Do you ever start reading a book, and go "Whoa. This is different. And scary. Me likey."? Don't lie! Anyway, my point is that Shadowlands was a very unique book that also had me prominently feeling the chills of suspension rolling from the pages. Kate Brian is a genius!
The beginning is very chilling, violent, and totally sucks you into the plot. That killer is so creepy and evil. The chapters in his point of view were disturbing, once again, good job Kate Brian! We are also introduced to the characters, amidst the action. There is never a dull moment! While not everything is a raging car chase, there is always a heavy layer of suspension clouding the problem with the killer, the town, and it's people. This keeps the readers on their toes, and may perhaps even bring nightmares.
The characters are also very well-devolped for a Thriller, which is the genre I find usually lacks the development. I loved seeing the relationship between Rory and her sister, Darcy, as well as with her Dad. Darcy has been rebelliously acting out ever since their Mother died, and the dad has simply become a shell. The family has a lot of tension building around them, and I loved how you got to see the relationship evolve and bonds mended.
The island itself, the place where the FBI kept Rory and her family in disguise to keep them from the killer, was a very memorable setting. If we ever have another "Top Ten Book Settings" list, the island, Juniper Landing, would definitely make it, perhaps even placing itself at the very top. Juniper Landing is mysterious, vivid, and odd. It leaves the reader with this strange sensation in their stomach, which I loved! The people inhabiting the island are also pretty odd. Why are they turning their head when people disappear? Does everyone except Rory and a few other suspicious teens have amnesia?
Also, I enjoyed that there was close to no romance. I see some in the future of the series, which I know I will like. I am not fond of first books that lay heavy-romance. Where is the rom to expand the relationship? What about the plots? Where is this "love" going to go? (Or, my common reaction, "They met a freakin' WEEK ago! C'mon!") In Shadowlands, we see plenty of eligible males yet none so far have legitimately "fallen hard" for Rory. I possibly see a well-done romance in the future, that is not the main plot, and I have no idea who it will be between! Yay! And if there isn't, I don't care because the plot is a wild enough ride and, in general, support for the series.
And, lastly, that ending! I loved it! In one simple sentence, everything came together. (SPOILER: I KNEW it wasn't a dream... SPOILER OVER) It is such a creative and startling twist. This also makes my lists of top endings. It is utter brilliance, and well thought out, so the audience won't pick up on the twist until the end. I literally looked at the pages, and then closed the book, smiling. However, it is pure evil of the author to make us wait for the sequel, Hereafter.
Overall, Shadowlands is a highly recommended read, especially to those who are a fan of creepy, suspenseful stories with unpredictable twists and well thought out characters. Also, the book was very well written, and set the readers in the right mood. Now, go read the book. I especially want to see your reaction to the end. *duh, duh, duh*