It's hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt-and learning that there really is magic in the world. Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with so-called "channelers"-a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.
Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they-and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charming tricks show her being a channeler isn't all bad; in fact, it's kind of cool. But is it Aiden's abilities or Aiden's looks that Eren finds so fascinating?
As Eren and Aiden's relationship blooms, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets-and many enemies. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren's parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger, too. Only time will tell if young, inexperienced Eren has the power to protect the people she has come to love.
In this novel, our protagonist Eren Donovan is a teenager who has recently lost her parents. She has no other choice but to move to a place called Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. As she learns about her heritage and the different societies in the said community, she discovers that she is also one of the people with magical abilities, and that comes as both a surprise and a shock.
When she encounters a good-looking young man called Aiden, she realizes that being a channeler isn't too bad after all. It is later revealed that Aiden is an orphan as well, which makes Eren feel a deeper connection with him. As the story progresses, the plot thickens as well. Eren and her family members raise some suspicions about her parents' untimely death.
McCorkle captures the sweetness of Eren and Aiden's courtship, their sincere feelings for each other, and their differences, partly — but not only — because they are from different societies. Eren has been brought up in the city, and when she arrives in Spruce Knoll, the lack of "living necessities" (TV, cinema and such) surprised her to a certain degree. She is an outcast in school - almost no one wants to hang with her because of her "halfbreed" identity. As for Aiden, he is sweet and charming, but he holds a dark secret about himself. Aiden, being an Irish by birth, was adopted by a family from a different society since he was born. However, it seems that he hates it when Eren inquires about his family.
Even though this book is set in the world of adolescence, adults also play an important part - Aunt Sylvia always takes good care of Eren and is concerned of her well-being, Grandpa Zolin teaches Eren about their kind and gives her some exposure about the history of the different societies in Spruce Knoll. While being kind and loving, these adults are strict when it comes to Eren's relationship with Aiden. They young lovers are not allowed to overstep the limits of a healthy relationship.
The Secret of Spruce Knoll is a good introduction to the Channeler series, and I'm sure it will greatly appeal to fans of paranormal and young adult novels. Albeit being a work of fiction, this novel manages to highlight the importance of conserving and preserving the Earth - which earns some extra brownie points from me. However, the part where the teens (Eren and Aiden) channel together in their birthday suits more or less freaked me out. It just doesn't sound right to me.
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