From 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, VAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Brian’s staple milieu—stylish teens living soap opera–worthy lives—gets a supernatural twist in this uneven series opener. When Rory escapes a vicious killer, the FBI assures her they will catch him. In the meantime, she and her family are given new identities and sent to a secret location. They arrive in Juniper Landing, an idyllic vacation island, seemingly without incident, though Rory is troubled by nightmares of the killer murdering them on the road. Rory and her sister, Darcy, join a crew of insouciant, beautiful people who party all the time, but Rory senses something is wrong. People keep disappearing, and while she is sure the killer is responsible, everyone else seems suspiciously unconcerned. Many readers will figure out the paranormal twist long before the reveal, and while Brian builds a strong sense of menace, the abrupt ending leaves most of the interesting questions unanswered. Plot improbabilities, such as the stunning ineptitude of the FBI, and undifferentiated characters hamper what could have been a compelling mystery. Brian’s fans will nevertheless find much of what they’re looking for. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley