Thursday, August 29, 2013


Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)Book Review:  Sanctum

Author:  Sarah Fine
Published:  October 2012
Series:  Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Genre:  YA Paranormal

The Setting - Taken from Goodreads
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 Two Cents
Okay you guys.  Truth or dare time...and lucky for you I'm choosing truth (because I've done some seriously stupid things on dares).  I read the first chapter of Sanctum close to a year ago and set it down.  The first chapter turned me off something fierce!  In the first few pages Lela, and her soon to be best friend Nadia, encounter (or indulge in) everything I just don't want to read about; drugs, swearing, potential rape and smoking (more drugs).  It wasn't very glamorous.  And a lot of swearing doesn't sit well with me...well most of the time.  Swearing has to be done right people!  But over the past year, Sanctum has been receiving stellar reviews.  So I decided patience was in order, and I made it far past the first chapter this time.  And realized what a huge mistake I made a year ago...  Sanctum is AMAZE balls.  The world Fine has created is vivid and dark, and she even manages to weave a deeper meaning into an YA book.  I didn't think symbolism existed in this genre.  But Sarah Fine has produced a truly thought provoking book.  But all seriousness aside, if you can make it through the first chapter Sanctum will take you on a wild ride.  Lela and Malachi will endear themselves to you because of their courage and background.  And the romance between the two?  Well that is my only beef with this book.  We have a tiny bit of an insta-romance, but nowhere near as bad as Twilight (and Fine manages to develop their relationship before things get a little "heated" between Lela and Malachi).  I need to warn you that this book has some heavy themes in it.  The swearing really dies down after the 2nd chapter but in addition there is definitely some "adult themes" in this book.  If you can't already tell, I loved Sanctum, 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I scored big time and have an arc of the second book in my clutches...I'll definitely let you know if it's as good as the first!       

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