Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands #1)
by Sarah Fine
Published October 16th 2012
by Marshall Cavendish Children's/Amazon Children'
“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 ThoughtsThis book was certainly unexpected. I am undoubtedly a huge fan of Sarah Fine. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at an event last November and she is one of the most intelligent woman I have ever met. The way she is able to weave those smarts into books in something to be admired. Mrs. Fine is also a child psychologist and she definitely hits hard from certain emotional angles. When I first began Sanctum I thought I was getting a story about a creepy underworld. I have a habit of not reading the blurbs since they often lead me astray. It is that in a sense but so much more intense and involved.
Sanctum follows the troubled Lela to the gates of hell....literally. Her best friend and the only person who has ever made her feel like she was worth a damn was suffering and ending up taking her own life. Nadia the in the world and Lela is able to see her. She once stood at those very same suicide gates herself before she was brought back from the brink of death. No lela will stop at nothing to save her friend, even if it means condemning herself.
My favorite part of this book was some of the internal struggles that the characters had to endure. They learned that what they wanted wouldn't bring them happiness. Sometimes it is what you need that sets you free. In a world where anything you want is imaginable yet unsatisfying at the same time, this seems to be the only way to set your soul free.
Of course there is a bad boy hunk name Malachi. I adored him from the start. Lela was also an awesome characters. I really loved her wit and smart mouth. There was a gang of times though when I wanted to shake her and say," Forget the stupid Nadia. She is not worth this nonsense!" Alas, that would have made for a pretty lame plot line. The evil that the guards must face is also a pretty interesting entity.
I am so curious to see what happens next in this series and will listening to my audio as soon as I can! If you like books that are on the darker side this would be a perfect read.