Shadowlands was such an alluring, thrilling and damn right cryptic novel.
The story consumed me; right from the very beginning I was hooked but It’s not until I finished and dissected the story that I did find it quite unrealistic. There was so much going on through the plot that it left me thinking far too much, I was constantly guessing what would be coming next.
"It wasn't the way he usually did things, but he could adjust. He could adapt. That was the mark of a highly developed human being."
The story was told from two very unique perspectives. The first was from the POV from Rory our main character, the majority of the story is told from her side helping us to understand her as a person, as a sister and as a daughter. The next was from the POV from Steven Nell, the serial killer that tried to attack Rory at the start of the book. Every now and then we had enigmatic one page chapters told in third person adding to the suspense of the book.
Character development was quite slow and I was 50/50 over the Miller family and here is why. When we are first introduced to them after the traumatic incident that leaves them to uproot their life, we see that there are clearly some issues, issues that are still yet to be resolved and that they've harboured for years. We have a father who has failed to bring up his two girls after their mother died, hiding away into himself we see he had clearly shut down and blocked everything out. Then we have Darcy, Darcy is the typical 'look at me, look at me' kind of girl. When the attack happens on her younger sister she is more bothered about not being able to go to her friend's graduation party and finds it more of an inconvenience to stay home just to be "protected". Lastly our main character Rory, Rory has just been attacked, yet her actions are simple, simple in the way is that it appears she doesn't seem to be affected by what happened to her unless it is physically staring at her in the face.
The years of guilt and the shame for shutting each other out of their lives is finally coming to the surface. They have all dealt with the issue of their mother dying from cancer very differently. Rory, just like her father had cocooned herself and focused on her school academics where Darcy tries the 'get over it and move on' approach focusing more on her social life of friends and parties.
Dad nodded and looked away. "Do you think we could do that?" he asked after a moment. "Do you think we could try? For her?"
Over the time, the now Thayer family still have some issues but as they move into the Witness Protection Programme we see then that they're all trying to bring the family together, their father even more so. It's not a quick transition but it is there, slowly chipping away the bad feelings they've all kept inside.
Juniper Landing from the get go seemed like a strange place, there is such suspense again in the not knowing part. We know of no geographical location just the fact that it is a holiday town. The local kids seem very prominent around the island, as if they have more authority over any adults/guests. Rory instantly feels out of place, with the stares she receives and the fact that they're all paying attention to her rather than her gorgeous sister for one.
Every one of them watched my approach as if I were some kind of prophet. As if I were going to start glowing from within and spout the meaning of life.
The development of the plot was a very cat and mouse game. At first we're dealing with a serial killer, having the family running away, the next we have Rory looking for clues and trying to figure out some unexplainable things that are happening on Juniper Landing and then lastly Rory is running away again from what she believes may be hallucinations from PTSD something she suffered with after he mother died. It just doesn't feel as if there is a smooth area in the plot it's all bumpy.
Overall I definitely felt my feelings got the best of me and I thought better of this book, but I will continue the series after such a heavy bomb was planted right at the end.
The covers are beautiful, it was one of the main reasons why I wanted to pick up the book. The only things weird about it is that the main character is Rory who is blonde and her sister Darcy is a brunette and the girls on the cover appear to be back to front, with Darcy on the front and Rory placed on the back, also the girls didn't look how I expected them to especially Rory.