Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Shadowlands by Kate Brian

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Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #1
Publication date: January 8th 2013
by 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 with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as 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. But 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?

*A copy was provided by Disney Hyperion for review purposes*

I was already a fan of Kate Brian, but I never expected to love this book THIS much. Her Private series is a guilty pleasure of mine. It may not be the next great American novel, but it’s a fun “mean-girls” type series with short installments that are filled with scandals, drama, and murder. When I went into Shadowlands, I expected something along the same lines but with a more thriller feel to it. What I got, was a complete mind-shattering plot that made me guess until the end (you have to understand how rare this is!), and left my adrenaline on high for hours afterwards. Seriously, what an intense ride!

“He’s never failed to finish a job before. Only one other victim escaped from him, and two weeks later he broke into her house and killed her entire family.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof 
We meet Rory in the most shocking of ways when she’s struggling against a murderer in the middle of the woods. Escaping means being put under witness protection after learning his notorious ways of getting away–without fail–for over a decade. As far as YA thrillers go, this is definitely one of the most intense I have yet to read. We’re taken on a tension-filled hide and seek game against a serial killer, one where not only do we fear every second knowing we haven’t seen the last of him, but the regular glances at his perspective shows us exactly how close he is to getting what he wants. This makes things especially terrifying. Not that bizarre fog and unexplained happenings in a creepy little isolated town aren’t enough.

This town they are sent to is an island of sorts, a vacation town where everything seems perfect, at least at first. Rory soon notices things are amiss, however, when she keeps spying one of the local guys constantly lurking around her. Then, people start disappearing. It’s a murder mystery inside a brilliantly befuddling mind game where I, personally, had NO idea what was happening. Some readers mentioned they had guessed the ending, but as someone who almost always predicts what’s going to happen, I was excited to have been blissfully ignorant until about 5 pages from the end. The answer we got had not even crossed my mind. That alone made me love this book. The ending itself: Excellent! It may not be a plot that authors haven’t attempted before, but none enraptured me as much as Brian did with Shadowlands. 

Seeing as it’s the beginning of the series leaves me wondering what Brian is planning for book 2. I imagine we’ll go deeper into the revelation, and get answers to lingering questions; all I know is that this chick *points at self* will not miss it! 

5 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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33 Responses to “Review: Shadowlands by Kate Brian”

  1. Silverlight

    I have this to review, and am now really excited to start it. Adrenaline highs are great and leaving YOU guessing to the end, has me intrigued! Great review, as always, hun!

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Wow–FIVE? Nice. Love when that happens. I didn’t pick this one up because I was getting a confusing vibe off the combination of odd cover and blurb. But after this, I’m definitely going to have to check it out.

  3. Rebecca

    Sqeeeeeee! It excites me that you had NO idea what was happening because like you, this chick *points at self*, usually can detect and pick up on things like who the bad guy is or what I think will happen and usually I’m right. I’ve only read one book by Kate Brian and that was Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys which I read a while ago but enjoyed. I was already excited for Shadowlands but now I’m even more so! Also, this is series? So didn’t know that! Lovin’ this review, Giselle! ♥

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Eff yeah! That ending blew me away. I was not expecting it either. There were so many scenarios played out in my head while I was reading it and I was completely off the mark every single time. I just got up and came into the kitchen to turn on the light (which is on the other side of the room) and I swear to god there was someone following me…

  5. Amy

    OMG this sounds so good!! I love mysteries that actually can keep me guessing since I tend to figure things out quickly too. And win!! We get the serial killers perspective too?!! Totally need this book!!

  6. Mel@Thedailyprophecy.

    I haven’t read anything from her before, but I was very excited for Shadowlands (pretty cover!). After seeing your raving review and your 5-star rating, I definitely can’t wait to try this one out! I love it when an author surprises me with the plot. When they keep me in the dark until they unravel the mystery in the end. There is something really scary about Serial killers, so this is going to be one creepy book 😀 Awesome review!


  7. Jenn Renee

    awesome review. I can’t wait to read this book. I have it coming up soon on a tour. I have not read the private series so this is a new author for me and I am way excited.

  8. Nick

    OK I’m officially super stoked for this book now, Giselle! I loved your raving review. It seems like you knew next to nothing about the end and I agree that those are the best books. Arrghhh! I can’t wait! 🙂

  9. Sam

    I find it so frustratingly easy to predict where a story is going these days, so it’s nice to hear this one remained suprising! I haven’t read anything by Brian before, but I’m looking forward to giving this book a shot. Awesome review! 🙂

    Also, you’re reading Altered? Yay! It’s not perfect, but I had a lot of fun with it. Hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

  10. Renae

    Yay! So glad you liked this one. I’d been sniffing at it for a while because of it’s cover (say what you will, but a professional-looking cover tends to be the hallmark of a professional book. Usually).

    The fact that this was suspenseful, even for you, is great too. I feel like I don’t get “surprised” by too many books anymore. I’ve gotten jaded.

  11. A Canadian Girl

    Ooo, I’m really looking forward to reading this one now, Giselle! I think I only read one book of the Private series – I remember liking it but not enough to continue on with the series – but didn’t realize this was by the same author. It’s nice to know that the feel of this one is completely different from her other series.

  12. Soma Rostam

    WOW! It is so RARE that we get a five star review out of you, Giselle! And this book seems to be worth it. I fell in love with the cover at first sight, absolutely gorg, and I even features it on the blog where I co-author, Cove to Cover (http://coverxtoxcover.blogspot.com/). I loved the story-line, too. I have never read anything by Kate Brain, so can’t say I expect what she will do in this book.
    Definitely some catchy subject here, and such a thrill ride it seems!
    GREAT, WONDERFUL review, Giselle, as EVER!
    Your CONSTANT reader,
    P.S. I am in mood for shouty capitals, today. Moving on…

  13. Megan K.

    I’m SO glad to see that you enjoyed this, Giselle! I actually requested it on NetGalley, but Disney*Hyperion declined me. 🙁 Your review makes the book sound all the more interesting! Can’t wait to get it when it’s out. 🙂

    Lovely review, hon!

  14. Henrietta @ Leisure Reads

    This sounds AWESOME! I’ve been collecting Brian’s Private and Privilege series, and from reading your review, it seems that Shadowlands could be even more thrilling than the Privilege series. Bet I now need a bigger budget for books in the new year :p