Kate Brian (aka *Kieran Scott) is the most inconsistent author I have ever come across. Some of her novels are fantastic (the Privilege series springs to mind) and others are just plain awful (Fake Boyfriend for instance.) Still, I loved both of her previous series' enough that I had to give the Shadowlands trilogy a chance.
Boy, was I let down.
Without getting into the problems with the first two novels, I have to say that Endless is a less than satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. The plot of the story is fairly simple: Someone at Jumiper Landing is condeming innocent souls to Hell and it is up to Rory and the gang to figure out who. The stakes are raised when Rory's own father is sent to Hell and Tristan (the love of Rory's life) seems to be the culprit. Rory is determined to save her father even if it means entering the gates of Hell herself.
I have a lot of problems with this novel, not the least of which is Rory herself. I have never encountered such a spoiled and stupid so-called heroin in my life. Even after being framed herself, she doesn't consider for one minute that Tristan could also be the victim of a frame-up, even though it is completely obvious to the reader that he is. She just rushes headlong into her investigation with absolute certainty that he is the culprit, not even listening when some of her friends try to convince her that Tristan couldn't do such a thing. Seems to me that these friends love Tristan more than she does.
Then there is Rory's sister, Darcy. When she discovers the truth about the island, and about her father's fate, she barely reacts at all. And when she is told she is a Lifer now, due to her unnatural death and selfless act, she's just like "Okay, cool." Although to be fair, she is absolutely thrilled that she and Rory will never be separated again. The novel sets us up to believe that Darcy will become an integral part of the group, even giving her a Lifer boyfriend (Fisher) but before she can take her vows and accept her bracelet, she too is kidnapped and sent to the Shadowlands. Now Rory is livid: How could Tristan do this to her family?
With Tristan temporarily out of the picture, Rory can barely control her raging hormones. Before Tristan has been gone even a day, she begins an affair with Joaquim. Because it's not a YA trilogy if there isn't a love triangle. Rory plays with the feelings of both Tristan and Joaquim before ultimately choosing the man we all knew she'd choose. How very Bella Swan of her.
The rest of the novel is just as full of shenanigans. The final reveal is a shock, I'll give Brian that much. But even retrospect doesn't make you go "Ooooooh I get it now." Nope. It is just lazy writing without any clues planted along the way that make sense in hindsight. Just a lot of red herrings and misdirects.
All in all, I was very disappointed with this novel. The story had so much potential but it lacked depth. Not only is Rory shallow, but so is the story itself. There are a lot of plot holes and unanswered questions. And I find that unforgivable in a novel. From the writer of Privilege, which was one of the most brilliantly soapy series' I have ever read, I expect so much more.
**I am beginning to suspect that Kate Brian is not just one woman because the inconsistency in her books implies that more than one writer is behind them. And since she works for Alloy, one of the most well known book packaging companies on the market, it would not surprise me in the least if my suspicions are correct. If this is true, then shame on them for deceiving the readers into purchasing novels based on name recognition. That is not a nice way to treat loyal fans.