Possessed

Pagan Light

Young Adult - Paranormal
333 Pages
Reviewed on 07/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

JoAnne Keltner is a novelist and freelance editor. She has published YA titles Obsession (Musa Publishing, 2013 ed.), Goth Girl Virgin Queen (Solstice Publishing, 2015), and Possessed (2019, a rework of Goth Girl Virgin Queen and part of the Pagan Light series). She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she enjoys gardening, tending to her chickens, and spending time with family. Every evening you will find her obsessively streaming popular series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Jackie was born with a gift, but to a twelve-year-old, it had seemed more like a curse. When her talent manifested itself in the form of a vision in the church, it began a string of unforgettable events and a lie she struggled to live with. Five years on, she finds herself a magnet for people's emotions, their touch ails her, and images and emotions flood her mind. When a solar flare upsets the delicate balance, things in town begin to go haywire. Dangers stir and violence escalates. Jackie has the power to help, but to do so she must accept her gift, accept the part of herself she has been denying. She is about to be plunged into a world she had never imagined existed, one she had denied for so long. Does she have the strength to embrace a part of herself she fears for the sake of those she holds dear?

Possessed is the first book in JoAnne Keltner's Pagan Light series. Written from an engaging third-person perspective, this book was everything it needed to be; dark, hopeful, mysterious, and intense. Jackie battles with the person she believes she needs to be and the person she wants to be. After the events at the church, she turned away from religion, and yet the teachings were ingrained in her core, making her unable to accept the part of herself that defied the church. I enjoyed watching her growth and the alterations of relationships within her small social circle. Emotions run high in teenagers at the best of time, and recent events only worsen this, causing one friend to seek revenge and another to seek solace. Self-discovery, evolving relationships, acceptance, and sinister happenings combine to create a gripping plot, vivid characters, and an enjoyable journey. I am certainly interested to see where book two may take us.

K.C. Finn

Possessed is a work of young adult fiction in the paranormal genre penned by author JoAnne Keltner, and forms the first novel of the Pagan Light series. In a world of demons, energies, emotions and betrayal, we find seventeen-year-old Jackie confused and unhappy about the gifts which she possesses. Jackie is an empath, able to read and infer energy from people and things around her, but the intake of such energy can also be too much to bear sometimes. But when her former friend Trish unleashes a demon in a bout of romantic jealousy, Jackie must protect those she loves and face the realities of her gifts, no matter how much of a freak they seem to make her.

Author JoAnne Keltner has produced a solid opening to what promises to be a series filled with teen romantic drama, magical hijinks and some very interesting new lore in empathic and psychic powers. Jackie is a heroine with an interesting set-up, caught between what her upbringing in the church tells her and the spirituality of her own that she cannot deny she possesses, and she is written with great empathy which makes her very relatable to the YA audience. Her friends and enemies develop well as the story goes on, enlarging the world around her and kicking off the action with a strong sense of intensity and danger once the demon arrives. Overall, Possessed is an exciting and well written paranormal novel which fans of fantasy capers, adventures, and magical dramas are sure to enjoy.

Ruffina Oserio

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.