A week ago, 17-year-old Lela Santos’ 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.
©2012 Sarah Fine (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I started reading this book before knowing anything about it so I was surprised when the story went from her regular school life to falling off a cliff and dying very early on in the story.
I generally like books/movies with strong female characters so this had promise. The main character Lela started out as physically and emotionally strong in the beginning, became wimpy, foolish and lovestruck towards the middle and deteriorated into a weak Disney princess at the end. She was so self-absorbed thinking everything was about her and constantly apologizing. Get over yourself - the world does not revolve around you. Her character started out as a 10 and ended up as a 2.
The supporting character who commits suicide, Nadia starts out interesting but ends up like a boring zombie. I had no interest whether she stayed in purgatory forever or not.
I would have liked the characters to be less cookie-cutter and more internally conflicted. The good guys are all good, the bad guys are all bad - there is nothing complex about them. The most interesting characters have a bit of both (think Breaking Bad).
Aside from the teenage melodrama and angst, the concept of the underworld was very interesting and the description of the houses, the people and how things worked were fascinating. The story line was exciting and moved quickly.
I was a little confused at the end of the book - like why the characters ended up where they did with that particular job. I like stories being wrapped up so that was good but I definitely had a moment of "Wait. What?" It seems like the finale was crow-barred.
I loved this book! It was so thorough and well written and it makes you beg for more!
The narrator was very good.
How she never gave up no matter what she faced.
The part where they went through the building. Without giving it away it scared me.
It did make me feel a lot of emotions.
I cannot wait for more from this author.
"Welcome to Suicide City..."
There’s a lot to like about Sanctum, not least of all the complex characters whose motivations we get to examine based on their passed experiences and how they cope with stress, abuse and the temptation of an 'easy' out. As main characters Lela and Malachi were so easy to relate to, and their chemistry simmers through the pages. This is also the first time I’ve read about a Latina heroine, not that her ethnicity makes a huge difference on plot and character within the story, but it made a change.I wasn’t a big fan of Nadia, as I couldn’t connect with her, but I did manage to feel compassion for her.
Sarah Fine does a wonderful job of explaining how severe depression can blind people like Nadia from the good things in their lives, so yes, I would definitely recommend this book to friends and actually have done so. One friend says she'd give it full stars, but the other wasn't as enamoured and said it was an ok read and would give it a three, personally I think my judgement's best ;)
In my opinion, the author’s background in psychology makes for some thought-provoking moments as the story progresses. Especially interesting is the conclusion to Lela’s quest to save Nadia, it’s a strong message to carry to anyone who has ever convinced themselves they are solely responsible for other peoples’ feelings and actions.
I loved the fast pace that took me by the hand and rushed me around the hellish suicide gate and into a city of desolate souls who are preyed upon by monsters. The story is dark, gritty and compelling. I did have to push aside my scepticism about Lela’s physical strength and fighting abilities against some of her stronger opponents, to enjoy the scraps that she manages to get inot and out of in the city, but once I suspended my disbelief I couldn't stop listening.
Amy McFadden’s done a great job on the narration and I enjoyed the various voices she used, but it was actually as the monsters I thought she excelled. There was just a wonderful creepy tone to the characters, which brought the whole setting to life.
It took a little over a day for me to listen to the whole story, because once I'd started I found myself pressing play at any spare moment I found.
The ending was a cliffhanger for the sequel, but just before that we get a very satisfying conclusion to the main part of the plot. So I'd suggest this book can even be read as a standalone. The sequel will pick up on a new story/mission that began at the end of Sanctum, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for that next instalment.
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