Suspense and Killers: A Review of SHADOWLANDS by Kate Brian

Shadowlands (Shadowlands, #1) 
Kate Brian
336 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

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?

   Filled with suspense, quirky characters, and a pulse-pounding killer, SHADOWLANDS is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

   Rory Miller is you average girl. Lives in the shadows of her popular older sister, loves science, and has the favorite teacher the whole school loves, Mr. Nell. But that’s before her favorite teacher turned out to be a serial killer that nearly killed her in the woods. But Rory survived. Now Rory, Darcy her annoying older sister, and her dad with a temper span of five minutes, are sent to Juniper Landing, a beautiful island with a mysterious fog that always seems to be surrounding the place. But when people start to disappear mysteriously, Rory’s afraid that Mr. Nell is back.

   I picked up SHADOWLANDS with low expectations, but wow. I could barely put the book down. There was action on nearly every page and the characters were really odd – in a good way, of course! But one thing is for sure, Kate Brian really knows how to write a suspenseful story.

   I only had one problem with the book- the ending. The ending didn’t really make any sense to me. Because the explanation that one of the characters gave to Rory didn’t make any sense at all. But since it’s a trilogy I’m hoping that Ms. Brian will explain it in the second book. Speaking of the second book, I can’t wait for it! All in all, SHADOWLANDS is a pretty awesome book you might want to check out for yourself.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    LB Whittington

    February 16, 2013

    “But that's before her favorite teacher turned out to be a serial killer that nearly killed her in the woods” Wow!!! That sounds AWESOME! I love books located on islands, I might have to grab this if I see it in a store.

  2. Reply

    Christianna Marks

    February 16, 2013

    This is one of the best reviews I've read of this book! I haven't read it yet myself, but just wanted to let you know that now I feel like I need to!

  3. Reply

    Soma Rostam

    February 16, 2013

    Well, Asma, I didn't know that this book is a trilogy but it is definitely intriguing. I love these thriller and witness protection stories. GREAT review!
    Your reader,

  4. Reply


    February 16, 2013

    I just purchased this one, along with an armful of others! Thanks for the review.

  5. Reply


    February 16, 2013

    Ooh, this sounds good, I'll have to look out for it!

    The Book Bundle

  6. Reply

    Karis Jacobstein

    February 17, 2013

    Agreed! I could not stop reading and the ending had me saying, “WTF?”! I just couldn't believe it! Can't wait for answers… Great review!

    Karis @ YA Litwit

  7. Reply


    February 17, 2013

    I loved a good mystery book, and this looks exciting!!

  8. Reply


    February 18, 2013

    Hm, I can't agree with your assessment of the book. The suspense felt forced to me, and I didn't really like Rory. Or her sister. Or her father. Basically, I didn't connect with any of the characters. I don't think this is a trilogy I'll be following.

  9. Reply

    Lisa Richards/alterlisa

    February 18, 2013

    Like you I loved the book right up to the ending and though I went back and reread the last part again, I was still kind of shaking my head. The ending felt a bit forced like the author said okay let's end it and did.
    I still plan on checking out the rest of the series.

  10. Reply


    February 22, 2013

    Have been hearing mixed things about this book… with the cover being the thing to draw them into reading it. Unlikely I'll be reading this anytime soon though.

  11. Reply


    March 7, 2013

    I've read so many mixed reviews for this book. This sounds like something I would like. I really hope I do enjoy it once I get a chance to read it.

  12. Reply

    Jaime Lester

    May 6, 2013

    I had not even planned to read this book until I started reading the reviews that started popping up for it everywhere. When I had read several and they were all extremely positive, I decided that I would take a chance on Shadowlands myself. I haven't yet, and after reading in your review that it is a planned trilogy, I think I will wait. But it is definitely in the plans!