Saturday, December 14, 2013

|REVIEW| Shadowlands by Kate Brian

14805480SHADOWLANDS (#1)
By: Kate Brian 
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion 
Pages: 328

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?

Some of the hardest books for me to review are not the ones that I hated so much I'd rather forget the ever existed, or even the stories I loved to the point where I can't form coherent thoughts out of my fangirling, but rather the ones that fall right in between. SHADOWLANDS is one of them. 

A story like SHADOWLANDS should be exciting, and maybe just a little bit scary. However, what I got was what was to me a cast of flat characters that provided me with little but a want to reach the end as quickly as I could. 

To be fair, it isn't as if SHADOWLANDS is a terrible book. Because it isn't. But even going into it with the mediocre expectations that I had, I still found myself disappointed. The first few chapters were steady and interesting enough that I was curious to how the rest of the story would play out. But once Rory and her family were relocated to Juniper Landing, I started to feel my interest leaving. It made no sense because that was when the story was suppose to grip me, with a killer on the loose and all that. Instead I just found myself unconnected with the new characters. 

There were parts where I felt that SHADOWLANDS had potential, and the most interesting parts came from the short chapters where we hear from the killer. It wasn't a giant struggle to finish the book, but for the most part I didn't find anything that would set this apart from others of it's genre except the ending. Some will certainly be floored by it in a good sense, but others may be angry that the same ending feels too much like a ploy to ensure that you read the next book. Or you could be me who went into the book already knowing the ending.

I probably would have had a different experience reading this book if I had not known the ending, and maybe I would've enjoyed it a little bit more because of the shock factor. But it still would not have done anything for my disinterest in most of the characters, and the characters and their development are often a main reason why I love a book. 

Interestingly enough, if I had to choose a medium to experience the story in, I would've chosen movie. I felt that as a whole SHADOWLANDS could have been expressed better as a film, with aspects like the mysterious fog added as a creepy factor that raised suspicion of just how safe Juniper Landing is. Having mysterious fog described to me was a bit odd, and I think it would've had more impact if the audience could have been allowed to discover it themselves, which isn't possible in a book because you have no clue it exists unless someone mentions it. 

SHADOWLANDS was an alright book. I don't regret reading it, and eventually I'll check out the sequel. The writing was good enough that I could read through all the way. This is one of those books that I'd say that it can't hurt to try, since the result will be different for everyone. Quite a few of my friends enjoyed SHADOWLANDS, and a few did not. So I'd love to see what you think of this young adult thriller mystery!

2 and ½ coffee cups!




Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx


  1. Yes, this definitely sounds like a 'meh' book. Not bad, not good, just okay and forgettable. Sometimes I also believe that book ideas would work better on the screen!

    1. Another thing that I found was that the novel relied heavily on the impact of the ending, which in turn I think hurt how much I enjoyed SHADOWLANDS because the beginning and middle didn't make me care enough by the time I got to the end.

      There is potential for this series, and I'd like to think that HEREAFTER will be far better. I don't think this will ever be my favorite series, but I hope I can enjoy the rest of the ride. Perhaps in a couple years this series will be adapted into a movie. :D