Sanctum by Sarah Fine
Publication date: October 16th 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children’s/Amazon Children’s Publishing
Number of pages: 433
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands (1#)
“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.
If I had known what an amzing book Sanctum was going to be, I would have picked it up sooner. I haven’t really stopped thinking about it even though I have since begun another book.
I could probably talk about Sanctum for hours on end but I am going to try and keep myself from doing that because that would be a rather long review. From the minute I started Sanctum I started kicking myself for not reading it sooner, because it became apparent from very early on that I was going to enjoy it. Seriously, Santcum probably has an amazing prologue, if you aren’t curious about Sanctum after the prologue – I would really like to know your secret. Then I wouldn’t have to want to read so many books.
Unfortunately I can not give Sanctum a full five star rating because I didn’t enjoy the first half of the book as much as the second. I was quite unsure of what was happening for a while. Plus there was no description of what a Mazakin is for the very beginning, so that only added to the confusion. Luckily that seemed to vanish once I learned a bit more about them and the city.
The characters were pretty cool. The main character Lela was really strong and someone I loved reading about. She radiated toughness and to pair her with another tough character – Malachi – makes for awesome.
The whole concept of Sanctum was something different. I don’t think I can really describe what I mean without giving spoilers out, so I am going to have to pass on elaborating. But all the characters in Sanctum were well crafted, so Lela and Malachi can’t take all the credit.
Sanctum had the best ending. Now I REALLY want to read the second book (I think it is called Fractured?). I am always one for a cliffhanger but I just thought since Sanctum wrapped everything up but still with a little bit of a twist, that I really enjoyed it.
I can actually associate Sanctum with Defiance by C. J. Redwine and Above by Leah Bobet, so if you like those two (or even just one) you should definitely check this out. Sanctum kind of reminded me of the dystopia genre, so if you like dystopian books, all the more reason to read this. Would I recommend Sanctum? Yes.
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Goodreads author bio:
For extra information about the Guards of the Shadowlands series, including Malachi’s personal journal entries, or to ask a question: http://guardsoftheshadowlands.tumblr….
I also write with Walter Jury under the name S.E. Fine.