Review Detail

 
Sanctuary Featured
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

In Space, No One Can Hear You

X-men Gen X (i.e. the teen version) meets Aliens-lite in this survival-in-space story.

Told in first-person past-tense from the sole perspective of a junior guard named Kenzie, the story takes place on a corporation-run orbital prison for juveniles. The book is a mashup of reliable tropes: evil corporations, a malevolent alien invasion, blind cult-like faith, insta-lust, brainwashy parenting, inexplicably super-powered teens, accelerated Stockholm syndrome…

What I Liked:

The brother/sister relationship between Cage and Rune was a highlight. Their personalities and powers were wildly divergent, yet still complementary. And their devotion to each other had solid premise, motivating them to care for each other’s romantic interest by extension.

The cast of prisoners is diverse—not only in terms of their personalities and backgrounds, but their ages, ethnicities, and superpowers. It was easy to appreciate the moral quandaries encountered by the escapees, and then by the survivors as a whole. The theme centers around shifting perspectives and questioning your biases, regardless of which “side” you’re on.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

-The prose is functional, but the page-count and joltingly variable pacing gives the sense of it being overwritten. We don’t reach more of an inciting incident until page 75, and after that slow start, scenes lurch on ahead almost too quickly.

-Kenzie was a difficult character to connect with, which proved problematic when one considers the entire story is told from her perspective. She consistently makes poor decisions—both personally and strategically. Her obsession with a particular manga series seems the sole contributor to her personality outside of her obsession with doing the Omnisteller Concepts corporation proud (and, by extension, her one-note mother.) While the manga and references could have been interesting, the general effect instead made Kenzie seem younger and more immature than her 17 years and junior-guard status would have suggested.

-It was intensely frustrating how everyone kept making it sound like an alien incursion would be ridiculous—despite the mounting evidence. This insistent denial went on for more than 80 pages, and it made no sense. The story takes place on the 50th anniversary of the day mysterious ALIEN PROBES landed on Earth and randomly distributed superpowers to the subsequent generation of humanity. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand how the idea of aliens was so far-fetched that all characters felt compelled to ignore the possibility.

-The story takes place in a compressed timeframe—over the course of roughly a day. Which is difficult to buy in hindsight. The amount of relationship building, both the romance between Kenzie/Cage and the inhuman-enemy-to-trusted-ally conversion between the prisoners and their lone survivor guard, occur at a pace so rushed it often defies believability—even after the minor hastening twist. And Kenzie’s switch in loyalty away from Omnistellar occurred awfully fast, given her lifelong programming.

-The suggestion that Sanctuary has some sort of advanced A.I. ended up falling by the wayside, as the prison itself showed no personality, intelligence, or capacity for communication—outside of one character’s ability to both physically and mentally bond with computers.

On the whole, this is the sort of story that would be ideal for those who looking for quick-burn romance and prefer minimal science in their science fiction.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Follow la vida y legado of Pura Belpré, the first...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Remarkably You
New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Our Little Love Bug! (Heart-felt Books)
You're the precious gift we dreamed of. You...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bird Watch
From the author of the acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree!...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
What About Harry?
From New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson comes the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Roary the Lion Roars Too Loud (Wee Beasties)
Help little ones learn how to use their inside voices...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
It’s the year 2191 and the last known civilization hides...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Haunted
Clean slate. That's what Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents said when they...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Art of Losing
On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Beyond a Darkened Shore
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
OverRun (The OverRuled Series, book 2)
TWO LIVES BOUND BY ONE LIE. Magic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Step-Spinsters
Once upon a time, in a land far, far...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Glamour of Midnight
Fae bounty hunter Loftin’s life depends on him finding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just For Clicks
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
i am Elephant, i am Butterfly
When sixteen-year-old Simone Wheeler is accepted into the elite Camp...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Christopher Pepper Chronicles: The Silver Soda
 
5.0
"A good gift to give your children. They will definitely love this!"
The Christopher Pepper Chronicles: The Silver Soda
 
5.0
"If you want a fun and easy to read book then the Christopher Pepper Chronicles is for you. ..."