Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Review: Shadowlands, by Kate Brian

For the first 1/3 of Shadowlands, I was enthralled. It was a heart-pounding, thrilling ride and I wish it had kept going. However, the story slowed so much, the plotting became very sloppy, and I ended up just waiting for it to end.

Rory is the only victim to have escaped from what she finds out is a wanted serial killer. She knows the man as her math teacher, but he has a hidden past. According to the FBI, he will stop at nothing to finish the job, so Rory and her family (Dad and little sister) end up in protective custody, in something like a witness protection program.

The actual attack at the beginning of Shadowlands and Rory's escape is exciting and had me on the edge of my seat. Then, as the police frantically try to find the killer, the danger is palpable and the tension mounts. Then the family is sent away to a safe house on a remote island, and things get really weird.

Rory and her sister, Darcy begin to make friends, but there are strange things about the people on the island. There are no phones, no newspapers, no TV or internet reception. And, no contact with the authorities. Really? This makes no sense. Rory finds clues that the killer leaves -- and knows that he must be close -- but she does NOTHING about it. She just ignores them. Again, really?

The use of dreams was a bit overdone. I really got tired of the fact that most of the tense scenes turn out to be dreams. A cheap way to thrill a reader.

The last 20% of the book once again gets exciting, as Rory gets help from people on the island to stop the killer. The tension, once again, is felt. The ending really fizzled for me. The explanation of the island's idiosyncrasies was too easy, and very quick. In one page we get the answer, and I kind of felt cheated. The explanation just didn't do it for me. It explained a lot of what happened, but it was the easy way out.

The writing was great. The characters, for the most part, acted like teens act. There's animosity between the sisters, as teens will exhibit, but deep down there's love and support. The story flowed well and was easy to read, although it dragged in the middle. We get the perspective of the killer every few chapters, which was a nice touch and added to the suspense.

Ultimately, I was disappointed in Shadowlands.  From what I can tell, I'm in the minority though, so look around and you will find lots of rave reviews. You should make your own decision.

Published by Hyperion, January 8, 2013
eARC obtained from NetGalley
336 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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  1. I was really looking forward to this one, but I don't think I'm going to enjoy it all that much if half of the book isn't exciting. I hate it when things make no sense, like the no TV/internet/authorities thing. I'll probably read this soon-ish, but my expectations are no longer high. Great review!

    1. The ending makes it kind of make sense, but I thought it was lame. Other's think it's creative and original. Just my opinion.

  2. I read another book about a person in Witness Protection. I thought it was going to be so intriguing, but that one fell flat for me as well. Maybe writers have a hard time getting it right because the program needs to stay so secretive to work.

    1. It's really not the handling of the Witness Protection thing --that's not the issue. But, I can't say more than that...

  3. I just skimmed your review because I've got this one geared up to read on my Nook. Looks like it's the beginning of a new series.


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