistic, but there should still be some plausibility. Jewel was a realistic teenager with solid young adult feelings but the turn her life takes was a tad too fantastic lacking the by-in that lets a reader suspend their disbelief.
All in all, Spectral is an engaging YA paranormal romance. I look forward to more works by Shannon Duffy – especially ones with a hint of the occult.