review and cover mani: sanctuary

SANCTUARY stayed in my TBR for far too long. I mean, teens with superpowers, in a prison…in space?! Hello up my alley, much? And with Halloween around the corner, it fit in well with my desire for supernatural reads with a healthy side of mayhem. Because one can never have enough mayhem, right?

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.


SANCTUARY was one of those marvelous, totally immersive reading experiences. The on-point world building had me sliding right into the story, and it wasn’t long before I was holding on for the ride. A riveting plot, every possible area for tension was taken full advantage. I cannot stress just how much happened in SANCTUARY, and the added alien element upped the stakes to such a degree, I gasped aloud while waiting in my local Honda car service area. Because as if the teen prisoner breakout/Lexie’s hostage situation weren’t enough, the unpredictable alien madness took the already-swift pace and strapped it to a rocket ship.

Cover design by Sarah Cresch

Like, I’d be white-knuckling pages as the prisoners forced Lexie to reveal security codes when—ALIEN SURPRISE AHHH—turned everything on its head in the most bananas of ways. Similar to a rush of nitrous oxide in a drag race, without the aliens, the story could’ve held its own, but with the aliens, I never knew when the action would crank up to 100. And considering it rested at a solid 80, I can’t understand why SANCTUARY isn’t on everyone’s TBR. Seriously. Why isn’t this a bestseller yet?

The superpowers themselves included a few fan faves, but also some unique ones that I’ll forever associate with this series (yay!). Lexie’s struggle in reevaluating her training (which also meant going against her mother) had me feeling for her, and when the plot exploded, she had no choice but to follow her gut. Impulsive decisions in high-stress situations don’t always result in the best choices, but Lexie was one smart space guard, and her open mind—a trait not admired by Omnistellar—allowed her to roll with the punches, of which there were many.

As for the rest of the cast, I loved the lot. I credit Lix’s ability to get me to care for other characters as deeply as Lexie without a third-person narrator, because when certain characters died, a rush of feelings kicked me in the gut. Because oh yes, fellow book fiends. SANCTUARY is kind of like Game of Thrones. Not everybody gets out alive, and there’s no way to predict which ones won’t make it to the end. *spindles fingers while cackling*

Real talk: what else could you want?! This review is already on the long side and I’ve barely scratched the surface of SANCTUARY’S pure awesomeness. So please read SANCTUARY this very minute and then we can gab about all the insanity. Sound good? (For serious. Stop what you're doing and go buy this book. I'll wait.)

Big thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC!


This mani kind of got away from me, with all of the angles and colour blending--and lately the lighting has been terrible so these are flash shots--but I did my best and used:

FingerPaints - Paper Mache and Black Expressionism

OPI - Fearlessly Alice, Give Me Space, and matte topcoat

China Glaze - Chroma Cool and Haute N Heavy

Glisten and Glow - Mother Wind

So Nailicious - needle brush

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