by Sarah Fine
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Published by Amazon Children's Publishing Release date : October 16 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Library | Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link)
“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."
When I finish a book, one of three things happen. I love it. I hate it. Or its somewhere in between. Either way, I can usually take all my thoughts and feelings about it and write a semi coherent review… Most of the time, anyway. But every so often a book comes along that renders me speechless. Whether it’s just THAT GOOD or THAT BAD. Happen to you? Where nothing you say will justify it’s awesomeness. Every time you think you have your jumbled thoughts in order and written them out, you realize they aren’t good enough and what you typed does NOTHING to express such emotions.. That’s where I find myself with Sanctum.
I’ve been working on this review for at least a two weeks now. I am finding it extremely difficult to adequately describe how GOOD this book is. I am seriously at a loss. Most of this review is all my jumbled thoughts mixed together.. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING was just…just.. AWESOME. I can literally describe this book in two words;
This Hell is one creepy, scary, sad and yet, beautiful place. The world building is remarkable. Everything was explained and described in such vivid detail (without info dump), that I absorbed in awe. There is a lot to take in with this world but never once was I overwhelmed. The way that Fine connected Lela to this place was interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. My heart was often pounding due to the non stop action. It is gory at times- but not stomach turning. You can feel the sadness and desperation of all the residents. And the creepy ass “creatures” that inhibit the bodies made me shudder. And The TOWER. Oooh the tower.
Lela is BAD.ASS.Oh I loved this girl. She is strong. Selfless. Witty. Funny. Her dedication and love for Nadia was so emotionally overwhelming. She’s had a hard life, having lived through quite a few foster homes and one in particular scarring her psyche. She gave up her afterlife, walked through the suicide gates, just to find Nadia and bring her out. Without knowing for sure WHAT she was getting into. Of course, nothing was as easy as she thought which was frustrating at times. You’re going into HELL girl, nothing is going to be easy.. After discovering she is on a time limit; her desperation takes on new heights. But not ONCE did she give up.
“It’s dangerous to fall in love in Hell”
There is a romance. It’s sweet, butterfly inducing, toe curling full of “aww’s” kind of romance. But it doesn’t over shadow the plot. At first, I was kinda iffy on the whole thing.. Because, well.. they’re in HELL. He is the captain on the Guards–who by the way, are massive mean looking mofos. You know he has issues because well, HE’S IN HELL. He’s sweet, charming and protective BUT scary and ruthless and very good at his job. Once Malachi’s story is told.. *feels*
The ending left us at a small cliffy. There is still so much to learn about, well, pretty much EVERYTHING. And the set up for book two was PERFECT.
I’ve left out a lot. I know I have. Again, jumbled mess BUT there is just SO MUCH to take in. You really have dive in and experience this one for yourself.
Overall~ I’ll say it again, BAD.ASS. One of my FAVORITES of this year and ALL TIME. I can not WAIT for the next book.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.