by Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #2
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan. But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends
After the cliffhanger ending of Shadowlands, I was anxious to step back into Kate Brian’s world with Hereafter. Once again I got swept up with Juniper Landing and its inhabitants. Brain fleshes out the world and characters, as she weaves mystery and suspense into her tale. Three word review: captivating, mysterious and ends in a major cliffy!
The tale begins right where Shadowlands ended so it is essential that you read book one as Hereafter hits the ground running. Rory Miller, her sister and Dad are hiding from a serial killer on Juniper Landing Island. Rory is learning things aren’t what they seem, and the beautiful locals become her friend and reveal their secrets. As she learns about the island, she feels someone watching her and things seem to be going wrong all around the island. Rory is determined to set things right and the tale that unfolds was steeped in mystery with a side dish of romance.
Rory Miller can be fearless and a total kick-ass. She questions everything and isn’t afraid to tackle issues. She has a lot on her plate, and I was impressed by how she handles things. Apart of her wants to let loose and enjoy but she struggles with her need for answers. Tristan is the leader of the local clique, and we learned more about this smexy, blue-eyed golden boy. Brian continues to flesh-out the rest of the locals and I appreciated their unique voices. Throughout the tale we are privy to the point of view of an unknown resident who is up to no good. This voice created suspense leaving the reader unsettled. However and maybe it was the formatting of my arc, but the transition took me by surprise. Each time it occurred I would need to back track to get my bearings. Thankfully this voice only appears a few times and added to the tale.
For a middle book Hereafter was an intense and solid follow-up to Shadowlands. Brian kept up the suspense, and intensity of the first novel, while continuing to flesh out the world as she added new threads to keep the reader engaged. We see character development and get a stronger sense of Juniper Landing and what is occurring there. Beautifully paced, with moments of discovery, a little romance and danger I was completely captivated. Like Rory I questioned everything and everyone and enjoyed feeling on edge. While this didn’t blow my mind with its reveals in the way Shadowlands did, I still found myself completely engaged, and quickly consumed this in just two sittings. As with Shadowlands, Hereafter, ended with a huge cliffhanger that left me screaming for more.
Filled with mystery, and excellent world-building, Hereafter was a worthy addition to the Shadowlands trilogy. Kate Brian creates a tale that keeps you on edge, unable to trust what you are reading and driving you too search of answers. Even the most seasoned reader will be caught by surprise.
Four cups of coffee out of five
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