“The Girl” – Great Read & Needed More
Book One: The Girl (The Sanctum #1) by Madhuri Blaylock is a paranormal dystopian novel that takes place in New York City, NY. Published in 2013, this is Madhuri’s second book and first of “The Sanctum” series.
I was searching for books to read and review and ran across this book and I was immediately excited to read and review. I was drawn to the book by three things. The first being it’s cover. It’s simple and doesn’t giveaway anything which leads me to the next attention grabber…its description. I’ve been looking to expand my genres and the description of magical world with a corrupt governing body caught my attention, but what sold me was its setting, New York City. I have always enjoyed reading fantasy and sci-fi books, but in the wake of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “The Maze Runner” dystopians with low fantasy have become an interesting concept to me. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to read this book.
We begin our story with our dynamic duo Ryker Morrison and Wyatt Clayworth. These are two of the most entertaining and well written characters I have read in a long time. Wyatt is a straight laced Class A Sanctum warrior and Ryker, also a Class A warrior, is a fun loving, sarcastic, playboy that never takes himself seriously. Ryker and Wyatt bicker and tease each other over the menial task of patrolling Central Park and they have been directed to be on high alert for, what the Sanctum has deemed, a “dangerous” magical hybrid.
Next, we are introduced to Dev, who is on her way home from the Rinshun Palace where for the past five months she was training to be a Ramyan warrior. When she arrives home there is no one around. She is immediately on high alert to the strange silence and cautiously starts exploreing the house when she hears her mother’s blood curdling scream. She enters the main room to find her brother dead, Arky, her best friend dying, her mother beheaded and watches her father be burnt alive. Too late to save her family, she attacks the three men who killed her family. Showing her vicious skills as a warrior, she annihilates two of the men quickly and continues fighting with the third, who is none other than Max Breslin, son of Carter Breslin and future leader of the Sanctum. The fight continues on brutally, Dev is injured by a special blade meant to poison its victims called a raven blade. However, being a powerful magical, the blade doesn’t have the same affect and she feigns injury taking advantage in the fight with Max. Just when she is about to kill Max, she falls into an invisible vortex transporting her far away from her childhood home.
Here is where the story begins – Dev is transported to Central Park in New York where, surprise, surprise, Wyatt finds her. However, Dev is wounded and due to her magical abilities is slowly healing and Ryker and Wyatt immediately know that this beautiful girl is the “dangerous” hybrid the Sanctum has ordered them to kill. Wyatt, however, is immediately drawn to her and his attraction quickly turns into insta-love. It is here I will advise any and all readers there are some very risqué and sensual situations in this book. I would recommend this book for an older YA group.
First and foremost, I really liked this book! It is the beginning of a very addictive series and I will be highly anticipating the release of the second book in the series, “The Boy.”
My take from this book is a bit different from everyone else. Yes, I love the main story and line and the characters, while flawed are likeable, but by the end of the book I was still very troubled. I felt there was still something not quite right and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Days passed and then a week and I was starting to feel frustrated. I liked the story and the characters had depth – why do I feel dissatisfied? Then, it hit me…the romantic relationships. It probably fits into the series, but it doesn’t fit in this book.
Allow me explain. We meet Wyatt and Dev and within two or three encounters they are in love and in a relationship. They can’t explain it and neither can the reader, and we don’t know enough about the two to understand what makes them want to be together. The relationship defiantly provides motivation for the characters, but beyond that it’s as if the two just have this feeling and are together because they feel sorry for one another. It’s strange. Next is Jools Clayworth, Wyatt’s younger annoying sister, and Ryker. The characters have one interaction, one, and then fall into a relationship. Don’t misunderstand me, I realize they have known each other for a very long time, but as a reader the relationship feels disjointed in the story.
However, the author does such an amazing job developing and creating this alternate reality. It is a great story about 10 Founding Families running academies all over the world to train warriors to serve The Sanctum. It’s imaginative, thought provoking, and extremely entertaining. The characters are well developed and funny. I could not get enough. I love the relationship Ryker and Wyatt have, it’s a true bromance and hilarious to read. Another character I haven’t mentioned is Darcy. Darcy is a vampire and nothing happens in New York City without Darcy knowing. She’s feisty and blunt and I love it! As you can tell, even through the strange romantic relationships, I loved this book! It’s a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves low fantasy.
I was provided a ARC copy of “The Girl” the first book of The Sanctum series by Madhuri Blaylock in return for my fair review.