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Sanctuary

Review

Sanctuary

Fifty years ago, strange alien probes appeared near the Earth and children began developing potentially dangerous superpowers. The space station Sanctuary was built to house these gifted teens --- and some of the most dangerous criminals ever.

"While not one of my personal favorites, I would recommend SANCTUARY to readers looking for something very similar to Pittacus Lore’s books or The Darkest Minds series."

Mackenzie (Kenzie for short) and her family are among the five citizens who live on Sanctuary and have sworn to monitor this prison and protect innocent citizens from its inmates. As a rising guard, Kenzie is familiar with the station’s constant simulated drills to prepare for prisoner escapes but senses that something about the drills has been off lately. Despite the government’s claims that they engineered the tests, Kenzie begins searching for answers on her own. As things aboard Sanctuary become stranger and stranger, Kenzie will have no choice but to come face to face with these criminals and perhaps even collaborate with them in order to survive. Along the way, she will have to question all the principles she has stood for and uncover dirty secrets from the past.

Get ready because Sanctuary is about to become a deathtrap and you’ll never guess what’s coming your way.

I must admit that when I first started this book, it didn’t appeal to me at all. The overall concept of the book seemed unoriginal and predictable like a rehashing of Pittacus Lore’s I AM NUMBER FOUR series, THE DARK INTERCEPT and STORY OF YOUR LIFE. The characters also seemed like robots constantly repeating the mantra that they had to uphold their duty and ensure the prisoners didn’t go out of line. I found Kenzie, who is the same age as me, to be especially unrealistic and annoying since she kept pining for her parents’ affection and pride. But the fast pace kept me going from one cliffhanger to the next wanting to read more.

The side characters also held my interest. I loved that they were mostly from different nationalities and ethnicities and seemed like real people I would want to have as friends. It was touching to see how the side characters were open and caring with outsiders despite some of their horrible pasts, raising the fundamental question: are criminals really worse than those who rigidly follow the law?

While not one of my personal favorites, I would recommend SANCTUARY to readers looking for something very similar to Pittacus Lore’s books or The Darkest Minds series.

Reviewed by Alice D., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

Sanctuary
by Caryn Lix