Mundie Moms

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

Published by: Abbott Press
Released on: August 3rd, 2011
Source: book from author to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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. -quoted from Goodreads

Spruce Knoll is an incredibly exciting debut with a richly detailed history that surrounds both the town of Spruce Knoll and it's residents. Not only is this scarcely populated town one that would have environmentally friendly people wanting to flock here do to the fact it's residents all live green, but the citizens themselves are elusive, which made me that much more fascinated with finding out more about them, and the secrets their town is hiding. From the moment I opened up Heather's book I felt drawn into her unique urban fantasy. There's something about this story that hooked me from the get go, and I loved it's unlike other paranormal book I've recently read.

My favorite element of Heather's story is her mythology. It's incredible! I'm totally fascinated by the concept of having a society of Channelers (also known as Witches or Sorcerers) who's fate is tied to that of the earth. Each has a unique gift that they can use for good or evil, and the society is made up entirely of different sects who's heritages are from all over the world. The paranormal twists that Heather gives her characters is engaging, and she does a wonderful job in the way she weaves her elements of magic, romance, mystery, love, loss and suspense together in this story. I loved the way Heather introduced me to the powers the Channelers have and the history of Spruce Knoll through her main character, Eren.

Eren for me was a fun character to meet. She's a well rounded character I really came to admire. She's suffered a great deal of heartache, is suddenly thrown into a world she knew nothing about, develops powers she has to learn to control, and through it all she surprised me with how grounded she remains. I think part of that has to do with her Aunt and Grandfather that take her in and the love and support they shower her with, and the other part is, because of the type of person she is. She's smart, she's someone who thinks before she acts, she's open minded and I also loved her artistic side. Eren also has an amazingly supportive love interest Aiden who helps her develop her powers, as well as helps her feel like she belongs. Spruce Knoll is far from being close knit and welcoming, especially to those of their kind that are of a mixed bred, which Eren is.

The romance in this book is fabulous! I really love a romance that's drawn out, and developed in a way that makes me feel like I'm watching the two characters get to know each other and really fall in love, all of which the romance in this book has. It's refreshing for me and I admire Heather for not creating an insta love relationship. There's passion, awesome character chemistry and moments that are simply sweet and sensual that simply took my breath away. That's not to say this romance is easy, because it's far from it. There's plenty of prejudices against both Aiden and Eren, as well as plenty of danger to drive them apart. Aiden and Eren are both resilient, strong, and incredibly protective of each other, though I admit that Adien's protectiveness of Eren is one of the things that immediately drew me to him. It's not that Eren's helpless, it's that Aiden is a protector is every sense of the word. There's more than pretty boy looks and hot a body that made Eren fall for him.

If you're looking for a paranormal book that steps outside the norm, than I highly recommend picking this one up. Heather's writing is incredible. Her mythology is just as enticing as her characters. There's not shortage of in-depth characters in Spruce Knoll. You'll fall in love with the good ones and you'll love to hat the bad ones. Even the secondary characters are all incredibly in-depth and add a lot of Eren's story. There's a lot of great paranormal elements introduced into a well organized plot line that will keep you hooked with this story. Though I loved the way in which the story is told and how Heather's introduces me to her world and her characters, I wish certain parts of the lore and the powers some of the characters have were explored a bit more. With the exciting ending this book has I can only venture to guess there's going to be a lot more exploring, and a lot more action seen in Channeler's Choice. I can't wait to find out what awaits Eren and Aiden in the next book.


  1. I can't thank you enough for this lovely, in-depth review. I'm touched that you enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy Channeler's Choice just as much. :)

    1. You're so welcome Heather! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I'm so relieved you love it. I'm sure I'll love Channeler's Choice. :)

  2. MM - thanks for sharing this great review! I just added "Spruce Knoll" to my reading list. I really appreciate these reviews you are doing of debut novels. What a great way to get introduced to new authors!

    1. You're welcome Jen! Thank you for your comment. I hope you enjoy Spruce Knoll as much as I did. There's a lot of fabulous debut authors out there.