Sanctum by Sarah Fine
Book One of the Guards of the Shadowlands series
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children's/Amazon Children's Publishing
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Public Library
Summary (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.
What I Liked:
It is SO easy to review books I love. And seriously, I loved this book. I haven't rated a new book with 5 stars in a long time! Nor have I found a new favorite in a long time! This book is definitely a new favorite. There are books that you enjoy, that you really like, or maybe even love, but then, there are those that you absolutely love and know it's one of your favorites.
Well. That's this book. It's no secret that I love fantasy books. I believe this book is considered fantasy, and perhaps paranormal. The world that Fine creates outside of the current, modern-day world is fascinating. Th setting is amazing, and it feels like it could be a real place! I got a feel of its dank, suffocating nature within the first pages of Lela being in the city. The setting is... wow.
The characters are even more amazing. Lela is a fantastic heroine - tough, spunky, and hardened. She is hurt immensely from her past, but she works through her problems as the book goes along. That was something I did not expect. YA heroines rarely have cruel backgrounds, and yet Lela has had a difficult past. Her past makes her strong, and ultimately keeps her alive.
Malachi... oh, Malachi. That guy is TERRIFIC. I can't even begin to express how much I truly like him. He is the Captain of the Guards (hot guy signal number one), and he handles his power with ease and grace (hot guy signal number two), even though he is young (hot guy signal number three). He has a haunted past - and I am NOT kidding when I say haunted (hot guy signal number four). He's a geniunely good guy though (hot guy signal number five). And, well, he's HOT. Physically. Trust me.
The plot of this story is pretty straightforward at first: get Nadia out. But there are so many bumps and twists along the way! I did see some coming, but then others, especially the end, I did not see coming. And while I'm there, the ending is a good one. A little different, but good.
NO LOVE TRIANGLE! EVERYONE, REJOICE! This probably couldn't be one of my favorite books if it had a love triangle. But it doesn't! And I now have a new favorite book! Bliss :D
(And if anyone wanted to know; I waited three days before writing this review - just so the book would sink in, and I could truly assess the book.)
What I Did Not Like:
NOTHING. There was nothing that I did not like about this book. Or at least, that I can think of right now. Don't judge me!
Would I Recommend It:
YES! And believe me, I mean that. It's been so long since I regarded a book as one of my FAVORITES, and thus making the series one of my favorite series. But one thing is for sure: I can't wait to read Fractured!
5 stars. I am so happy that I found a new book to love. It's not very day I give a book 5 stars, or call it one of my favorites. It's been too long! I really hope other readers will take a chance with this one.