Sanctum by Sarah Fine

April 7th, 2016 Kimberly Review 60 Comments

7th Apr
Sanctum by Sarah Fine
Sanctum
by Sarah Fine
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1
Published by: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Length: 10 hours and 41 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Purchase
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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

2016 Fave ADDICTIVE fantasy YA ROMANCE

Sanctum by Sarah Fine is the first in the Guards of Shadowlands and it rocked my ears. Last year I listened to Sarah Fine’s adult urban fantasy series Servants of Fae and loved them. Blogger friends proclaimed I had to listen/read her YA fantasy and I grabbed Sanctum narrated by Amy McFadden. From the world building to the swoony romance and dark corridors beyond the gate, I easily slipped into this world.

Five Caffeinated reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to Sanctum:

  • Sarah Fine creates vivid imaginative worlds that come to life. In Sanctum, she leads us by the hand along with protagonist Lela Santos’s into the dark, grim world of Suicide City. Beyond the gates, you will meet those condemned to wander the city lost in their own despair, greed and hopelessness. Guards protect the city. These weapon-wielding guards are ruthless and show no remorse. They guard the city walls and contain those who try to create havoc or escape. Their fearless Captain is a human named Malachi and he leads the guards in hopes of earning his freedom.
  • Lela our protagonist is strong, fearless and does not belong within the city walls. She snuck through the gates to save her best friend, Nadia. Nadia committed suicide and has haunted Lela’s dreams. Lela is not your typical young adult heroine. She will not hesitate to kick your ass and although untrained she is surprisingly good. She occasionally smokes, and will curse like a sailor but she is also loyal and tender. I found myself connecting with her and became caught up in her quest. Fine shares Lela’s past with us, and it is sad and dark making the light in her shine all the brighter.
  • Malachi’s story ripped out my heart and I fell hard for him. Grab the tissues because you will need them. He is the leader of the guard but near the end of knowing and soon will be released beyond the gates. His interaction with Lela melted my heart. He is brave, fearless, and has compassion that knows no bounds.
  • Amy McFadden was the perfect narrator for this story. She beautifully captured all that is Lela and Malachi. Her tone is pleasing and perfectly paced allowing me to slip  into the world. She gave each character a unique voice and I loved how it enhanced my experience.
  • Sanctum is a dark story set in a hellish world where hope seems impossible and love improbable. Yet, Sarah Fine manages to write a beautiful romance between two characters whose lives have been shrouded in darkness and despair. It was beautiful, compelling and only left me wanting more. The story was perfectly paced with tension, danger and twists. Secondary characters like the judge only added to the story creating an atmosphere that kept me fully engaged.

Sanctum delivered so many fronts and I am excited to return to this series with Fractured.

Listen to an audio sample: Sanctum

About Sarah Fine

Sarah is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, and the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series. She is the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers: Scan and its sequel Burn (which will be published in 2015). Her first adult urban fantasy romance novel, Marked, will be published in January 2015, with the sequel, Claimed, coming in March 2015. When she is not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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60 Responses to “Sanctum by Sarah Fine”

  1. Kristin

    I think I own this! I will have to traverse the jungle of my Kindle to see if I do and FINALLY read it!!!!! I haven’t read anything by Ms. Fine yet 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I would classify this as purgatory. Fine is really fantastic and bringing the landscape to life and setting the tone for the world. I personally wouldn’t want to spend anytime in Suicide City.

  2. Jenny

    YEAH KIM!!!!! I still think this might be my all time favorite Sarah Fine book. Maybe because it was my first:) I still need to read book three though, I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet. I’m so glad to see you’re off to the best kind of start with this series, I can’t wait to see what you think of the next one!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am anxious to listen to book two. Thanks Jenny. I enjoy her adult books but I am really glad ya’ll pushed me to try her YA books.

  3. Nick

    YESSS, Kim! I’m so happy you read this one and loved it. Malachi is really one of a kind! And Lela is one epic heroine! All of Sarah Fine’s characters are so solid. I can’t wait for you to read more in this series.
    Wonderful review, Kim!

  4. Sarah

    Wow, Lela sounds like a really devoted friend! I love the sound of her as the heroine. Sounds like I need to grab a copy of this book! I am curious about Malachi’s story now too….

    Sarah recently posted: My Top Five Bookish Tweeters
  5. Daniela Ark

    oh I’m so happy you posted this review Kim! I was looking forward to knowing what you thought about Sanctum ! 🙂 Glad to hear you enjoyed it too. I LOVED IT! I just Love Sarah’s writing and world. Best writer of the afterlife I have found so far. I see you liked Servants of Fate too. Marked was a FIVE STARS for me 🙂 I have to finish these two series.

  6. Angela

    Thank you for the wonderful review. I’ll have to check this author out. She is new to me.

  7. Bookworm Brandee

    I think I’m going to head over to Audible and grab this after I finish my comment, Kimberly. 😀 The premise intrigued me, as did your descriptions of Lela and Malachi. But it’s your description of the world – Suicide City – that sealed the deal. And I’ve been meaning to give Ms. Fine a whirl…I’m starting here! Awesome review!

  8. AngelErin

    I just love a strong protagonist! This book looks great and I haven’t read any of Sarah Fine’s books yet. 🙁 I’m glad that you liked the narrator for this as well. I recently started an audiobook (I don’t listen to many) and the narrator was just THE WORST. I ended up having to switch to an ebook instead lol. Great Review! 🙂

    AngelErin recently posted: Insane Genre Challenge Update #4
  9. Katiria Rodriguez

    Amazing Review Kim! I’ve been dying to read a book by Sarah Fine for a long time now I heard amazing raving reviews about her books. And this one looks and sounds absolutely and utterly amazing and fantastic. Which book series do you recommend to read first by Sarah Fine? Thank you for the awesome post Kim

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If YA is your thing, go with this series first. I loved her UF series Servants of Fate as well, it’s adult and quick paced.