Author: Caryn Lix
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Page Count: 480
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.
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.
Sanctuary by Caryn Lix is a young adult science fiction fantasy that also crosses over into the land of horror. The story centers around teenage Kenzie who has been raised in a world controlled by corporations and followed in her parents footsteps training to work for Omnistellar. Just having been made a junior guard Kenzie is working under her mother’s command on a space station known as Sanctuary.
Sanctuary is run by a powerful AI and built in order to become a prison for young teenagers with superpowers that were deemed too dangerous to stay on Earth. When what seems to be a normal drill for the guards takes place Kenzie gets the feeling there is more to the simulation this time but it isn’t until after her father leaves for Earth with a few of the other guards that it becomes clear the prisoners have found a way out of their cells but superhuman teens are the least of the worries on Sanctuary.
Alright, folks that normally follow my reviews are probably getting whiplash seeing a 5 star rating on an almost 500 page book, normally they would see me complaining about the pacing and the length being too much. Thankfully though Sanctuary is one of those rare gems that used every bit of the page count and I would have been ecstatic for more.
The world that Caryn Lix has built is just complex enough to make the story extremely interesting but she built it by peppering the story with details over the course of the book so it never bogged down the action. I was completely engaged in this one from the very beginning and impressed with the pace of the book all throughout.
Along with the wonderful world building the characters all seemed to be well fleshed out along the way. As more and more happens in the story I really felt myself caring about what was to come their way and on the edge of my seat waiting to see how it would turn out with little twists coming all throughout. In the end I found this one to be quite unique and well written and would definitely recommend checking it out!
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Caryn Lix has been writing since she was a teenager and delved deep into science fiction, fantasy, and the uncanny while working on her Masters in English literature. Caryn writes novels for teens and anyone else who likes a bit of the bizarre to mess up their day. When not writing, Caryn spends her time obsessively consuming other people’s stories, plotting travel adventures, and exploring artistic endeavors. She lives with her husband and a horde of surly and entitled animals in southern Alberta.