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Khanh the Killjoy

Shadowlands (Shadowlands (Hyperion))

Shadowlands - Kate Brian I don't recall being so pissed off at a book than I have after finishing this one. I apologize in advance for any profanity.I don't mean the type of anger that comes with a character's actions or as a reaction to an author killing off a beloved character (Or in some cases, half the cast. Did you really have to kill so many? I'm looking at you, J.K. Rowling). I'm talking about a complete and absolute cop out. A plot with so many holes in it, filled with unexplained areas of suspense that kept me hanging on despite all the dislike of the characters, my skepticism for the mystery, all the little bits and pieces in the plot that just kept getting stranger and stranger...just so I can FINISH the damn book and get some answers.And what did I get?M. Night fucking Shyamalan is what I got. I am so pissed off at the conclusion that I'm barely coherent right now.But let's get to the beginning. Yet again, I am suckered into this book with two magical words: Witness Protection. Once again, I am disappointed, but this is by far the worst portrayal of the Witness Protection program I've ever read. Whereas the other books were somewhat realistic with the secrecy and the identity changing, this feels like the author just threw the word around as an thinly veiled excuse to plop down the endangered family into a cool seaside town.Younger daughter Rory is the potential target for a super-intelligent serial killer who wants to make her h is 15th target. Agent Messenger, the Worst FBI Agent Ever, decides to put them under Witness Protection.Since they're in sooooooooooooo much danger, let's see, we'll have to make sure that they:1. Keep their names. Just change the last names, yeah.2. Get a flashy, cool black SUV that attracts attention from everyone they see.3. Drive themselves to their new destination.4. Hide out in an awesome seaside resort"We passed everything from a bakery to a bathing-suit shop to a corner stand selling sunglasses. It actually reminded me of Ocean City, where we rented a house for a week every August. Definitely a vacation destination..."...with a super cute house on the beach..."a beautiful white house with blue shutters, a huge front porch, and a white picket fence. A weeping willow hung over the sidewalk, and the garden was bursting with orange daylilies and purple coneflowers. Behind the house, the ocean stretched out toward the distant horizon. The water was a brilliant aqua near the sandy shore and deepened to navy blue beyond the breakers."God, why can't a serial killer come after me, too, so I could get in on this whole Witness Protection shit.The girls, Rory and Darcy, don't seem to be doing the best job at staying under the radar. Despite the super serial killer coming after them, they still manage to meet sooooooooo many hot guys and gals, go to beach and house parties every single damn night, go windbreaking by day, etc. Oh, yeah, and Rory randomly has flashes of the terrifying serial killer coming after them. Still, they party. Every. Night. There's more about relationships and partying and having fun then there is suspense.Out of all the characters, I found Darcy, as annoying and grating and flighty as she is, to be the best character. Our main character, Rory, is just dull. Darcy, at least, has some backbone and an explanation as to why she is so prickly towards her sister. I ended up feeling considerably more sympathetic towards her than Rory, who is supposed to be the one in danger.“Oh, yeah, I heard. And thanks so much for your pity,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks, cutting lines through her carefully applied makeup. “That’s just what every girl wants. To hear the love of her life begging her younger, dorkier sister to be with him and hear her say no to spare her feelings. Thanks so much, Rory. And I believe all this happened after you spent an entire afternoon making out with him? I definitely remember him saying something about that.”A huge, wet ball was choking off my air supply. “You guys were…you were already broken up.”“Oh, we were already broken up!” She threw her hands up. “Wow! Thanks so much for giving our two-year relationship eight hours to grow cold.”Ouch. Yes, that would definitely scar a girl. Despite all this, she is a good sister to Rory, shielding her from their father's anger, and encouraging Rory to be more social when all Rory wants to do is wallow in misery and guilt.Further on in the book, people disappear, and her own family can't recall ever having met them or seen them. She makes a half-hearted attempt at getting answers, and then she goes out and parties some more. For someone who's supposedly so plain, bookish, and a absolutely doormat, (unlike her social butterfly of a sister) Rory sure is inexplicably popular in her new destination. There are so many strange things going on meanwhile, though, and we start to question Rory's voice as a narrator. I start to question her sanity and her reliability, so despite the faults of the plot, I just wanted to hang on til the bitter end so I could get an explanation.I DIDN'T.I'm still so very angry at this. The ending wasn't an ending. There was no tying together of plot lines, no covering of plot holes, no reasonable explanation of what was going on. And the very last page...my god. I said it once and I will say it again. It was a cop out. I was fleeced. Cheated. M. Night Shyamalan-ed. Please, please, please do not waste your time with this train wreck of a mess.