Monday, February 25, 2013

[Review: Sanctum by Sarah Fine]

Author: Sarah Fine
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Pages: 433
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror
Date Published: October 16th, 2012
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing
Format Read: Purchased eBook


“My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.”

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance—hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone—she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t—the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.

My Thoughts:

 Sanctum is one of the most unique and thought provoking books I have read in a long time. I honestly wish that I could write this review riddled with spoilers, just so that I could get all of my thoughts out there, out of my own head. I won't though and the reason why is a clear one. I tend to always be able to tell you what is going to happen at the end of a book by the time I reach the middle of it. It's both a blessing and a curse, but Sanctum kept me guessing what was going to happen till the very last page. And why in hell's name would I want to spoil that magic for you?

Firstly, Sarah Fine is a masterful world builder. What lies beyond the suicide gates is terrifying and yet has an air of also being comforting in some very odd ways. You feel as if you have been dragged through those gates along with the characters and that you are fighting, bleeding, and exploring yourself right alongside them. The thing that is so spectacular about the world which Fine creates is all in the details. Yes, the big flashy parts of the worlds pull you in, but it's the small things that keep you interested! From the habitation of apartments to the tattoos on people’s bodies to the interior of the dark tower. She also references “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and I’m a huge fan of anything that Joss Whedon touches, so well done there!

It’s no secret that the book deals with suicide. It lets you know that right on the flap of the book, but it’s the way that Sarah Fine deals with this seriously heartbreaking issue that makes me want to stand up and cheer. There is a hopefulness to this book, even when things seem so dire, so odd and so sad. It’s the way she describes the world that these people end up in that allows you to hope that no one you know ever has to deal with this and gives you hope for the ones that do. It’s as beautiful and it is bloodthirsty and that’s a hard balance to master and Sarah Fine has done it in spades!

And the characters don’t get me started about the characters. Lela and Malachi will soon (if they already aren’t) be on everyone’s minds. I loved both of their personalities, their strengths and their weaknesses. They seemed real and tangible. Like friends that you wish you could have and defiantly the friends you would want beside you while being behind the suicide gates. I also appreciated that Fine didn’t stray away from her secondary characters. Nadia and Ana were just as well imagined as the main characters. I especially loved Ana’s character. She was a feisty little thing. Plus, the vehicle of the romance actually helped develop the characters well. For the most part it didn’t detract us from the story line and also gave us some much needed brakes from what was actually going on in the plot.

I honestly could keep going on and on about this book, but that would mean that you would still be here reading what I have to say about the book, instead of actually going out there and getting your hands on a copy. And that would be truly sad. Go, go now and get your hands on this true gem of a novel. You have no idea how badly I want to get my hands on book two!



Andrea @The Bookish Babes said...

Ohmygoodness! I've started seeing a lot if great reviews for Sanctum, and I have to say that I'm intrigued. The whole premise sounds fantastic and brutal and exciting. I can't wait to read it!
Great review!

Nicole said...

Wow. This book sounds amazing! I know it's typical to say great review, but this review was really really great! I was already intrigued by the summary but the little details about the world building and whats in store regarding feelings and characters have made me really excited! I can't wait to experience this book for myself! Thanks!

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

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