Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Sanctum by Sarah Fine

“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
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Holy Moly! It’s been ages and ages and ages since a YA PNR’s  (UF?) left me feeling this pumped. She’s dark and broken and fancies herself damaged, but is also moving passed that. She’s friends and connections and finally sees something more out there for her. ‘Till she loses her someone and finds herself in this twisted version of not-quite-hell, maybe purgatory.

It’s twisted this place: getting all you want but never being happy with whatever that happens to be! It’s twisted this place with these guards shepherding these people so despondent, they’re totally unaware of where they are and or even why they are! Setting of my nightmares, this place where things could only have been worse had it been filled with a Pennywise here, some flying paper monkeys there. But fascinating too with the in’s and out’s of growing buildings and towers that consume those in it!

And while I loved the world she’d found herself in (I was enthralled by it all, in fact) Lena and Malachi and the rest of them were not bad either. She’s kick ass, he’s kicks… hell, they were all kick ass if not a bit deluded over their own importance. With that last minor thing aside, the darkness they each brought with them piqued my interest as they came in to the story on equal footing:

It’s not boy saves girl or girl inspires boy, though things could have gone that way, too. Here he’s broken and dark, but she is too. It’s just that he’s had more time dealing while she’s new to that... and OK so he mentors her and takes her under his wing, (and may be I could have done with out that,) but the closer she got to doing what she was there for, the closer they got to each other! So that the chemistry going on (and there’s no denying the chemistry there,) was a lot like Dimka and his Rose, less the whole forbidden love thing the latter had going for them.

But my favorite things here and note that there were several things in this... Well, the first touches on her being kick ass… but not just kick ass. A couple of moments have her showing vulnerability so that it’s obvious… her being the way she is, well, there’s reason for that. Just think of Chessie or Eve and you’ll see a little of them in her. Another is how she gets called out on being full of it…though not necessarily in those terms and not as harshly. She rides to the rescue only to be told that there’s a time and place for everything and everyone, herself included.

Awesome… and that’s even when the lead characters were behaving like douches!

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