“In this series opener, Keltner (Obsession, 2013, etc.) writes simply but effectively in the third person, crafting characters from small details while striking a good balance between the story’s paranormal and personal threads.”—Kirkus Reviews
Possessed (Pagan Light) by JoAnne Keltner is a YA paranormal story with complex characters, deftly written and filled with magical realism. Jackie is not normal and people around her can sense that. She knows it too. And her unique gift, the gift that enables her to pick up emotions from people and to feel objects makes her very uncomfortable. She lives in guilt, unable to openly admit the gift that causes her a lot of inner turmoil. Until her friend, Trish, pushes her to steal the love of Jason with the help of a demon, Jackie has never wanted to claim her gift. Now, she must use it to protect Jason and herself and to heal from the destructive energy that flows around and through her.
This is a novel with a powerful message and fans of Paulo Coelho will enjoy the deeper meaning of the story. Jackie's story is one of many gifted people who have shunned the light within them for fear of being judged and rejected by society, hence experiencing untold suffering. JoAnne Keltner captures the worldview of the protagonist brilliantly and allows readers to feel the tension in her world. Character development is impeccable and I particularly enjoyed the way the protagonist is handled and how she grows from someone who is unsure and uncertain of what she wants into a person who decides to take control of her destiny. Possessed (Pagan Light) is written in a strong and interesting voice and the humanity and realism infused into the writing make it a page-turner.