by Sarah Fine
Series: Guards of the Shadowlands #2
Published by Skyscape Release date : October 29th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: The Author, Won | Format: ARC
Purchase at: Amazon (Affiliate Link) • Audible • The Book Depository
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In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.
Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela's authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.
As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?
Sanctum, the first book in the Guards of the Shadowlands series, is one of my all time favorites. I blabbed to everyone about it– trying to get them to read it. Most have and I will admit I was screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!!” to each and every one of them. I was beside myself when I won Fractured in the Goodreads- First Reads Giveaway and it took an astronomical amount of self-control to wait this long to read it. I was nervous though, because Fractured had big shoes to fill. But like the saying goes, “if the shoe fits…”
In Sanctum, we journeyed with Lela into the depths of the Dark City in search for Nadia, her best friend who had committed suicide. We see a brave, selfless girl, vying to stop at nothing to save her and even sacrificing her afterlife. In this sad, depressing and pretty terrifying world, we learn there is more to the Dark City, its residents and other creatures that inhibit the space. Also, Lela finds the one thing she never thought she would; love. Still, after everything she discovers, she sacrifices herself again to save Malachi.
Here in Fractured, we find Lela on her own turf. Now the Captain of the Guard, she– along with a few other Guards, are given the mission to stop the Mazikin from stealing the souls of humans, after their breach into the human realm. More is at stake for the Guards and Lela must balance her “normal” life, along with guiding her team and trying to stay one step ahead of the Mazikin. After more than one shocking and devastating turn of events, Lela finds herself being tested at every turn.
For starters; Sarah is one remarkable writer. I loved this world she has created. She has beautiful prose and all the quotes that make you think, amaze me. I love books that challenge you, your beliefs and make you think. While I don’t know if this is her intention or I am in need of a psychologist (HA!) is anyones guess. In any case, Sarah is one of my favorite authors and on my auto buy list.
I felt like there was so much happening yet nothing at all happening, at the same time. Aside from the search for the Mazikin nest and a few action/fighting scenes, I felt like there was more happening with Lela, her Guards and Malachi. I felt like the drama that ensued and the devastating twists were necessary though, so there was more growth in every character. I thought there was nothing left for Lela and Malachi to be put through. I was wrong.
Lela is one of the bravest, strongest and most selfless protagonists to date. We knew this from what she went through and sacrificed but there is so much more to her. She is thrown some nasty curve balls, testing her resolve and strength at almost every turn. Yet, she stays strong, puts on a brave face and continues her mission. I just wanted to hug her, although I would never do such a thing for fear she would kick me in the face. She also has really stepped up in her position as Captain. Bossy, demanding and no-nonsense. She is good at interrogations, that’s for sure. As for Malachi… Seeing him outside the Dark City was pretty interesting. There is a lot that has changed since he was alive and a lot of adjustments he had to make. There were many, many things that he said and did that made me want to kick him in his baseballs, yet I understood a lot of his reasonings. I didn’t’ like it but I got it. His one fear was constantly nagging at him and thrown in his face. After he did something unforgettable, he withdrew from Lela. Was it right? No, probably not. But like I said, he had his reasons.
I loved how we got to get more information on the other places or “afterlife”. Jim, one of Lela’s new Guards, was from the Blinding City. Where all those who are “insatiably greedy” wind up. Henry is from the Wasteland. A place where the… not so nice people go. I really enjoyed both their characters and although we don’t get *that* much detail into their past, it was enough to get a feel for their character(s) and to spark my curiosity. We also see a blooming friendship between Lela and Tegan. Also, with the circle of friends that Nadia had while she was alive. This was all pretty high schoolish, but I loved it all the same.
However this may seem, I did miss the Dark City and a few of its residents (Ana). The looming Dark Tower. The other Guards. I feel like there is so much more to learn about and SEE. As I mentioned, there was a lot of twists, revelations and some pretty devastating things happened that tore my heart out. AND one of THE MOST UPSETTING CLIFF HANGERS. EVER. I was at the point where I wasn’t sure what direction the book was going to go and I was prepared for anything but damn Sarah, you really brought out the big guns, huh?!
My Peeve- I can’t even get into it without spoilers. So…
Overall- I loooooved it. One of the best books I have read this year. The perfect sequel. These books make me feel ALL the emotions. I really can’t express how much I love these books.. And after that ending or last 3 chapters, really…… *screams*