Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Friday, January 4, 2013

Just Finished Reading ... Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Because of the enormous amount of January 8 releases, I decided to run reviews every day this week. I promise Freebie Friday will be back next week. But you can enter to win a new release in Hot Off the Presses -- open internationally!


Shadowlands
by Kate Brian
To be published by Hyperion
on January 8, 2013

Source: ARC sent from publisher for review. Read my FTC disclosure here.





My summary: After Rory narrowly escapes being murdered by her math teacher -- who also happens to be Steven Nell, an infamous serial killer -- she and her father and sister Darcy are entered into the witness protection program and sent to Juniper Landing, a sleepy island only accessible by bridge or ferry. Rory is still deeply shaken by her traumatic experience, but slowly starts meeting people and even crushing on a cute guy. But she can't quite escape her fear, and when one of her new friends vanishes, she can't help but freak out. But that's nothing compared to what she's about to face...

My take: Shadowlands starts with a bang -- Rory's harrowing escape from her would-be killer -- and gave me a creepy sense of dread throughout. Rory's warned by the FBI that Steven Nell never lets his victims get away alive, so she's jumpy and nervous -- certain that he's coming back to finish the job. Rory is sweet and a little bland -- more girl-next-door than butt-kicker in the heroine department.  Still, it's impossible not to root for her after what she's been through. Rory's sister Darcy is confident and a little snarky, clearly the Big Personality in the family. Plus, Darcy's none too happy about being forced to drop out of her perfect life. The girls' father, who is still mourning the loss of his wife to cancer, is a little emotionally distant, which makes Rory feel all the more unprotected from danger.

When the family gets to Juniper Island, she keeps imagining that she sees Nell or signs of him. The way that Shadowlands builds and builds Rory's unease -- and the reader's right along with it -- is very nicely done. Let's just say that I will never think of the Beatles song "The Long and Winding Road" the same way again.

But at the very end of the book, there's a revelation. I don't want to say too much -- no spoilers here! But as Rory and her family settle in to their new lives, there are lots of cryptic clues to the reader that something strange is going on. I had a bunch of theories, but then I got to the last sentence of the book Okay, wait. Whaaaaat?  In one sentence, everything got turned upside down and inside out. I'm still not sure how to interpret that sentence. I guess I'll have to wait for the next book in the series to find out exactly what it meant.

If you love a creepy, suspenseful book and don't mind a what-just-happened-there kind of ending, you should definitely pick up Shadowlands.  

20 comments:

  1. LOL You are so right abut that song! Can't wait to see where the sequel goes... :)

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    1. The song was one of my favorite parts. Pure genius!

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  2. First of all I really don't like the sound of "Because of the enormous amount of January 8 releases..." just how many are there? No, wait. Don't tell me.

    I really want to read this, especially since you made it sound even more mysterious. I can't wait to check it out!

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    1. There are a LOT of Jan 8 releases, but then the next week is much quieter. Don't be too afraid!

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  3. Oh, man, now I HAVE to read this one. I was already planning to, but this review on top of Sara's have me soooo curious. I love suspenseful books that leave me with a good sense of WTF at the end. And you've also piqued my interest with regards to that Beatles song. Can't wait to check this one out!

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  4. I think I have to read this, but I'm going to wait until the sequel is out.

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  5. Creepy, suspenseful books, I'm all in! I'm not sure about the ending, but I think I can deal with it after such a good story. I think I'm going to like Darcy, since I have a soft spot for snarky characters (I'm not sure why)

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  6. interesting book, but keeping an eye on it XD maybe when I am in a more creepy mood. But great review!

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  7. Wow! Interesting ending. I would love to check this one out. Awesome take on the book, Jen. You made me really want to check it out! :D

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  8. That drives me crazy when something so huge is revealed right at the end, or there are major points that leave you going 'what???' at the end of the book.
    Think I might have to wait until the rest of the series is out before starting this one :)

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  9. I was like, Right on I'm totally digging this and going to read it!. And then you said there was a cliffhanger and a sequel. I just don't know if I can do it. I want the suspense and creepiness but I don't want 2013 to be all about the waiting, which is very much what 2012 felt like. Hmmm....

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  10. I am so intrigued by this book. It seems like most of the bloggers I have similar taste with loved this book. Great review!!

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  11. Another one of those books that I never read the synopsis for until you reviewed it. Lol! I like the premise of this one!

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  12. I added this one to my wishlist yesterday, and after reading more rave reviews like yours, I'm glad I did.

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  13. Not sure how I feel about what the heck endings!
    Thanks for review-I am still deciding about reading this one.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  14. Okay, Jen , you sold me! I want this so much!!!

    Also, love the birds on the cover. I hope birds will be the new trend, as I am over butterflies.

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  15. I don't know about that ending; I might want to wait for the entire series to be released before picking this up as I won't want to wait.

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  16. I've been on the fence about this one. It looked good, but I wasn't sure. I think you've just sold me now though. I really want to see what changes in that last sentence!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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  17. After reading your thoughts I can't wait for this. I love a suspenseful read at times. This time I'll need that cup of tea to steady my nerves.

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  18. I totally friggin loved this, my review posts on Thursday I think. Awesome review and yeah the ending!!

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