In a world torn apart by war, people flee to The Sanctuary for “safety.” What greets them though is a divided society where the High live in splendor, and the Slums are overrun with poverty and filth. The inhabitants aren’t supposed to mingle.
Selena and Rowan can’t help it, though. After a passionate start to their romance, things only go downhill, and years after their initial meeting, life only gets more complicated. Can love prevail and save them from the horrors of The Sanctuary? Or will evil win once and for all?
Amazon has The Sanctuary marked at 288 pages, which seems about right. Once I got into the story line (which actually took me a minute), it moved along splendidly. The plot runs smoothly with enough twists and turns to make you want to keep reading but not so much that I feel like I’m being jostled around.
There are times, though, when the writing feels flat. It’s either not descriptive enough or too descriptive. There’s not really a happy middle ground. I think with a good run through by an editor, this story could be very well-polished and come out a shining star. That being said, I still really, really enjoyed it.
The Sanctuary reminds me a lot of my other favorite dystopian books. Forbidden romance between two people who are on different spectrums of society reminds me of Katniss and Peeta; overbearingly controlled government reminds me of The Giver; the culling process reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games and The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. This book is full of tropes that any dystopian fan will find comforting.
There are a handful of characters throughout the storyline, and most of them remain consistent. Selena and Rowan are clearly the two main, but side characters include Madge and her son Clive, Lucas and his wife Camille, Caleb and Cole, and then the two antagonists Jerome and Troy. Let’s talk about a few of these.
We’ll start with Selena because I really like her. She’s a strong woman that turns into an excellent mother. I haven’t read a lot of dystopian books where the main character actually is old enough to HAVE children. This was a nice change for me, as a mother. LOL. Selene is very devoted to her two boys and would do anything for them– even when she falls for the valiant Rowan. What surprised me the most about Selena was actually the fact that she didn’t change who she was for Rowan. She didn’t stop being a mother. Actually, she tells him time and time again that the boys come first.
Rowan, on the other hand, was not my favorite to start out with! He grew on me, a little, once he stopped being so dang creepy. Sure, it was fine when the two of them first got together. He was sweet and charming. But then they break up due to Caleb’s conception, and he basically follows her around for the next eight (approximately, I have forgotten the exact number) years. Who does that? Stalkers. That’s who.
And then, he makes some really creepy comments about her breasts when she was pregnant, and its all just a little too much. Too strong for me. Now, he stops doing this. Like I said, he grew on me. I actually really like how he stepped up for both of Selena’s boys, even though one of them wasn’t his. Plus, he is her knight in shining armor (no spoilers). I don’t know; Rowan and I have a love-hate relationship.
Not let’s talk about the antagonists, because in the blurb it says “a truly hate-worthy villain,” and let me just say HOT DANG it isn’t wrong. Troy is the main antagonist and I just wanted to KNOCK HIM THE EFF OUT. Like honestly. He’s disgusting; he gives me the heebie jeebies, and I hope I never hear the words “pussy cat” ever again in my life. Ugh. That’s all I’ll say.
As far as plot goes, I have no complaints here! I loved how the story moved, and I really found myself tangled in with the characters as they fought to make it out of this mess in one piece. It kept me reading, that’s for sure.
If you’re a fan of the dystopian genre, I don’t think you’ll regret picking this book up. I’ll be waiting for the next book, that’s for sure.
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