Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sanctum by Sarah Fine | Book Review

Sanctum by Sarah Fine--My Thoughts

I just read two books in a row that had to do with peoples' souls! Does that trip out anyone else when that happens? Like, you read a book where the main character has a pet elephant and then you pick up the next book on your TBR pile by a completely different author and it ALSO has a main character with a pet elephant? Except with Sanctum and Incarnate, its that the book is focused on all the unknowns about human souls. 

I read this book sort of for work, and I didn't really want to. I put it off for a long time. The description is that the story follows Lela as she dies and descends into hell to try to rescue her best friend who committed suicide. WOW--deep, dark, depressing, questionably immoral.... But ya'll, it's so, so, so much more. And it's so well-written! I didn't want to put it down!

So as I was saying, Lela is a girl who has had the roughest time of it so far in life: abandoned at age four to the state foster system, run through a series of bad/incompetent/abusive foster homes, ends up doing a term at the state juvenile detention center... she finally strikes foster mom gold and makes a best friend. That's page 1. This book is just PACKED with action!

Unfortunately, Lela's new bestie is depressed and commits suicide. To be honest, I almost stopped reading at this point (I think we were still in chapter 1) because whoa--major sad. And Lela knows the horror of the dark city where Nat's soul has been sent. (Can't tell you how she knows-spoiler.) So Lela is all kinds of sad, as she should be, and is out walking late on a stormy night and ends up dying herself. She's been through the wringer and back in life, but in death she gets to go to The Countryside (a very transparent analogy for Heaven). But instead of staying in that beautiful not-sad place she chooses to BREAK INTO Hell to rescues her friend. Who does that kind of thing?! The Guards of the Shadow City are totally confused by her actions too, and they try to kill her (yup; you can die again and again once you're in Hell) but yay the head of the Guards is a human boy (who's totally hot too-bonus factor) who takes an interest in what Lela is doing. I won't spoil it and tell you whether he takes a helpful or hurtful interest in Lela's goal.

I knew going into this that this is the first book of a trilogy and I was prepared--I have a copy of Book 2 ready to go on my Kindle. Because total *literal* cliffhanger ending! I can't wait to get into the rest of the trilogy. I promise you won't see this ending coming!

(Oh, and I'm still on the fence over whether or not it's immoral to read this. Yeah, it kind of plays fast and loose with a lot of ideas about where your soul goes after death, but ya'll-it's fiction. The author isn't being declarative; she's entertaining... and wow is this an entertaining read!)

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