Review: Endless – Kate Brian

Review: Endless – Kate BrianEndless by Kate Brian
Published by Hyperion
Published: July 22nd 2014
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Rory Miller didn't just fall in love with Tristan Parrish. She fell in love with the idea of forever. He was the one who told her the truth about her existence in Juniper Landing: that her mortal life is over, and she will now spend eternity on the island, helping others in limbo move on.

But like Juniper Landing, a bright island with dark secrets, Tristan is too good to be true. The mysterious, heartbreakingly beautiful boy Rory thought she knew is responsible for unthinkable evil-sending good souls to the Shadowlands in order to get himself a second chance at life on Earth. He has already claimed Rory's friend Aaron and her own father, but when Tristan sends her sister, Darcy, to the Shadowlands, too, Rory decides to take matters into her own hands. She will do anything to save her family, even if it means going to hell and back.

I really loved the whole concept of The Shadowlands series. Book one blew me away and I really loved book 2. So when book 3 came out I was beyond excited to see how this would all wrap up. The twist and turns in the first book kept me sitting at the end of my seat and I hoped Endless would do. And although it did at times and I think the series wrapped up things nicely, or as nicely as it could, I didn’t love it as much as I hoped.

Endless is really a hard book to review and describe as I don’t want to give anything away for the people that haven’t read the series yet. It does pick up right where the second book, Hereafter, left off. Rory thinks the boy she fell for, Tristan, actually betrayed her and her life is completely upside down. Tristan is on the run and Rory and her friends are trying to find him to get their life back to what it was. Only it may not be so easy. Things keep changing and everything Rory thought she knew is wrong. She’s running out of time and has to decide who to stand by and what matters most to her.

Like I said, I thought Brian wrapped this series up nicely. All three books flowed into each other and the stories entwined and wrapped up at the right places. That is what I liked about the book. It’s usually hard to accomplish this when finishing a series and I think Kate did that. But I also didn’t love how it was done. Rory, a girl I loved in the first book and the second, became annoying to me in the third. Her back and forth between people, her emotions, her actions, everything was so wishy-washy. I just wanted her to make up her mind and stick with it. By the end of the book, I was completely done with her which made me sad. I also found the pacing a little slower than the other two books. It definitely had its moments where I was on the end of my seat and the mystery kept me guessing for the most part (I sadly figured out what was happening pretty early on), but there was just something missing for me.

All in all, I liked Endless and the entire Shadowlands series. It was a unique concept with interesting characters and pretty good writing. It told a story I had never heard and had an air of mystery to it which I liked. It was different and suspenseful at times and kept me wanting to see what happened. If you are looking for something a little different then I say so for it.

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Review: Hereafter – Kate Brian

Review: Hereafter – Kate BrianHereafter by Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #2
Published by Hyperion
Published: June 24th 2014
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Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.

But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again.

I had no idea where Kate Brian was going to take this series after the first book. To be frank, I was worried about it because I wasn’t sure there was anywhere to really go since I found the first book fantastic. That being said I wasn’t going to let my doubts stop me from reading Hereafter and thank goodness. Brian made a believer out of me with her ability to tell a straightforward story and to keep the audience guessing. Because Hereafter was a guessing game for me and I loved every minute of it.

Hereafter picks up almost exactly where Shadowlands has left off. Rory, having just found out the truth about Juniper Landing and the fate of her family, is reeling and trying to put the pieces together. But the more Rory learns about the picturesque island, the more questions she has and the more afraid she is of what’s to become of her family. And when weird things start happening and fingers start pointing Rory has to decide what is really important to her and more importantly, who she can trust.

Like I said, I was worried. After how Shadowlands ended I had no idea where you could go with this story. The mystery was gone, or at least I thought. Brian actually surprised me with where she managed to go with this story and the twists and turns it took. Every time I thought I had it figured out, and I basically thought this about every 3 pages, I would start to question my resolve and doubt everything I thought I knew. By the time I finished this incredibly woven story I don’t think I knew which end was up. The characters were interesting and mysterious and you never really knew whether they were on the up and up or if they were hiding something and I loved that feeling. I rarely get that when I read a book so Hereafter was a nice refreshing change of pace.

I also really liked the ending. I’m not convinced everything is as it seems and if I know Kate Brian at all, it will get worse before it gets better, but I really like how thing splayed out and was revealed. I’m still going back and forth in my head trying to figure out if what I read is the truth or if there is something else that hasn’t been revealed yet.

Having been a fan of Brian’s He’s So/She’s So series written under her other name Kieran Scott, I know that I am in for a doozy when it comes to the final chapter of this amazingly thought out and expressed story. In Juniper Landing, nothing is as it seems and I know Brian will leave us breathless once again. Bravo!

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Review: Shadowlands – Kate Brian

Review: Shadowlands – Kate BrianShadowlands by Kate Brian
Series: Shadowlands #1
Published by Hyperion
Published: January 8, 2013
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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 program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without 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. 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?

Source/Type: Library/Hardcover
Stars: 4.5 of 5

My first thought: Why did I take so long to read this book?! It has been on my list for so long. It was even on my ‘dying to read list’ and I still didn’t get to it. Well, that changed when I became a library convert and was able to check it out. And boy was it ever fantastic. It was everything that I was hoping for. It was well written and kept me guessing and had likable characters. It was all around an excellent book.

Shadowlands is the first book in a trilogy by Kate Brian. It is the story of Rory Miller who is targeted by a serial killer that has been killing girls for years and getting away with it. However, this time, Rory gets away and now Steven Nell is after her. With no choice but to enter the witness protection program, Rory and her family are sent to Juniper Landing where everything seems picture perfect but there is more under the surface than Rory could ever have imagined. Feeling like everyone is watching her all while hiding from a serial killer that may have found her, Rory finds out something that will forever change her and how she lives her life.

Have I mentioned how great this book was? I mean really, really great! Rory was a really likable character even though she was a little dull in her life before Juniper Landing. She was more of a homebody which is okay, but hard to make a character interesting that way. But as soon as she was in the new town things were so different for her and that helped add to her. I also liked the relationship between her and her sister Darcy who couldn’t be more night and day. You could tell that no matter what happened between them that they would have each other’s backs, but they would never be the most bestest of friends because they were so different. But through that difference, there was a connection and I attribute that to Brian’s writing.

Besides the characters the story was awesome. It really kept me guessing the whole time even though I had a feeling I knew where it was going. From one point in the book on I thought I had the whole thing figured out and then a new scene would happen and I would question myself completely. It really was nice to read a book that was able to make me second guess myself over the predictable ones I feel I have been reading. There was enough mystery to keep me intrigued but enough facts to truly believe I knew what would happen.

I know this review is brief and doesn’t give away much but that was on purpose as I don’t want to ruin the mystery and the fun for anyone. Just know that Kate Brian has crafted an interesting series that I have read nothing similar to. It has great characters and a solid plot and you should really not be like me and wait to read it. I’m already excited to get to the second book. Love!

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