I hope you’re all having a pleasant Sunday. I have spent all morning procrastinating over putting up all of the Christmas decorations. I am kind of looking forward to the cosy feelings once they’re up, but I am seriously struggling with the motivation to actually get them up. I will give myself a kick up the backside and get as much as possible done today though as I will have very little time at any other point.
Thank you to @hodderstoughton for this advanced copy of The Sanctuary by @emma_haughton_writes in return for an honest review. The Sanctuary was published on 24th November 2022 and you can get a copy here.
Zoey has no memory of last night but she knows that something bad happened. The last thing she recalls is being on a night out with friends in New York but when she wakes, she’s not in New York. She is alone, in the desert in a building that is unfamiliar.
She finds herself at The Sanctuary, an alternative to standard rehab and a place where the very wealthy go to try and sort out their lives. She’s been admitted to avoid being charged with a crime but has no idea who has arranged for this and more importantly, who paid the extortionate fees. She does have her demons, and the more time she spends there the more she starts to open up and realise she could benefit from this stay. Until things start to get strange. Very few people have the opportunity to stay at The Sanctuary, even less manage to leave.
General Thoughts 🤔
I started this book 100% intrigued and bought into the concept. I was hooked through the first few chapters as I really wanted to know where Zoey had ended up and why. I thought that the story had so much potential but unfortunately, it didn’t deliver on it in my opinion. It could have been super tense and have lots of twists and turns however after Zoey had realised that The Sanctuary had some dark secrets, everything stayed very “samey” and it didn’t feel thrilling to me anymore.
Unfortunately, the characters were another element of the book that I thought could have been just that next level better. All of the characters at The Sanctuary were there because of some kind of demon they were battling, yet I didn’t feel like I was able to get close enough to any of them to empathise or even dislike. I would have liked for them to have been a bit deeper and for the story to have really leaned into their flaws.
Writing Style ✍️
The book started off strongly and I thought I was going to devour the entire thing. The pacing at the beginning was great and the story caught my attention immediately, however, I don’t think the author was able to maintain this. It’s because of this that I started to feel a bit disinterested and I got to the point where I was reading to finish the book as opposed to reading to find out what was going to happen in the story.
There were some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and they were some of the high parts of the book. Ultimately though, by the time it had got to the big reveal at the end, I thought that I found it predictable and I didn’t get that lovely satisfaction I get when you find out what’s been going on.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I have to admit I’m disappointed that me and this book did not get along as I expected that we would. The concept of the story had the potential to be really great and I was expecting to be thrilled and surprised by lots of twist and turns but unfortunately, the book didn’t quite hit that spot for me. Hopefully there are others who really like this book and enjoy it.