Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher – BBNYA ARC Review

BBNYA ARC Featured Image - Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher

Hello, fellow bookworms. Today I’d like to share my thoughts about Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher. A standalone young adult urban fantasy / paranormal novel. My thanks to the organisers of the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA) for the eBook in exchange for a candid review as part of the judging process.

My Overall Rating: 3/5

Plot: 3/5 – Flow: 3/5 – Character Development: 3/5 – World Building: 3/5

What’s Specter about?

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Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher – BBNYA ARC ReviewMy Rating:
Title: Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher
Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Hidden Bower Press on 7 July, 2019
Genres: Young Adult (YA), Urban Fantasy
No. of Pages: 259

Stranger Things with a ghostly twist! This gripping, genre-bending debut will keep you holding your breath till the very last page.

Horror aficionado Lanie Adams should be thrilled when two eighties-era ghosts materialize in her bedroom. Yet after a fainting incident unbecoming of a horror nerd, she would rather her haunting just go away—the ghosts’ waterlogged voices and ice-cold auras are more terrifying than any movie. Enlisting the help of Ryan, an entirely-too-cute stoner, she makes it her mission to put the spirits stalking her to rest.

Some sleuthing reveals that their sleepy Connecticut town is host to a shadowy, decades-old conspiracy. If Lanie wants to say a final goodbye to her ghosts, she’ll need to keep digging. But it’s important to tread carefully. The culprit is still in town—and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

Perfect for fans of Stranger Things! With strong characters who are easy to root for, this stunning, multilayered debut is not to be missed.

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦*

I don’t usually choose to read Young Adult (YA) books or stories about school/college students. However, being on a judging panel means reading genres outside of your usual choices. We were asked about our triggers and any subjects we would not read, e.g. torture, abuse, rape, etc, to ensure our mental health wasn’t affected. Specter was one of the three books that arrived in my inbox.

What did I like about Specter?

I like reading urban fantasy and paranormal mystery stories. Therefore, I started reading this one with an open mind. The front cover caught my eye, the story’s description piqued my interest and of course I love finding new-to-me authors.

Katie Jane Gallagher is a new-to-me author. However, I was instantly impressed with her writing style. The descriptive prose she used throughout and how she set up the scenes was intelligently done.

As a standalone novel, there’s a lot of information to impart.

Everything the reader needs to understand and enjoy the story needs to be found within these pages. Katie manages to seamlessly weave the world-building into this book without the need for the dreaded “information dumps”.

The characters Katie has created for this book are believable although not unique.

However, the situation she throws them into is one I really enjoyed. I loved the different clues, the interwoven threads and Lanie’s perseverance. She’s got gumption. Give her 15 to 20 years of life experience and she’d probably be my ideal heroine.

Was there anything I didn’t like?

I enjoyed reading this book: it was GOOD. I would just like to mention why I wasn’t more invested in the story.

My reading preferences, while not set in stone, are habitual. I have certain requirements regarding plot, writing style and character traits that dictate how engaged I become and how much I enjoy a book.

Specter sits firmly on the young adult shelf.

The age of the protagonist, her thoughts, and actions. Too much eye-rolling on my part to rate higher than 3 stars. 😉

Basically, what I’m saying is…

Specter is good, although I wish the protagonists had been grown-ups. 😉 The story has all the elements I like in a good book. A puzzling mystery to solve, ghosts, and a “race-against-the-clock” adventure. Plus, a cute sprinkling of first-love romance.

Has my review of Specter encouraged you to find out more? Click on any of my links to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about the author.

About Katie Jane Gallagher

Author - Katie Jane Gallagher

Katie Jane Gallagher is the author of Specter and The Gold in the Dark. Her stories feature relatable, realistic characters who get swept up in extraordinary events. An avid reader of YA and genre fiction, she has a self-proclaimed affinity for the best sorts of trash.

Born and raised in Illinois, Katie currently lives in Connecticut with her stupendous, half-human half-neanderthal husband and their dopey boxer dog. She graduated magna cum laude from Connecticut College in 2012, with a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature and a minor in history.

Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read my thoughts about Specter. Have you read this one or any others by Katie Jane Gallagher? Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Before you go, check out the amazing authors on my Favourites’ Page. You know how much I love adding to your towering TBR pile. 😉

Bye for now

Flora x

book cover for Specter by Katie Jane Gallagher

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

(3) Comments

  1. […] already posted my full review of Specter. I thought it was a good read and gave it 3 […]

  2. Glad you enjoyed this story overall! Great review! ♡

    1. Flora says:

      Thanks Mikky.

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