by Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #1
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Genres: Suspense thriller
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 with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as 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. But 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 am not going to lie; I was drawn to Shadowlands because of the beautiful cover. The synopsis led me to believe this would be a thriller, but Kate Brian blew my mind! From page one the author grabbed my attention and held me completely enthralled. My palms were sweating and I stopped frequently to share my thoughts with anyone who would listen. The tale was, dark, suspenseful, brilliantly done with an ending that left me speechless.
From the synopsis, we know that Rory Miller, her father, and sister Darcy all end up in witness protection because Steven Nell a serial killer who has killed fourteen girls wants to finish the job. He attempted to kill Rory with her golden hair but she escaped. From the moment they set out for Juniper Landing, my palms began to sweat and the tale that unfolds was brilliant as a girl goes missing in this oasis by the sea and Rory begins to suspect that something is very wrong.
Rory is the youngest sibling, and from the onset, we see some of the difficulty she has encountered in her young life. She is both sweet and caring. Since the attack she has been experiencing nightmares, feels like someone is watching her and doing her darndest to make the best of a bad situation. Darcy is a typical, selfish teenager concerned mostly with; “me, myself, and I” however she does have her moments. Their Dad has been an absentee father since their mother’s death five years ago, but life at the beach has him acting like his old self. The local teens on the island are friendly despite their clicky-ways and their interest in Rory is odd. Steven Nell is obsessed with Rory and downright creepy!
What made Shadowlands over the top five cups of Kopi Luwak coffee out of five for me was the unbelievable world building. Brian had me off kilter from the first pages when I mistakenly thought Steven was waiting for his lover in the woods. You know that creepy music in a movie that lets you know something bad is going to happen? Well, it played none stop in my head. As Rory began to question things, I knew something was off, something was wrong but I could not quite place it and when I did: totally mind shattering moment! When the author confirmed it, I sat back and admired the sheer brilliance of it all. I loved the pacing, the author’s ability to take you from a nightmare to tender moment with the stroke of her pen. This is a book you will want to talk about from fellow book lovers to complete strangers. My poor in-laws and hubby had to endure my outbursts as I rapidly tried to explain what the author was doing to me, to the characters…Eek gads! This is a must read peeps!
I highly recommend Shadowlands to fans of thrillers, suspense, mind benders and epic world-building. I cannot wait to read more by Brian.
*update, this tale will continue. Hereafter is the next novel and there is no news on its release date
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