Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Publication: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion

Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.

Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

I love a good mystery/thriller. The cover of Shadowlands is simply gorgeous. That combined with the synopsis and I was sold. I haven’t read many young adult titles involving serial killers and the Witness Protection Program. So naturally I was read to dive into this bad boy…I think my expectations were set a little too high for this one.

These were some of my issues with Shadowlands:

A.    If the FBI knows right off the bat, the criminal they are dealing with is highly skilled, always manages to evade capture, and always catches his prey, then why would you have the victims’ house crawling with cops in uniform. Knowing that he would try and strike again. And how can anyone explain the fact that even though the house and neighborhood were crawling with those said cops, how the bad guy was able to break into Rory’s house undetected to leave her a note. Seriously?

B.     Because of the danger that Rory and her family are in, they have to go into witness protection. That I can completely understand. But what I don’t quite get is, why after giving them their fake names, and the place they will be going, the FBI just sends them on their way, With GPS instructions. How strange is that? What is to stop the guy from just following them? They didn’t even get a police escort or anything. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me nitpicking, but I thought it was odd.

Once I was able to get past those issues, I began to get into the story.  Rory was a pretty good character. Her sister Darcy however was not that much. Her father was so-so to me. Neither one of them seemed to care too much about what Rory was going through.

Being able to see the point of view of the serial killer was a neat concept. It added more to the story and it grabbed my interest at the beginning of the book. The mystery and weird occurrences throughout the story kept me reading. I wanted to see how it would end.

Even though this book wasn’t exactly how I hoped it would be, it does have promise. The ending left me more questions than answers, so I’m interested in checking out the next book, Hereafter to see how everything plays out. Hopefully I will enjoy it a little more than I did this one. 

RATING: 2½ -3 out of 5.



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  1. I have yet to read Shadowlands and I'm not sure if I will, but your issues you had with it would drive me crazy as well! There is no way if you are in witness protection that they would just send you on your way with GPS. It sucks too that the supporting characters were not all that great. I do however like suspense/thriller novels where you get the killers point of view. It always intrigues me and adds to the story. Great review!

    Kay @ It's a Book Life