Review: Shadowlands (Shadowlands, #1) by Kate Brian

Title: Shadowlands (Book #1 in the Shadowlands Series)
Author: Kate Brian
Rating: ★ (5/5 stars)
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 2013 

Summary: 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?

Okay, let's have a moment of honesty for a second: I picked up this book at my library because some jerk had taken out Insurgent and still had it even though it was four weeks overdue. I was pretty upset about that (because yes, as a book geek, we are entitled to get upset about stuff like that), so I was scouring the shelves and came across Shadowlands. It seemed pretty interesting, so I gave it a shot--but my point is, I went into this book having no idea how I was going to feel about it, and now...WOW. Completely stunned me. FIVE STARS ALL THE WAY, which is pretty big because I don't give a book five stars easily. May I just say, Kate Brian's Shadowlands EARNED those five stars.

So as the summary explains, this book is about Rory, a teenage girl who was nearly killed by a serial killer--who was her math teacher. The whole serial-killer aspect alone scared the daylights out of me--every night before I went to sleep and stopped reading, I was afraid to shut off my lamp and would flinch at every bump and creak that I heard all night. Brian legitimately created fear and stuck it in my mind, and like I've said a million times before, books very rarely cause me to express physical emotions. (Except TFiOS. TFiOS is the exception to every situation.)

So anyway, Rory and her family gets moved to Juniper Landing, a quaint little vacation island where they can take a load off and at least enjoy their time in the Witness Protection Program. The only thing out of this entire book that I wasn't so keen on was the fact that it took awhile for the action to start once they got to their new location. For anyone who was read the book, it starts off pretty action-packed and rattles you a little bit (or in my case, rattles you quite a bit), but once they get to Juniper Landing, things go kind of slow for awhile. I felt like it dragged on for far too long before stuff got interesting. (Oh, and a quick side question for anyone who read the book: What's the deal with Aaron? Did he have ANY purpose throughout the whole plot? Just a thought...and I'm well aware that this is a series and I don't know what happens after the first book yet, but these are my thoughts on the first book. 

Once stuff got interesting, got very interesting. Interesting indeed.

The paragraphs below CONTAINS SPOILERS. SKIP AND DO NOT READ anything written in PURPLE if you don't want the story spoiled for you.   

So if you're reading this paragraph, it means that you know there will be a few spoilers, so I won't even try holding back with what I'm about to say--THAT ENDING, MAN. I'm not going to tell you the ending, of course, because you shouldn't be reading this paragraph and spoiling it for yourself if you haven't read the book yet, and if you HAVE read the book already, you'll know what I'm talking about. 

So, this ending happened SO fast, and it just left me with so many questions. What was that sharp pain that Rory felt right before Nell tried to kill her? What exactly happened to him that made him drop her? Why did Tristan tell Rory to let go, and then all of a sudden she was okay? What did Krista do with Nell? How the heck did he manage to evade authority for ten years but got taken down by a group of teenagers? And lastly, EVERYONE IS WHAT? DEAD? SERIOUSLY? How did they all die? Not even Tristan and the rest of his group--how did Darcy and their dad die, how did Rory die, and if they're dead, where is their dead mother? What happened to that kid with the dreads, and also Olive? WHY WON'T ANYONE ELABORATE ANYTHING?! (Some of these questions may have answers I just didn't catch. Just venting right now, that's all!) As soon as I read Tristan's last words, I closed the book, looked up, and just blinked.

When I finished that book, I didn't do anything else but blink for a few minutes. There was nothing to say, because I was absolutely stunned and left with a thousand questions that I hope get answered in the second book, because if they don't, I don't know if I'll be able to handle the suspense. (Yeah, Brian definitely gets props for that ending--left me amazed and shocked and curious!

All in all, Shadowlands was a suspenseful and surprisingly pleasing and gripping book that I recommend to any YA reader out there looking for a new trilogy to latch onto and fall in love (mad, complicated, terrifying love) with.

So, that's all I have to say about that today. Check back soon for more reviews, events, and more! Also, BookCon is this Saturday (eeek!!) and we'll be attending! So be on the lookout for all fun stuff regarding that (and possibly some future giveaways with some swag we get *wink wink*), all coming soon!

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