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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shadowlands (Shadowlands #1) by Kate Brian

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Bought (The Strand)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 328
Rating: C+

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've been lusting after this book ever since they released the cover and summary on Goodreads. First of all, the cover is perfection. I'm not a graphic design expert in any way, shape, or form... but I can't imagine it being any more exquisite. Then there's the summary. Serial killers, a beach setting, the witness protection program... I was positive that this book would wow me. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Shadowlands and thought it was such an addictive read, but I expected so much more from Kate Brian. There were quite a few times throughout Shadowlands when I thought to myself, "Something just feels off...", "This isn't making any sense.", or even "This story isn't that believable." The whole plot of Shadowlands had a ton of potential but I felt like there were clumsy pieces that could have been thought out better.

While Shadowlands is more of a plot-driven novel, I did enjoy Rory and the other characters (except Rory's sister, Darcy). Like the summary notes above, Rory and her sister Darcy fall in with a group of carefree teens that do nothing productive with their time. This was so much fun to read about considering it's basically an extended vacation with no limits for teenagers... who wouldn't love that?!

Overall, Kate Brian wrote a solid first book in a new series that will hopefully improve as it continues. Even though Shadowlands wasn't as amazing as I hoped, the end definitely left me wanting more and I'm really excited to see where the next book takes us.

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