Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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.
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Only from Audible
|Listening Length||10 hours and 41 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 16, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #181,487 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3,561 in Fantasy for Teens
#3,842 in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Action & Adventure
Top reviews from the United States
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Problem is: Lela doesnâ€™t belong there. The city wonâ€™t sustain her, which puts her at risk of dyingâ€“again.
Another problem: Creepy creatures called Mazikin claim broken souls and are preparing to bust out of the city. The fights are fierce between the Mazikin and the Guards, and Lela proves to be a badass even before any formal fight training.
Yet another problem: Lela is falling in love with Malachi, the leader of the Guards. And while the romantic tension between them is hotter than Hades itself, a love affair in this setting isnâ€™t likely to last. Plus, Lela is still healing from traumas experienced in her mortal life, which means she doesnâ€™t easily trust people even in the afterlife.
One of the things I liked most about Sanctum was the development of the charactersâ€™ emotional journeys through pain and into healing. They all suffered so severely in life they decided to commit suicide, and that decision landed them in a place that continues their torment. Still, as difficult as it is, in life and this afterlife, some are able to overcome the worst experiences and find purpose in life and even love. I wonâ€™t give away what happens when Lela finds Nadia, but I will say I wasnâ€™t entirely surprised at Nadiaâ€™s response to the rescue effort. The point that we all heal at our own pace is an important one to remember (in real life) when trying to help people with mental health issues.
I think maybe having those high expectations wasn't necessarily a good thing, because, it took me awhile to get into this, longer than I thought it would. I think I was expecting to be able to jump right into it and be instantly in love and that just didn't happen for me and I had to make myself push through the first few chapters and telling myself that I just knew it was going to get better and to hang in there.
It didn't have anything to do with the writing per se just the fact that this book has a darker feel to it than most I have been reading lately. It definitely isn't a light read. It deals with some very hard subject matters right off the bat, suicide, depression, abuse (both physical and sexual), drug addiction, so yeah, pretty heavy stuff, not to mention The Gates and Shadowlands. They are most definitely not a sunshine and rainbows type of place but instead stuff that nightmares are made of. A place so dark and desolate and so haunting that it is in fact referred to as hell itself. A place that only the lost and desperate go to after they die. A place no one really wants to visit and certainly does not want to spend the rest of eternity.
Although the Shadowlands are in fact beautifully dark, Fine did manage to bring the place to life with her rick attention to detail and to the citizens that lived there. You could picture the bleakness, smell the rancid scent of desolation and despair that hung in the air. You could feel the hopelessness surrounding the city and the only bright spot, the only saving grace in a world so miserable, was Ana and Malachi. Two bright stars in an otherwise nightmarish place.
Malachi was truly good, selfless and honorable and everything a great hero should be. I have to say, I loved him from the moment we meet him.
Lela too was a good person. Selfless, kind and caring and incredibly strong and brave, especially considering all that had happened to her over the course of her life. I loved watching her grow and open up even when it didn't seem like she ever would. It was nice and added a really sweet element to the story that it wouldn't of had otherwise. She and Malachi made a great team and I was happy to see them working together and growing together as much as they did.
Fine does not shirk away from some really tough topics and somehow even though some of them are really sensitive and might not even be things that you believe in or think are possible, she makes it all work and come together beautifully. I have to say, I may have had a hard time getting into this from the beginning but that certainly didn't last. Before I knew it I was completely engrossed in the story and just couldn't get enough.
I know now why everyone is raving about this read, about this series, because it truly is a stand out series. It truly is something everyone should try because they are going to love it, just as much as I did.
Top reviews from other countries
But then the tale takes off. Lela had attempted suicide in her past. This had taken her via the Suicide Gates to a terrible city, a region of Hell where all suicides ended up. It recurs in her dreams. Then her world falls apart as her friend Nadia commits suicide. Not only does Lela know where Nadia's soul will be but she finds herself having visions of her friend in the City where Guards patrol and kill seemingly innocent civilians. The only way to help her is to kill herself and find her own way back to the Suicide Gates.
I really enjoyed this book and have already pre-ordered the sequel