Title: Santum Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #1 Author: Sarah Fine Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children’s/Amazon Children’s Publishing Date Published: October 16, 2012 Buy: Amazon
“My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple.”
A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s 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.
This book has reduced me to a total fangirl, even though it has been a few weeks since I’ve read it. How do I talk about a book that has totally blown my mind. All the pieces of my poor brain are scattered. I am a zombie.
So. Umm. This book happens to be flawless. It has excellent world building (that’s saying something, I don’t focus on that stuff most of the time). The author described the Shadowlands so well I had no problem what so ever visualizing them. I think one of the better things about the setting is the author doesn’t use hell as a setting she uses another place that doesn’t tie to any specific religion. That way there is no discrimination. It annoys me how in so many books the world building on hell and heaven is based on what the Bible says yet everyone believes in a heaven and hell and every belief has one, then why focus on how it is viewed in one religion but not the others? I was glad when this was not the case in this book.
The characters. HOW DO I DO THIS? HOW DO I EXPLAIN HOW GREAT THE CHARACTERS WERE? Somethings cannot be put into words. Lela is such an interesting character. She loves her friend so much. “By my second day at Warwick High School, if you’d told me I would choose to go to hell for its queen bee, I might have believed you.”
In so many books, friends seem like props, something to convey the humanity of a character but they don’t drive the story. They don’t serve a lot of purpose except someone to confide in perhaps or giving the main character something to worry about.
Their friendship is the driving force of this story. Lela went to “hell” for her friend because she didn’t think Lela deserved that. (of course she isn’t crazy enough to actually kill herself for her friend, she died by accident) Malachi is one of the best things that ever happened to me. OMG. For 4 weeks I’ve been fangirling over him. I will continue to do so for a while because characters like him are so DAMN rare. I’ve read the ending over and over again like a 100 times because of Malachi. He is your bad ass killer who isn’t a jerk face. He doesn’t stop being a jerk because he fell in love because he ISN’T one. He has had terrible things happened to him and becoming the leader of the guard didn’t made him numb. What Lela did was make him feel alive again (yes I see how cliched that sounds, you are going to need to read the book to appreciate Malachi’s character). “After a few more seconds, he released his grip and smiled in an amiable, I-could-kill-you-with-one-hand sort of way.
I don't have anything more to say.. just just go and read the book okay?