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Genre: Thriller, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic
Publication Date: September 27,2013
“Left Behind for the Hunger Games Generation”
In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?
Sanctuary begins at the start of an alien apocalypse. The visitors whomever they may be haven't moved in six weeks and while the ships hovering over the Earth are troublesome for 19 year old Jennie life must go on. That is until the ships open and what emerges is neither man, nor friendly. Now in a race for their lives Jennie, her brother Mickey and a small group of survivors try to find sanctuary in what might be the last safe hold in the city.
Alien invasions mixed with Zombie-ish creatures is an interesting concept to me as I haven't really seen it done that much before. The "Aliens" or Shisa (cross between a lion and a dog, from Japanese mythology) as they would come to be called were as scary as they were unique. I liked that the Author didn't go the route of little green men holding "We come in Peace." signs or something like the Tripods from War of the World. I knew the doors on the ships were bound to open but never expected what appeared so that was a nice surprise.
Another thing I liked about the story was it's incredibly fast paced. I read this book in almost an entire sitting and only stopped because I needed to sleep. Of course this also hindered the story in some ways as the characters weren't really fleshed out as much as I'd of liked and also plot points were rushed.
Lastly, I liked the character Hugh. He was a man with a plan and was the only one to try and find a cure for the infected. Plus he's super swoon worthy so that certainly helped.
Now while I did enjoy Sanctuary I definitely think that the story had room for improvement.
One of my biggest gripes with the story were the characters. I just didn't really connect with any of them. In the beginning I liked Jennie she was independent, had a sense of humor and also seemed like a genuinely nice person. However, during the course of the book as the Infected numbers grew she lost that independent streak and instead turned into little miss Sunday School and I didn't really like that. Also she was deeply stupid at times. I get it your little brother is well, little but c'mon man stop babying him and have him help you already. He's going to see the Horror going on eventually so why not get it over and done with. I absolutely cannot stand when people try to baby kids during Apocalyptic situations. Toddlers maybe to an extent but the kid is 5 for Christ sakes. So much bad stuff could be avoided if people and in this case Jennie would just stop trying to shield him from everything and start using him as an asset albeit a tiny one. Oh and don't even get me started on her attitude towards Brad the hot younger brother to Hugh. She obviously missed the memo of Douchebag alert stay away. Speaking of Brad, What was the point of his character exactly? Just to prove not everyone was as good as those in the congregation? Or was it just to give us someone to hate cause if so, then the Author succeeded. Nothing redeemable about that character at all.
Another thing I didn't really like about Sanctuary was the way it rushed through certain plot points while dragging out others. We get plenty of back story on Brad, Hugh and the girl Clarrisa but come the big revelation with the character Phillip towards the end and it is glossed over with just a firm handshake and a pat on the back. It was so frustrating. Also I would've liked to know what happened with all the other survivors met along the way and why more hadn't found their way to the base. Surely they'd be sending out convoys to pick people up once the group from the Church mentioned those left behind. Unless of course they were to self absorbed in their own survival and safety to care. Which in all honesty is probably the case.
Lastly, I didn't like the ending and it's all brought back to Jennie. She went from being all gung ho about Brad to being completely in lust with Hugh and this is in the span of just days not even weeks. I'm starting to think she has some deep co-dependency issues or something. Also like I mentioned above I wanted to see Phillip more and the Scientists at the base talking excitedly about him pulling through. I mean this is the first real hope they have at helping those infected and it's just glossed over so Jennie can go back to thinking and worrying about Hugh. It was just so irritating even though deep down I did actually want them together.
Sanctuary isn't a perfect book by any means but in the end I did enjoy it and ultimately that is what matters. I know I'll be looking forward to the sequel whenever it releases. If you like shows like Jericho and Survivors or books like Logan Rutherford's The Visitors or Undead by Kirsty McKay than this book is definitely for you. With that being said, I'll be rating Sanctuary by Pauline Creeden ★★★.
*Copy reviewed provided by Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.
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Author Pauline Creeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been a #1 Bestseller in Christian Fantasy and been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. Her debut novel, Sanctuary has already been nominated for two awards in YA Science Fiction.
One of Pauline's short stories has won the CCW Short Story contest. Other short stories have been published in Fear & Trembling Magazine, Obsidian River and Avenir Eclectia. An urban fantasy short will appear in The Book of Sylvari: An Anthology of Elves from Port Yonder Press, and a vampire short will appear in Monsters! from Diminished Media Group.