Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix | Review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

In a world where companies have more or less taken on the role of governments, Kenzie is a citizen of Omnistellar, the biggest and most prestigious company. As such she has to work hard to earn her position as junior guard on Sanctuary, a high security prison for superpowered teenagers. In the midst of a prison break Kenzie ends up a hostage by the prisoners of sector 5. Soon they realise that there is a much bigger enemy to be fought.

What I think about it

Fun story: I ordered this book for the shop but because the distributor didn’t have it in stock it took about three weeks for it to arrive. By then I had completely forgotten about it again. So when it arrived I looked at it as though I had just discovered the holy grail and immediately bought it. *sigh*

I just love the cover with its spacey elements and the obvious claw-marks stretching across. It looks like an action-packed YA that I would thoroughly enjoy. Spoiler alert, I did.

The story doesn’t start off slow and calm. In the middle of a prison break drill we get to see Kenzie and the other staff of Sanctuary in action. I could already see that there would be trouble when I realised that the Commander was Kenzie’s mom, a woman deeply loyal to Omnistellar and its rules.

I just realised that Sanctuary is the worst and most ironic name for a prison (I am slow, OK?) Especially once you read more about Omnistellar and the distrust between people with powers and ordinary humans. In that aspect it bears a very close resemblance to X-Men but the story still got an original twist on it. Kenzie grew up an Omnistellar citizen which is basically upper class. On many fronts she is the spoilt child that doesn’t know anything about the rest of the population who aren’t as lucky to have Omnistellar citizenship. She firmly believes her job is to protect Earth from criminals worse than animals.

The moment she is stuck in sector 5 during an actual prison break is the moment her character development begins and it’s like a beautiful arc of breaking through indoctrination and being your own person.

As you can guess from the cover, the big threat that brings Kenzie and the prisoners together is an invading alien species. I won’t go into detail because where would be the fun in that? Let me just say that I liked this species – not in like, like but it was well-written, plausible and not just two earth animals slapped together half-haphazardly to create a creepy monster.

What I didn’t like about the book

The RomanceTM

Listen, Kenzie you’ve known Cage for a day, tops, thought he was a cruel criminal with no empathy up until now.

You are being hunted down by monsters that are all sharp teeth. Do you really think it’s the right time to be kissing? That’s what I thought.

When it comes to insta-romance I can’t but roll my eyes at it because I can’t relate to that. I can’t imagine how something like that would work (demisexual here). Some readers love these relationships in their books but I just don’t care. Give me more space monsters, more action and more running. Sanctuary had plenty of that and the romance was really just a small one at the side so I can’t really complain. Alexei and Mia felt much more natural and at ease with each other than Kenzie and Cage.

→ Opinion: If your romance can be cut without affecting the plot of the novel, does it have to be in there?


Action-packed, fast-paced space novel with cool superpowers. We get good character developments and a bunch of different characters with their own layered personalities. Good and solid writing style that draws you in and keeps you reading. Loved the gracious amount of sarcasm. ❤ If you like creepy spacey YA then this is the perfect book for you!


  • Author: Caryn Lix
  • Pages: 465
  • For Ages: 14 and up
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Release Date: July, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-5344-0533-2

If Sanctuary piqued your interest make sure to check out the suggestions down below for your next sci-fi read!

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