Publication Date: January 8th 2013
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?
As someone who has always enjoyed books with suspense and mystery, I knew Shadowlands was a book I had to have! And that cover? Gorgeous! What I found as I was reading was something so incredibly different than I ever could have expected!
We enter this novel from the eyes of a serial killer, stalking his prey. But, she gets away and that is something he refuses to let happen. As we drift into the point of view of his would-be-victim, we meet our main character, Rory, and the aftermath of the attack. Her family must be uprooted from their home and put into the witness protection program to keep them safe until the killer is caught. This is where the novel gets really interesting.
Their relocation brings them to an island, Juniper Landing, where phones, tv and newspapers are scarce and the people even stranger. I was full on expecting the mystery and suspense to center around the serial killer and his hunt to claim his victim once and for all. While I did find that, there was a whole other aspect to this novel that came out of left field. This island and its inhabitants were strange, and creepy. This group of kids who always seemed to be staring and the weird bracelets they wore… just so much I couldn’t figure out. As I was reading I just kept rolling around theories in my mind because I seriously had no idea what was going on. At one point I did get a clue but I have to admit, when we do find out at the very end, it still blew my mind and left me asking even more questions!
Did I have any gripes? Well, I really didn’t get a chance to truly connect with any of the characters, which might be largely due to my concentration on other matters. Rory was vulnerable but brave as well. Her sister drove me nuts, but I completely agreed with Rory’s assessment on why her sister was that way as a coping mechanism. Also, the few times I did find little details that seemed far-fetched or unrealistic, I really couldn’t be bothered with them for long because it all fit together as part of the bigger picture. I thought the author did a great job with that.
Another thing that is great about this novel, is that it is perfect for discussions among friends or even a book club perhaps? It is definitely one you will need to talk about with others!
I am already anxious for this sequel because I need more answers! I highly recommend this novel to those who love suspense, a lot of mystery, and a tale that keeps you guessing!
*An ARC was provided by the publisher for a fair and honest review.