Eren Donovan is a sixteen-year old girl who, after the death of her parents, moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Here she discovers a secretive community of people with special powers and realizes that she too has channeling powers that have been hidden from her until now.
Seven months after a bear kills Eren’s parents, Eren finds herself moving to the small town of Spruce Knoll somewhere in the outskirts of Colorado, with her aunt Sylvia. In this quiet, secluded town, Eren must learn to cope with her grief over her dead parents, while discovering new family members, making a male friend named Aiden, and understanding her power to channel energies that she must master if she is to survive the wrath of certain members of the Spruce Knoll society that are plotting against her.
Author Heather McCorkle jumps right into the plot of the story with a vivid description of the mysterious circumstances of the death of Eren’s parents followed by Eren’s relocation to the odd town of Spruce Knoll.
McCorkle, for the most part, maintains the suspense throughout the story, slowly revealing the secrets entwined in the well-developed plot. McCorkle explains channeling through dialogue and the descriptions of Eren’s attempts to control her new powers, as well as through her depictions of the action-packed fight scenes: “Suddenly blue energy started to leak from every exposed bit of skin she could see. She screamed in wordless denial and rage.”
A number of typos and McCorkle’s use of metaphors and similes, “felt like”, “looked like”, “as if” as her main vehicle for descriptions make the narrative a little cliché at times and weigh down an otherwise fast moving story. Examples of some of the over-used descriptions include: “She felt like a bug under a microscope”; “Her heart felt like it skipped a beat”; “It felt like she was going to explode”. At times, the descriptions become vague and McCorkle resorts to telling versus showing. Examples of this include: “he was very sweet”, “Sylvia only smiled and chatted about how lovely the tomatoes looked and how wonderful they were going to taste”, ”though he acted confident and nonchalant…”, “she was intimidated and suddenly very worried…”.
McCorkle does an effective, heartfelt job of conveying Eren’s emotional states as she goes through all the changes in her life, including her own very special coming of age experience as a channeler. For example: “Sobs shook her body as she wept for the world she’d lost”, “the descriptions of death and loss she’d heard from others seemed shallow in comparison this abyss” and “a feeling that had become very elusive over the last six months crept upon her: happiness”.
Secret of Spruce Knoll is an intriguing and action packed mystery-romance for young adults who are fans of the paranormal.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader