My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: July 24th, 2018
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 superpowered 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. -Synopsis from Goodreads.
“We might be foolish. We even be going to our deaths. But at least we were doing it together.”
Sanctuary was such a wild ride and I loved every minute of it. Space Prison? Check! Superhuman child criminals? Check! Conspiracy, Corruption, and cool dystopian setting? You got it, babe! What about a terrifying unknown presence stalking the people on the station? Don’t worry this book has you there too!
I learned about this book back in January and immediately threw it on my Most-Anticipated of 2018 list. I’ve been really down for more and more sci-fi lately and this had a mix of dystopian with it (which is always good times in my eyes), so I was fairly confident going in that this was going to be my kind of book. I am happy to report – I was right on the money with this one.
We start off on some futuristic prison that is set in space – the reason being that they have some of the most dangerous criminal superpowered kids on the station and they don’t want them anywhere near Earth – that’s pretty damn intense! I loved the setting – it felt very isolated and I could almost imagine how sterile most of it would be and just gave me this overall unfriendly feeling. We are introduced to our protagonist Kenzie very early on and learn that she is one of the younger guards on the ship, that happens to be run by both her parents. The story does as good job at taking the time to let us get to know the character, the setting and the general politics of the situation. I thought that was really important because it could have gotten confusing really fast once things really took off. I had zero problems following the story because Lix took that time at the start.
Things get moving when there is a prison break-out attempt and Kenzie is taken hostage by the kids. Things start to get crazy from there on out and it’s a very fast ride after that. One thing I freaking loved is that this book seemed like we were going to hit the dreaded insta-love category almost immediately – We really don’t! Yes, two teens are attracted to each other and clinging to each other but it’s mentioned more than once that they are likely having intense feelings for each other because of the life and death situation they are being put under and they acknowledge that they don’t have a clue who the other one really is and you will not hear any undying love speeches in this one. It felt much more authentic this way.
I’m wary to say too much about this story because I feel like you should read it and let it unfold in all its fun glory. I should also say that if you are someone who is really hesitant about the sci-fi genre, don’t be. This book is VERY accessible. There is no crazy jargon – you won’t be lost. It’s straight forward in that sense. It would be great for people who don’t have an extensive background in reading sci-books. I ate it right up.
Overall, I would highly recommend picking this one up and the author is Canadian (that always makes me happy to see). The book is intense, rather than straight up scary and there is nothing offensive in the book so younger teens would be fine with this one I think.
Thank you to Simon Pulse for sending me advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book, in exchange for an honest review.