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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

I've had my eye on this book for a while. The great majority of reviews I have seen for it have been overwhelmingly positive and many friends have promised me that this is a unique tale that'll easily grab my attention. Unfortunately, I can't say I fully understand why this book is so greatly adored. While admittedly a quick read that I got through in a single day, the characters were flat, the plot was predictable, and the overall story reminded me more of a bad teen horror story than a novel by a hugely adored author.

Initially, I thought that was going to be an amazing book. The very first chapter is the attempted killing of Rory Miller by the famous serial killer Steven Nell. To make matters even more interesting the chapter is told from his perspective. It was so chilling that I can only describe it as creepily cool. It kept me excited and on my toes. But, shortly after, all of my hopes were dashed because most of the story is told from Rory's perspective. Her bland, slow, uneventful and normally frustrating perspective. It's like I lived for those random chapters told by Nell's perspective that were scattered throughout the book, even though all of them were shorter than two pages. His creepiness resonated with me so greatly, and it's sad to think that Rory's plight had such a small emotional impact on me in comparison.

However, the overall creepiness of the book just didn't have an impact on me either. I'm normally one that can easily be scared to the point of not sleeping for the night, but I barely batted an eye with this one. It almost felt like some of the scenes were taken right out of a bad horror movie. To make matters worse, some aspects of the story and the investigation were just hard to believe. For example, Steven Nell is supposed to be this genius that has eluded the FBI for over a decade, but wouldn't the FBI be able to detect someone right under their nose? Shouldn't they prove to be somewhat of an obstacle if the killer wanted to contact his mark? If turning to the witness protection program, wouldn't they want to protect their victims more? Oh, and the most obvious thing ever...wouldn't a brilliant serial killer know never to act around a large group of people because it will always backfire? Cases like this are constantly occurring in the book. It frustrated me because I wanted to shake the characters and ask why they aren't acting nearly as smart as they claim to be. It seemed like common sense rarely made an appearance in this novel.

Rory's family is similar to the cliche broken young adult family that is often found in novels these days. Her father is still suffering five years after the loss of his wife to cancer. This loss tore the family apart. Darcy, Rory's older sister, is incredibly materialistic and shallow, which also made her frustrating. While they're sisters and they can't help but love each other, I felt no inclination to like Darcy at all. She's not painted in a decent light therefore she isn't that likable. However, Rory's father goes through some great character growth throughout the book that I really enjoyed. My one other issue with characterization is that everyone was so flat I tended to have trouble keeping everything straight. And, to make matters worse, this book pretty much felt like a parade of hot guys. It was hot guy after hot guy after hot guy that were all hot in different ways. Relationships felt more shallow and physical than emotional. I can see a budding romance, but I don't think it shows any true promise since the male Rory is interested in likes to keep secrets and is rather sketchy. But, hey, he's hot!

In the end, I know a lot of people enjoyed this one. Heck, I can't even count the people who I know disliked this one on one hand. I'm simply the black sheep in this case because this book just wasn't for me. While the big twist at the end leaves me curious about book two, I'm not in any hurry to continue this series for myself. However, I recommend this to mystery thriller fans who like a hint of paranormalcy that makes an appearance at the end of the book. Its presence is heavily promised in the rest of the trilogy, too.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

  1. You can add me to the dislike column. This plot was so weak, it just didn't make sense. I hated the ending -- what a cop out. And, the dreams were also a cheap way to add a thrill. I didn't have as many problems with the characters, but couldn't buy the story.

  2. And it sounded so good! I'm glad you saved me from a regretful read. Good review!

  3. Aw that is too bad you didn't enjoy this one. I really love this author and I want to read this one so I still think I'm going to give it a try since I've enjoyed previous books by this author.

    Thanks for the great review!