The Sanctuary by Sara Elizabeth Santana is the second book in the Awakened duology. It was published by Oftomes in January.
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Zombies
My rating: ★★★★✩
If you haven’t read The Awakened and plan on doing so, then I strongly advise you not to read my review as it contain spoiler especially for the first book!
In The Awakened, Zoey and her neighbour Ash travel across the United States to find shelter from the Awakened, a new kind of zombies destroying everything. They come across an underground group of people who call themselves Sekhmet and find out that those people, directed by Dr. Razi Cylon, are the origin of the Awakened epidemy. They are the ones who created them. And Dr. Cylon want to repopulate the Earth with stronger people, and make Zoey a mother. Zoey and Ash manage to escape the dangerous compound and find shelter in Sanctuary, but it seems they can’t be safe anywhere, especially when patrols start turning up dead, and a wave of Awakened attacks Sanctuary.
I am usually not a huge fan of zombie stories as they tend to freak me out (too gory) but I have to say, I really enjoyed The Awakened, so when I saw that the sequel was released, I had to pick it up as well. The Sanctuary picked up a while after the events of the first book, after Zoey and Ash have been at Sanctuary for a few weeks. Zoey is sharing a room with a Sanctuary-born girl named Kaya, and doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with Ash at first because of the rules of the place. However, when they do see each other, we see how their relationship has evolved, and I really loved those moments. It’s just really wonderful to read. I feel like Zoey and Ash have a relationship different from that of other YA novels, and I really enjoyed seeing them together (until the ending when my heart was broken into a million tiny pieces even though I somehow expected something of the sort to happen… But that’s another subject, we are not there yet).
Anyway, as I was saying, I really enjoy the evolution of Ash and Zoey’s relationship through the duology.
I also really liked the new characters introduced in this book, especially Kaya and Astrid. It was also really great to meet again other characters from the previous books, especially Bert, and the people Liam had met at Hoover in The Survivor (which is the companion novella to this series).
I have to say, I find this story really unique, and it kind of made me into an emotional mess because of all the crap the characters had to go through, but it is also a really wonderful piece of work. I find the world-building extremely fascinating (even though it is a quite scary world!) And I think I might have liked The Sanctuary even more than The Awakened!
The ending was something of a heartbreak but it also really made sense at the end of the story and I can’t complain about that.
This book will most likely break your heart, but I definitely recommend it if you liked The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure by James Dashner, and the New World trilogy by Jennifer Wilson!