Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review: Hereafter by Kate Brian

Title: Hereafter
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Rating: 3/5

This is the second book in the Shadowlands Trilogy. To see the review of the first book, ‘Shadowlands’ click here.

Ever since being attacked by infamous serial killer, Steven Nell, Rory Miller’s life has changed. But everything is about to be changed yet again, when she realizes that her new home, in Juniper Landing, is more than it appears. There’s a secret that everybody knows except for Rory and it’s related to the deaths of the civilians who live in Juniper Landing and the fog that covers the island. There can only be one explanation, an explanation that will change Rory’s life again. This heroine is in for an eerie mystery that has to do with the people of Juniper Landing, and she will stop at nothing to figure out the answer.

It was interesting reading about Rory. She’s confident and outgoing – an enormous change from how she acted in the previous book of this series. It was enthralling to read about her experiences and how she reacted to them because of the enormous difference in how she would  have dealt with them before.

Some things I didn’t like about this book would be that it wasn’t as adventurous or suspenseful as I would have liked it to be. Instead, this book is more methodical, or formulated. It can be good because it makes keeping track of all the events is a lot easier. But it can also be a bad thing because the book loses the real-life quality that I wanted it to have. In ‘Shadowlands’, Rory is scared out of her mind, which was represented in the way the book was written – it made the story seem real. I can’t say the same for ‘Hereafter’.

But there was another reason that this book let me down. ‘Hereafter’ just didn’t pack the same punch as ‘Shadowlands’. At times, I felt as if I could just skip the next few pages and not miss any information. Basically, this book dragged, and that significantly lowered it’s ranking in my eyes.

On the other hand, this book did have some nice parts where Rory was finally piecing together the truth of her new home. It’s at these parts where this book truly shines and is very captivating.

Overall, ‘Hereafter’ did have its ups and downs, and in then end, I feel that this book is a bit above average. It isn’t the best book I’ve read, but it is one that I did enjoy reading. I recommend this book to people ages 12+ and to those who like reading mystery or young adult novels. If you are interested in reading this book, it would be more enjoyable if you read the first book of the series beforehand.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Review: Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Title: Shadowlands
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Pages: 328
Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Thriller
Rating: 4/5

Rory Miller was never the type of girl you remembered. Sure, she was a genius, but compared to her popular, witty sister Darcy, Rory was insignificant. Everything changed, though, when she was attacked by a serial killer, the infamous Steven Nell. Rory survived and the serial killer escaped. Now there’s nothing Rory and her family can do but enter the witness protection program and move far, far away in hopes of evading Nell.

Starting in a new town isn’t easy, but eventually Rory and Darcy begin to like their new life at beautiful Juniper Landing. With a bunch of friends who have their back, the two girls are now used to their new life. But when one of their friends goes missing, is it just a coincidence or is Steven Nell back?

Rory was a great character to read about. She’s bookish, a bit nerdy and not the most famous girl around, which is refreshing because there are so many books where the hero/heroine is the most popular person around. She also isn’t too stuck up in her old ways of life; she’s ready to fit in and forget her past, which is an admirable quality.

I loved reading about Rory. Seeing how she was dealing with the incident with Steven Nell showed a side of this heroine that I immediately liked. But the best part about her, was that her emotions didn’t seem artificial. Having to read about emotions that don’t seem realistic makes the story seem boring, a problem I didn’t find in this book.

One thing that I honestly didn’t expect is how much I liked this book. And this isn’t because I had low expectations for it. It’s because this book had a great plot. Every single detail was placed specifically so that the suspense was drawn out. You could literally taste the mixture of emotions on the tip of your tongue as you read the problems Rory was facing.

I had only one problem with this book, and that would be the conclusion. The beginning and middle were perfect, and I was beginning to wonder how Kate Brian was going to close out the book. And then out of nowhere there’s this huge plot change. Now I’m fine with plot changes, but the reason that made this one different from the rest was that there was no explanation for what was occurring. Considering the fact that the plot change made the conclusion very confusing, it wasn’t a great way to end the book.

Overall though, this book easily became one of the better ones I’ve read recently. Filled with intricate plot twists, an intense mystery, and the looming horror of a serial killer approaching, Shadowlands is a great book to read.

Join Rory and her newfound friends on an adventure in the book Shadowlands by Kate Brian. If you aren’t a fan of blood and gore, this probably isn’t a book you want to read. I recommend this book to people ages 12+ and to lovers of mystery, thrillers. and young adult books. Don’t miss the second book of this series Hereafter. 
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