January 15, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 336
Series: Shadowlands
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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?

My Thoughts:
I have been a Kate Brian fan for years and years, so I was very excited when I first saw the synopsis for this book. This author is incredibly talented at creating “crazy killer” characters and some intense twisty plots (see: Private and Privilege series), so I knew that this book would be intense and exciting. After reading ‘Shadowlands’ I can definitely say I was correct in this assessment.

It might be weird to start off a review talking about the book’s ending, but this ending is insane and I actually didn’t see it coming at all! You know that something eerie is going on, but I never would have guessed at the ending. What’s perfect about this ending is that it makes the book all the more brilliant. It’s an ending where you want to go back and find clues and see how brilliant the plotting is with hints and suggestions. And that’s really all I can say without giving the secret away, but I have a feeling that most people’s jaws will drop within the last few pages.

As mentioned, this book does feature some of the same aspects as some Kate’s previous books, but ‘Shadowlands’ is also written in a completely different way. It’s more of a psychological thriller in some ways where you’re on the edge of your seat trying to figure out if this is a relatively simple story of avoiding a killer or whether there’s something below the surface. The setting is a mysterious island that is cut off from technology and the modern world in so many ways, and that just adds to the book’s mystery.

I loved the book’s narrator, Rory, and I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her sister and her dad. The whole population of the island, especially the teenagers that Rory and her sister begin to hang around with, are so mysterious and interesting that you really can’t wait to figure out what is happening with them. Really this book was so twisty turny and different from what I expected it to be, and yet it was really amazing -- I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading 'Shadowlands', and I’m intrigued to see where the next book will go after that crazy reveal.

The Cover:
Like it! And I feel like it really fits the story once you've read the whole book.


Find Shadowlands by Kate Brian on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. I bought this one on an impulse because I read a review that sounded promising. Can I first say that the cover is awesome? I mean, the design is cool, but the cover itself has this soft, buttery texture that I love to hold.

    That sounds kinda weird. Moving on.

    I've never read a Kate Brian book - I know her Private and Privilege series are popular, but I never picked one up, so I have nothing to comnpare this book to writing-wise. You review has made me quite excited to read it. Sounds like this will be a yummy psychological thriller. Thanks, Ashley!

    1. Oooh I haven't seen it in person, but that sounds awesome!

      It's hard to say if I would have liked it as much if it wasn't a book by Kate Brian, but I'd like to think I would... it had me intrigued and trying to figure things out.

  2. I reviewed this book today too. First of all, I didn't realize there was a "next" book. How's that going to work. Seemed like a stand-alone to me. I didn't agree about the ending. I thought it was too easy and too quick. Yes, it did explain things, but I wasn't satisfied. I did like Rory and her relationships. It's always interesting to see a totally different take on a book than what I thought. There is no "right" or "wrong" -- just different responses. Great review.

    1. Yes!! It's always crazy and awesome to see how people can read the same book and come out of it with totally different thoughts, especially when it's about the same issue (e.g. the ending).

  3. How unexpected! We love the cover, but we had no idea from that imagery/tone that this was going to be a serial killer psychological thriller thing. (And funnier still, then, that you mention the cover fits well after you read the book, hehe.) Well, glad to know it's a good read, because we were definitely intrigued!

    1. Yes, the cover actually works so well... and yet I don't think it works when you just simply read the description... so that makes it kind of tough, when it's quite a layered book, even when it comes to genre.

  4. Oh, most excellent! I wasn't sure what to expect, since the cover and blurb seem so disparate to me. But I do love a good, twisty mystery and plot! (And, as I'm writing, I'm reading We Heart YA's comment and nodding along...)

    1. Exactly! It's a book that starts off one way and ends up another way, so I can see why the cover doesn't make sense and yet does make sense at the same time.

      Man it's hard to talk about stuff without being spoilery, haha.

  5. Yes! The ending was definitely brilliant and totally made me want to start at the beginning and reread the whole thing with new eyes. I have no idea where the next book will take us. Great review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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