Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Release: January 8, 2013
Source: Southern Blogger ARC Tour
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?
Confession: I don’t do scary stories. It’s not that I scare easily, I just don’t like being scared. I like tension, I like suspense, but I tend to stay away from the horror genre. Shadowlands isn’t horror, but it is downright scary at times. The book begins with shy, plain, Rory being attacked by a serial killer. Miraculously, Rory escapes. But the man has never missed a target in all his years of crime. And he isn’t about to let Rory go now.
Rory and her family go under the witness protection program and travel to a little island vacation town. People come and go all the time, and Rory begins to feel safe in her new surroundings. Then people go missing, and the nightmare starts all over again.
What I don't get is why FBI never accompanied Rory, her sister, and her father to their secret destination, to assure they arrived safely. It was a glaring issue that prevented me from really enjoying the book. Yes, Shadowlands is quite a page turner. It had my heart racing, and it was incredibly difficult to put down. Unfortunately, despite its readability, Shadowlands failed to meet my expectations.
Rory was an interesting character, but frustration with her grew as the story progressed. She was too timid, too. Then there is Darcy, carefree and generally only concerned about parties and having fun. I hated her, and felt no sympathy towards the end. I also failed to understand the point of the tension presented in the beginning between the sisters and Darcy’s ex-boyfriend, Christopher.
In addition, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like the explanation that Brian gave for all the mysterious disappearances and the town's oddities. The ending threw me for a loop, and left me unsettled. Will I read the sequel? Probably (if I have the time). However, I honestly don’t think I like the direction this story is going. I was expecting a simple thriller, but got something with possible paranormal undertones towards the end. Don't get me wrong--it's an intriguing story, but not the kind of book I usually read.
RATING 3.5 SLICES