I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by AltWit Press on September 30, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Source: the Author
Buy the Book • Goodreads
In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what’s left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be.Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?ABOUT THE AUTHORIn simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Sanctuary is like one giant mash-up of every dystopian story trope out there. It’s got aliens, zombies, and religion. And to be perfectly honest, I tend to stop reading books that get too religious because I am not Christian. Thankfully, this one walked that fine line between having religious aspects without coming across as preachy.
The aliens (aka Shisa) came, created the zombies, and this was all prophesied in the bible. We have a pastor, and a couple religious characters but from the start the religious aspect is on the lighter side. World’s gone to hell, people are dying, and the pastor wants to pray? This does not bug me at all, and it certainly makes a lot of sense! With only a few characters being religious and without it being harped on, this isn’t something that’s over done. Well, until the end where we learn more about how one character can walk through the aliens without fear. Then we’re getting a bit preachy.
The science fiction aspects are surprisingly light for a novel that includes aliens, though. We are briefly introduced to the Shisa, but they seem like feral beasts instead of intelligent aliens. It doesn’t help the lack of a sci-fi feeling considering we’re thrown into the middle of it, right before the attacks. The Shisa have been here for a while, damaged our sun, and polluted our water. It’s only now that they’re starting to attack. And their attacks happen to turn people into zombies. Essentially. (Well, zombie-like creatures that can spread the infection and you can’t kill them.)
The characters were interesting, though not as well-developed as I might have liked to see. Then again, this is a short book so it’s hardly a surprise that the characters haven’t been fully developed yet. There was some I didn’t like (okay, just the one, because Brad is a using and manipulative jerk) but overall, the characters were interesting, and Jennie was amazing in how she stepped up and took such good care of her younger brother, Mickey. I have a hard time seeing Hugh as a high school teacher who is working on his PhD, mainly because while I have had teachers working on their PhD it was in university.
Overall though, this was an interesting story. It touches a lot more on the religious aspects at the very end (which, yeah, is kind of a turn off for someone who doesn’t like those aspects) but for a lot of people I think this would still be totally okay. Don’t let the religious bits scare you away from this one. The zombie-like humans are creepy, and learning a bit more about them at the end just makes it even more horrifying. And I am curious about what the Shisa are doing and why. Hopefully there’s a sequel to this one that can answer that question for me.
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