Friday, February 15, 2013
Running from The Past
Shadowlands by Kate Brian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Songs for this read: Jump into The Fog by The Wombats, Did It Really Even Matter by The Rescues, Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
Shadowands is the perfect blend of “two” of my favorite authors, Kieran Scott and her infamous pen name Kate Brian. The story, to me, was a mix of the mystery and suspense of The Private series (Brian) with the drama and elite setting of the newer series She’s So Dead to Us (Scott). Little did I know the extra element added in at the end that made this book very, very different.
Shadowlands is the story of Rory Miller, a highschooler who is attacked by her math teacher in the woods one day and miraculously escapes with her life. She soon discovers this man is a serial killer who the FBI have been tracking for over 10 years. And he is not done with Rory. When her safety at home is threatened a second time they are forced to take evasive measures and Rory with her father and sister Darcy, are thrust into the witness protection program.
The Miller family soon arrives at Juniper Landing, a quaint little vacation island, under the new name of the Thayer family. Rory and Darcy are quickly adopted by the carefree and beautiful group of kids on the island. And they all seem to have a special interest in Rory, which causes tension between the sisters. But Rory is standoffish and not ready to trust anyone. Her PTSD is back and she doesn’t know if she can trust her own eyes and ears anymore; that and she keeps have horrible flashbacks to that very vivid nightmare where her math teacher tracks her down and kills her and her family in the woods. All Rory does know is that the more she finds out about her new town, the less things make sense. It’s only when her sister goes missing that Rory gets any answers from her new friends. And even then they are not the ones she ever would have expected.
I love anything Kate Brian and Shadowlands is definitely up towards the top of that list. I have recently discovered I love psychological thrillers and the total mystery that comes from having an unreliable narrator. This revelation was thanks to the amazing Mara Dyer series (which if you haven’t read you simply must, must, MUST) which I really see a lot of in Shadowlands. I like to post-it my books and on more than one occasion I stuck a sticky in reading something like “omg! Like in Mara when…” or “gosh Rory is being just like Mara”. I’m sure to people who have read both you can see how the characters relate, especially with their PTSD. – To those who haven’t read Mara, I think Shadowland is a great kind of training wheels book so to speak, where if you like Shadowlands and can handle the mystery, creep-factor and frustration of it all then you are ready for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
But enough about Mara. Shadowlands is an amazing set up to this series. To me that was all it really was, a set up. Even about 200 pages in I was looking at how much I had left to read and remember thinking, I have way too many questions and relatively no answers and nearly enough pages to get anything done. So while this was just a very detailed prologue to me, I am very excited to see where Brian takes it. With the ended her gave us, the possibilities are endless. This is a great read, a new story line for Brian and ultimately unique to YA fiction. Brian is on to something, and it looks like she’s ahead of the curve.
4 ½ stars and a round of applause for Shadowlands
Now I think I need to sit back and process what just happened...
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