Author: Sarah Fine
eBook: 433 pages
Pub. Date: Oct. 16, 2012
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing
Check it out on: Goodreads / Amazon /
Barnes & Noble
“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.
On my first day at Warwick High School, if you'd told me I would choose to go to hell for any of the students, let alone Warwick's queen bee, I would have laughed. Or maybe I would have stabbed you with a ballpoint pen (it was kind of a rough day).
I can sum up this book in one word: Unexpected.
In what way? Well, I didn't see myself loving the book. I didn't see myself actually reading it now that I think about it. So thank you Ashely @ Nose Graze for introducing me to Sanctum. I would have easily disregarded it if I hadn't read her review first (Check it out here).
So Sanctum, which shall now and forever be known as the book that almost got away (or I almost didn't read), was... wow, it was good. Like really good. I was hanging onto the book even after it ended, wondering if I should read it again. I didn't, but just know that I really wanted to. I decided to take a minute and replay the events that played throughout the book... and to think of Malachi a little more. :)
This is another 'Underworld' book, where suicide victims end up in this twisted version of Hell. Now, putting it that way, I know it sounds... well, it sounds wrong, but the entire premises of the book is solely on Lela's mission to save her best friend. So think of it as another dimension. It's the world of the dead in a very mythological way, nothing to do with religion. I promise. The world-building is compelling but not difficult to understand. Plus the characters... oh the characters.
Lela was probably the most persistent character I have read since Katniss from The Hunger Games. She's tough, super observant (overly attentive), and ready to kick some ass. I totally loved her witty attitude and the fact that she would still continue to fight even though she was like half-dead and bleeding all over the place. Plus, she was 1000% loyal to her suicidal friend and I almost cried at how much she went through just to save Nadia (who was really starting to get on my nerves). I don't know how this girl did it, but wow. Someone needs to give her a medal or two... or three or four.
Malachi, on the other hand...
Mr. Darcy in the Sanctum! Dark, brooding, and completely misunderstood *dreamy sigh*. Lela and him were the perfect match. It took a while for the romance to progress, but wow was it worth it. And, unlike many male YA characters, Malachi was actually very sentimental and not entirely invincible. I could spot his flaws just as easily as I could spot Lela's and Nadia's, but that's the best part of the book. Sanctum had incredibly believable, and totally unique, characters who easily made me laugh and cry. Malachi overall.
Story-wise, Sanctum blew me away. Nadia kills herself and Lela decides to save her skinny ass, and that's all her intention was: Save Nadia, get out. Unfortunately, Lela runs headfirst into a full blown rebellion. There are those inside Sanctum who want out, the Mazikin, and it's Malachi's job to keep them in. Lela wasn't planning on getting captured, falling in love, or even falling into the trap. In the end, she sacrificed everything and everyone for her best friend. I didn't whether to cry or... actually, just cry. Yeah, there wasn't much of an option here. *sniffles* It's a twist, no doubt about it. I had absolutely no idea how things would turn out, I just knew things weren't looking so good for anyone. But don't worry! Everything turns out... um... well, that I'll keep a secret. It's a great ending though.
Overall, if you ever get the chance to read this one DO SO!! I highly recommend it. The characters are amazing, the story itself will leave you gasping at just every turn of the page. Best part (apart from everything else) is that, even though there's a second book coming out, Sanctum can be read alone. That's not stopping me from getting the next book when it comes out. :)
So I was bored and I decided to make a playlist for Sanctum. Hope you like!
Demons by Imagine Dragon- This fits Lela's dark thoughts. She's haunted and she feels dirty, but she wants to be with Malachi.
Miracle by Shinedown- Ah, Malachi's miracle, which would be Lela :) <3
"You are the miracle in me." That sounds so like him!
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne- Both Nadia and Lela's song. They are both strong characters, but even strong people break down. Especially Nadia. Gosh that girl was a mess.
Somewhere I Belong by Linkin Park- Lela! And Malachi... and everyone else. Thing about this book, no one felt like the belonged.
The Road I'm On by 3 Doors Down- Once again, this is for Lela and Malachi and everyone else. But I'm dedicating this one to Malachi. This is when he meets Lela and he feels her pain... even though he's completely suspicious of her.
The Only Exception by Paramore- For Lela, who was abused and beaten and broken, but she didn't let that get in the way. So here's for Lela and Malachi together.
So what do you think?