Shadowlands (Shadowlands Series #1)

Shadowlands (Shadowlands Series #1)

4.2 44
by Kate Brian

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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

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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?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After a serial killer attacks Rory Miller, the teenager and her family flee to an out-of-state FBI safe house in the nerve-racking first book in a trilogy from Brian (the Private series). Their destination, Juniper Landing, may not be as idyllic as it seems: the fog-soaked island town lacks phone and Internet service, and a group of powerful young locals is overly focused on Rory. Residents are untroubled when people mysteriously disappear; stranger still, Rory’s older sister can’t remember them after they are gone. Interstitial chapters, told from the murderer’s point of view, reveal that he remains committed to finishing his job (“He’d tasted her fear again, so sweet and salty.... The possibility was almost too much to bear”). The killer (who posed as Rory’s math teacher) is truly frightening, and readers will be haunted by his interludes and by the chilling evidence of his stalking. In contrast, the mystery of Juniper Landing itself is less of a thrill; questions will remain even when the truth is revealed, awaiting exploration in the later books. An Alloy Entertainment property. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Mr. Nell, the math teacher, is one of those teachers that tries to connect with their students. He has taken a special interest in Rory Miller. She is such a quiet girl, troubled over her mother's death from cancer. She runs track and is a good student, but she has pulled away and retreated into herself. That is why he has singled her out. She has such beautiful blonde hair. That is what makes this one special. She will be number fifteen. Rory is a fighter though and when he jumps her in the woods as she takes a short cut home she gets away and is lucky enough to flag down her sister's ex, Christopher as he drives past. Once home she is greeted by police, flashing lights and FBI Agent Sharon Messenger. Steven Nell, is also known as Roger Krauss. He has murdered fourteen girls in ten states. He is diligent and does not give up once he has singled out a girl. They are worried that he will continue to track her down and finish the job, so they suggest a safe house for her father, older sister, Darcy, and herself. Only Darcy does not want to hide away, she is getting ready to attend parties and to graduate from high school. Rory does not mind locking herself away, she is more comfortable around her science projects. They find themselves in a quaint oceanside town called Juniper Landing where everything is topsy turvy in a perfect little way. Rory's family is finally getting close again, but her dreams are violent and seem very real. This story has you in its grips from the very beginning and does not let you go until the very last page. A surprise ending catches you off guard and may make you reread the beginning to see where everything all changed. I enjoyed every page of this thriller. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
VOYA - Rebecca Moore
The good news: Rory Miller survived a serial killer attack. The bad news: the killer will not stop until she is dead. Knowing this, the police send Rory, her emotionally distant father, and her older sister Darcy into Witness Protection. Their refuge, Juniper Landing, is an island vacation community with no cell or wireless service. It has plenty of attractive teens, though, and party-hungry Darcy quickly hooks up with them. They welcome Rory too, seeming oddly eager to embrace her, but she cannot quite trust them. She also cannot shake her terrifying nightmares and the equally terrifying feeling that the killer has followed her--and is leaving clues to let her know. Then, people start disappearing, and only Rory seems to notice--or care. What is really going on in Juniper Landing? This suspenseful thriller feels like two different books. The first, heart-pounding part will keep readers on the edges of their seats as Rory fights off and flees certain death. The second part, in Juniper Landing, embraces a different kind of suspense. Something odd is going on, despite the community’s outer normality, and readers will keep turning pages until they learn the truth. Whether readers will understand that truth, however, is debatable, as many questions remain frustratingly unanswered at the end. Still, readers will enjoy the ride, and Rory is a sympathetic character, even if most others remain fairly stock. Due to graphic violence, this book is better suited to high school collections. Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA - Nina Anikeeva
This book is simply astonishing. Brian's vivid description of human emotions draws readers into the story, and after a few (cleverly named) chapters, it starts to feel as if readers are being hunted down by a serial killer along with the characters. It is appropriately labeled for fourteen and up, due to the language and violence. This is a highly recommended book, and with the cliffhanger at the end, this reviewer is impatiently waiting for the sequel. 5Q, 4P. Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Rory Miller has just barely survived an attempt on her life. Her attacker, serial killer Steven Nell, is on the loose, so Rory, her father, and her sister must enter a witness-protection program. As the family begins a new life in the vacation town of Jupiter Landing, it appears as if this place could provide the fresh start they all need. Rory and Darcy have been at odds for years. They meet a group of popular teens and party on the beach, hike, and surf. Just as the Millers start to feel at home in their new town, one of their friends goes missing. Rory wonders if this is just a coincidence or if it has something to do with Steven Nell, and she notices that things are amiss in Jupiter Landing. One of the local guys lurks around where ever she goes. Then other people start disappearing, but Rory is the only person who notices. In an interesting ending, Shadowlands leaves readers surprised and eager for the next installment in the trilogy. Teens who like chick lit and bit of a mystery will enjoy this one.—Shannon Seglin, formerly at Patrick Henry Library, Vienna, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Rory's life is turned upside down when she is attacked by a serial killer who has been posing as a math teacher at her school. The FBI informs the family that over the years, Mr. Nell has murdered 14 other girls and always escaped. He is even able to overcome the alarm system the FBI has rigged at Rory's house to leave a rose and a threatening message on Rory's bed. Quickly, the family is sent from New Jersey down the coast to a Southern resort island town. Along the way, Rory has a vivid nightmare that she, her father, her sister and the attacker are all killed violently. Life in Juniper Landing is partly delicious and partly frightening. It's full of gorgeous boys and girls who quickly make the acquaintance of Rory and her sister, Darcy, but there is no cell service or Internet, isolating them. The juxtaposition of reality against the dream world mirrors the alternation between Rory's account of events and short sections in which the killer describes his thoughts. These passages combine with the peculiarity of the town, its weather and a populace that is gradually disappearing to provide the ample goose bumps and chills required for the genre; it's suspenseful all the way up to its final, disappointing reveal. Suspend disbelief and it's a fun ride. (Horror. 11-16)

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Product Details

Publication date:
Shadowlands Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kieran Scott writes under the pseudonym Kate Brian. She is the author of over two dozen teen novels, including the bestselling Private and Privilege series and The Princess and the Pauper, which was an ALA Quick Pick. Kieran has also written numerous books under her own name, including the He's So/She's So and I Was a Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogies, the first novel of which was nominated as a YALSA Teens Top Ten. Kieran lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young sons.

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