Thursday, March 6, 2014
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.
RATING:4.5 out of 5 Stars
There was so much to love about this. The characters, the storyline, the world-building! Errmerrgerd, this underworld was so well-developed and creepy, I loved it!
And I adored Lela (most of the time) for her badassery and snark. Granted there were a couple instances where her actions made me want to facepalm. Looking back on many of the books I've read, though (especially in the teen genre), that's nothing unusual.
The romance was a big part of the story, which I was okay with, even the cheesy bits. I'm a girl that likes a little bit o' fromage between characters. Personally, I didn't think it was overdone, but maybe that's because Malachi is glorious and could pretty much do no wrong. Not to say he's perfect--he has depth, and he's made mistakes--but he's got flaws in all the right places.
Granted, this story still had a few bumps for me. I really wish some of the grating clichés would have been cut back a bit. For instances, over hearing just the right snippets of a conversation to twist the context and misconstrue the true meaning and making it sound almost diabolical. Or the near insta-love factor, and certain characters' attempts at martyrdom. I mean, I get it, I'd gladly die to save the people I love...but I felt it was a little over-used. There's one particular scene I'm thinking of that took me out of the story a little. I remember thinking, " But, of-freaking-course...".
Honestly though, they're such tiny transgressions when you look at the big picture, this beautiful masterpiece of a novel. It's dark, it's twisted, and be prepared for mature content (suicide, drug abuse, sexual assault). SANCTUM is unique and hauntingly beautiful, and I recommend it to anyone who has a thing for paranormal romance/urban fantasy. Although I haven't read all the teen novels in this genre, I think it's safe to say this is one of the better ones out there. I really, really enjoyed it!