Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

I love books where you don’t know what’s going to happen. Sanctuary was definitely a book that surprised me in a very good way! If I can finish a book that’s almost 500 pages in a day, I know it’s good!

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for super-powered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

If I can finish a book that’s almost 500 pages in a day, I know it’s good!

Review

I’m normally not a big fan of Science Fiction, but it has been growing on me lately. When I started Sanctuary I went in blind. I read the synopsis when it was announced as a group read, but didn’t know much more than that. I am so glad I picked up this book!

It starts off with the main character, Kenzie, reading manga. That had me sold from the start. I love when characters are reading or are a bit “geeky” like I am. Kenzie is still thinking about some news she got from her parents and how that it going to change her life. At the moment, Kenzie has been busy training on the ship.

That’s when an alarm sounds and things start to get interesting. Sanctuary is action packed from the start. Sanctuary is a ship that can almost do everything on its own. They need humans to do certain things, but other than that no worries. That’s why the ship gives them random drills. See how they handle certain situations. This drill doesn’t feel right though. Even when it’s all good, Kenzie has a bad feeling.

What if her world isn’t as perfect as she thought?

There are prisoners with abilities on this ship (Sanctuary is a prison) and Kenzie knows that they’re dangerous. When Kenzie is taken hostage when the prisoners try and break out her whole world turns upside down. I felt bad for Kenzie though. Her training kicks in of course, but when her mother (also her commanding officer) chooses protocol over Kenzie she starts thinking.

I understand her mother, but I felt so bad for Kenzie. I don’t know how I would feel if my mother chose a ship over me, but that’s not where things end. There is another threat on this ship they never expected. Cary Lix keeps us on the edge of our seat and just when I think things will calm down something else gets in their way.

Kenzie’s whole view of the rules and protocols changes when she realizes the prisoners are real people and not as bad as they are made to be. What if her world isn’t as perfect as she thought? This is made harder when she realizes her parents hid things from her. Another thing I loved is that the author didn’t make the prisoners trying to escape the main threat. Things got a whole lot more complicated and interesting by the threat none of them ever expected.

I loved the characters in this book, the pacing of everything and the author’s writing style. I couldn’t put Sanctuary down and when it was over it left me wanting more. Even though it ends leaving us with questions, I am mostly happy with the ending.

I have been thinking about my rating for this book and because of certain aspects it would’ve been a four star rating for me, but because I couldn’t put it down and was so invested with the story, it got five in the end. My only issues were the insta-love between Kenzie and a character. While I understand it can happen in certain situations it felt a bit out of place right from the start. Also, I really would’ve liked to have learned more about the prisoners. We got a glimpse of them, so I am hoping we get more in the next book.

If you love science fiction or want to give it a go, but don’t know where to start, I definitely recommend Sanctuary!

Love what you read? Want to read more reviews by Candyce? Check her out below!

TheBookDutchesses.com

Two Dutchies blogging about books, tv shows and the fangirl life

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

A Book Dutchesses Review

I have to say that I’m a big fan of romance in a book, but it’s refreshing at times to read a book with a strong friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. This Savage Song is a good example of that type of book. This is a really unique read and I’m mad at myself for taking so long to get to it!

About The Book

This Savage Song is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology. There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Cover

I have the UK paperbacks and I love how they look!! So simple yet very beautiful. I think I like them better than the other edition.

“She cracked a smile. “So what’s your poison?”
He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. “Life.”
“Ah,” she said ruefully. “That’ll kill you.”

Plot

A lot of people say this book is slow, but I have to disagree. The pace is pretty slow to start, but I think we needed it to truly understand this world. It starts off with Kate getting herself kicked out of another boarding school and trying to get to stay home. August, who isn’t human, wants to be as human as possible and gets to go to high school. That is where their worlds combine. Both are interested in the other. August knows who Kate is, because he has to keep an eye on her. Things get tricky when a murder is staged at school. In this world, August and Kate’s family are on opposite sides of the war. They live in a world with actual monsters. Kate’s family runs her side of town. People buy their safety. August is a monster. He is a Suani. He was brought to life by tragedy. If he plays his violin he can take someone’s soul if they have sinned. This is such an unique story. First of all, I love that there wasn’t a romantic aspect in the story. A friendship was a breath of fresh air. Not that I don’t like romance, I read enough of them, but it was a nice change.

Most YA books these days have some sort of romantic element. When they are both set up at school, I love how they have to either learn to trust each other or work against each other. It was nice to see them choose to help the other, even if it may cost them in big ways. The world Schwartz created with their own monsters in a dystopian setting was very unique. There was a lot of action, but also a lot of emotions. Schwab made me care for these characters and wrote in a way that made me not want to put the book down. This story was told from Kate’s and August’s POV and that made the world more real to me. On one side there was a family who cared for each other and Kate’s family, where she was trying her best to be loved and still didn’t get the love she craved. While this book ends without a major cliffhanger, I wanted to pick up the next one immediately. The only thing that would’ve made this book even better is if we got more background on Suani. A monster that rises from tragedy is so interesting. All in all, this is an amazing book that I would highly recommend! This Savage Song was also a book with a few plot twists I did not see coming.

“Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair.
Even if he could never be human.
He wanted the chance to matter.
He wanted to live.”

Characters

Kate is a character that has been to many boarding schools and seems to always cause trouble. At first she really annoyed me. I honestly didn’t think I would grow to care for her, but after reading more I understood why she did what she did. All she wanted was to live at home with her father. Her mother is dead and she just wanted more love and security. I felt bad for her. She just wanted to prove to her father she belonged. He just didn’t care. No matter what she did. Kate is a lot stronger than she thinks and in the end she learned she needs to fight for what she believes in. Even though she isn’t sure what that is. Even being close with August is difficult, because she is supposed to see him as a monster and letting anyone in is hard for her. Yet she is able to let herself be vulnerable for him and that was an amazing thing to see.

August is a character that I was curious about from the first pages I read about him. A monster who wishes nothing more than to be human. Who doesn’t want to take a life to be able to feed, even if that person isn’t the nicest one around. August wants to belong to his family. Just existing after tragedy struck is still a hard thing for him to believe. He became even sweeter to me when he took the cat home after feeding. I thought that was so cute. He is very much human in the emotional sense. He does what he needs to do in the end to keep Kate safe and I thought he was very big of him. He sacrificed a lot. Another interesting aspect are the markings he gets after not going dark everyday.

Kate’s Dad and Sloan are characters I didn’t like from the start. There was just something about them. I knew he wasn’t a nice person, but to not even show love to your own daughter is just wrong.

August’s family all seemed sweet except for Leo. There is just something about him that didn’t appeal to me. I guess he embraced being a monster. Ilsa was a character I wish we saw more of. She seemed really interesting. She seemed to live in her own world at times and I am sure she has a darker side we haven’t seen anything about. It seems like she knows more than she lets on.

“Why would you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.”
“You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.”

recensie 5 kroontjes

Why didn’t I start these sooner?!? Have any of you read This Savage Song? What did you think?

TheBookDutchesses.com

The LUX series is one of my favorite series and was my introduction to this amazing author! When I heard about the spin-off that was coming, I was so excited!! The Darkest Star is the first book in this spin-off and thanks to Netgalley I got an ARC to read and review! Keep on reading to see what I thought of this book!

Synopsis

When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.

“That was what I wanted at some point in my life, for someone to look at me like I looked at tacos.”

My Review

I have to start off by saying you can read this book if you haven’t read LUX yet! If you’ve read LUX though, you do read about some familiar characters and you will recognize some events!

The Darkest Star takes place a few years after the Luxen tried taking over Earth. Things are kind of peaceful, but it’s still there’s still a lot of tension between some humans and Luxen. This starts growing when a few people go missing and turn up dead. It’s clear something is going on and I have a feeling we will build up to the main event of this trilogy.

Evie is our main character in this book and she’s more of a laid back and relaxed character. She enjoys sitting around reading, taking pictures and hanging out with friends. Except one night she ends up at a club she wasn’t supposed to be at and meets Luc. There’s an instant connection that neither of them will admit.

My Take

The Darkest Star started out a bit slower for me than I expected. I can understand that though. It’s the first book of a new storyline and things have to build up. Even though it was a bit slower, I did love learning more about Evie and Luc. He was the mysterious one in LUX and knowing we were getting to know him more was one of the reasons I needed this book!

That being said, this book takes off about halway through! There are so many different plot twists that you do not see coming!! I was actually pretty shocked how things turned out! I couldn’t put it down after that and was really sad it’s over and angry I didn’t have the next book!

The Darkest Star is a lot of fun for LUX fans, because some characters we come to love make an appearance in this story! Even though it’s a different story, this world definitely feels the same. I remember Jennifer saying Luke could kick Daemon off his throne, but I have to disagree. I love Luc, but Daemon is still my number one in this world!

I did love learning more about Luc though. In LUX he’s rather arrogant, but this book makes you understand him so much more. He’s even more than that! He’s definitely sweet, sarcastic and just may come in a close second to Daemon!

In a Nutshell

If you’re looking for a new paranormal/fantasy series with great world-building, fun characters, humor, hot aliens and a little romance, The Darkest Star is for you!

“There’s nothing we can do other than live with the promise of tomorrow while knowing it may not come.”

I definitely plan on doing a reread of LUX and this book next year before the release of the second book in this trilogy! Have you read the LUX series or The Darkest Star yet? What did you think? Sound off in the comments!

TheBookDutchesses.com