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Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1)

Sanctum (Guards of the Shadowlands, #1) - Sarah Fine BookNook — Young Adult book reviewsOh my god, you guys!!! I did not expect this book to be so amazing. I bought this book completely on a whim. I never do that. I saw an ad for it on my Kindle screensaver, thought "That's kind of a cool cover," and bought it. Well, Sanctum blew me away.I think I'm going to burst if I don't mention the romance right away, because it was incredible. I didn't expect a great romance from a paranormal story. Usually when I want a great romance, I look towards contemporaries. But Sanctum has it all: great plot, great world building, and an insanely delicious and jaw-dropping romance. Honestly, the romance does start off a little fast, but I seriously did not care at all. Because Malachi—oh-so-sexy Malachi—is the sweetest, sexiest, most badass of all book boyfriends.The deep voids of his eyes were surrounded by thick, black lashes and full of confidence and threat. It was as if he'd already assessed my weaknesses and ticked off all the possible ways to kill me, so now he could relax and be friendly."I never said I didn't want you to touch me! That is exactly the problem. Every time you put your hands on me, I don't want you to let go."You can be selfish. It makes me feel wanted. And I..." He chuckled softly. "I want you to want me."Malachi is sweet, selfless, tender, but also the hot Captain of the Guard that can kill guys with his bare hands. He's deep and thoughtful, but without being corny or cheesy. So many of the scenes with Malachi—especially towards the end—had me giggling and squealing like a crazy, love-struck girl!Okay, I'll attempt to pull myself together and talk about Lela. Lela was a fantastic main character, and extremely likeable (most of the time). She's strong, sensitive, damaged, and also kicks some ass. I loved her dedication to Nadia. It was just so... admirable. At times it made me feel bad, because I seriously wondered if I would go through all that for one of my friends. I mean, we'd all like to think we would, but if it comes down to it, would we actually give up eternal happiness to travel through hell (with no guarantee that we could go back)? I really think this makes Lela one of the most selfless characters I've ever read about.But the thing I loved most about Lela was how she held her own. She wasn't a poor, pathetic, wimpy character that needed rescuing. Lela was strong, stubborn, and determined. Sure, sometimes she was a little foolish, or maybe a little too self-sacrificing, but I still loved how independent she was. She makes some incredibly difficult choices that had me sitting there in awe.Sanctum is one of those books that will have you highlighting every other line. It is riddled with deep, thought-provoking messages about life, death, loss, and love. So many passages forced me to just stop and think for a minute. I swear, you guys, this shit is deep.They're so absorbed in their own sadness that they can't see past the darkness.She once told me that everybody carried their secret savages beneath their skin, and some people just covered them better than others.I think some people like the disease better [than the cure]. It's more familiar, and they don't want to give it up, even once they know they can be healed of it."Mercy is not a right. Mercy is a gift from one to another. It can't be earned."I kind of expected Sanctum to be good, just because of the high ratings, but I don't think I expected it to be this good. Sanctum was so imaginative, dark, scary, and provocative. It has a deliciously swoony romance that will bring you to your knees, and is riddled with tough decisions and sacrifices. Book 2: bring it on. (Seriously, I want it now, please.)

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