Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Published by: Skyscape on October 1, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
âMy plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.â
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.
Oh my god, you guys!!! I did not expect this book to be so amazing. I bought this book completely on a whim. I never do that. I saw an ad for it on my Kindle screensaver, thought “That’s kind of a cool cover,” and bought it. Well, Sanctum blew me away.
I think I’m going to burst if I don’t mention the romance right away, because it was incredible. I didn’t expect a great romance from a paranormal story. Usually when I want a great romance, I look towards contemporaries. But Sanctum has it all: great plot, great world building, and an insanely delicious and jaw-dropping romance. Honestly, the romance does start off a little fast, but I seriously did not care at all. Because Malachi—oh-so-sexy Malachi—is the sweetest, sexiest, most badass of all book boyfriends.
The deep voids of his eyes were surrounded by thick, black lashes and full of confidence and threat. It was as if he’d already assessed my weaknesses and ticked off all the possible ways to kill me, so now he could relax and be friendly. Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 77
“I never said I didn’t want you to touch me! That is exactly the problem. Every time you put your hands on me, I don’t want you to let go.” Malachi, Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 294
“You can be selfish. It makes me feel wanted. And I…” He chuckled softly. “I want you to want me.” Malachi, Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 353
Malachi is sweet, selfless, tender, but also the hot Captain of the Guard that can kill guys with his bare hands. He’s deep and thoughtful, but without being corny or cheesy. So many of the scenes with Malachi—especially towards the end—had me giggling and squealing like a crazy, love-struck girl!
Okay, I’ll attempt to pull myself together and talk about Lela. Lela was a fantastic main character, and extremely likeable (most of the time). She’s strong, sensitive, damaged, and also kicks some ass. I loved her dedication to Nadia. It was just so… admirable. At times it made me feel bad, because I seriously wondered if I would go through all that for one of my friends. I mean, we’d all like to think we would, but if it comes down to it, would we actually give up eternal happiness to travel through hell (with no guarantee that we could go back)? I really think this makes Lela one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever read about.
But the thing I loved most about Lela was how she held her own. She wasn’t a poor, pathetic, wimpy character that needed rescuing. Lela was strong, stubborn, and determined. Sure, sometimes she was a little foolish, or maybe a little too self-sacrificing, but I still loved how independent she was. She makes some incredibly difficult choices that had me sitting there in awe.
Sanctum is one of those books that will have you highlighting every other line. It is riddled with deep, thought-provoking messages about life, death, loss, and love. So many passages forced me to just stop and think for a minute. I swear, you guys, this shit is deep.
They’re so absorbed in their own sadness that they can’t see past the darkness. Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 90
She once told me that everybody carried their secret savages beneath their skin, and some people just covered them better than others. Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 174
I think some people like the disease better [than the cure]. It’s more familiar, and they don’t want to give it up, even once they know they can be healed of it. Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 191
“Mercy is not a right. Mercy is a gift from one to another. It can’t be earned.” Sanctum by Sarah Fine, Page 368
I kind of expected Sanctum to be good, just because of the high ratings, but I don’t think I expected it to be this good. Sanctum was so imaginative, dark, scary, and provocative. It has a deliciously swoony romance that will bring you to your knees, and is riddled with tough decisions and sacrifices. Book 2: bring it on. (Seriously, I want it now, please.)