Shae spent the entire summer without hearing a word from her best friends. And now they’re back, her worst fears are realized when they shut her out. Completely. Shae stumbles through a series of mishaps and chance-sightings, which lead her to an answer explaining her friend’s cold-shouldered behavior. But will the answer change anything, or will Shae have to put her life on the line for everything to return to how it was?
There are several enjoyable things about Shae; her love of her younger brother is one of them as well as the light-hearted relationship between Shae and her father. The broken relationship with her mother is a great subplot to keep the reader hooked. At the same time, Shae has a tendency to be a push-over. I found myself wondering why she would want to be friends with the others at all when they are so mean.
Kudos to the author, I truly hate Shae’s best friend—this shows how well the author draws out reader emotion in her dialogue.
Overall, the dark world of animal shifters and their hierarchy is well explained. We understand the rules, and the motives of the antagonist. The author has put in a lot of effort with adding extra complexities to the shifter world. Doing so has made the world within Sanctuary’s covers fresh, twisted, and enticing. What was murky were the spatial aspects of the world-building. I found it hard to get a sense of exactly how the shifter world integrated into everyday life. Hopefully, the author is keeping these tid-bits hostage to hand out further in the series!
This author has a beautiful, descriptive style. Melle Amade summons her settings to life before our eyes with her thoughtful depictions. One of the best is her description of the ice settling down onto Shae. Sometimes in fantasy books, you skip over the magical processes after the first few instances, but not in this book!
The explanations through the story feel a bit convenient on occasion, but the story flows well. The final plot-twist is satisfying, and the subplots are unpredictable.
This author delivers an interesting shifter concept, true emotion, and strong imagery. Melle Amade is an author to watch very closely in the near future.
This is a darker paranormal book for young adults, recommended for ages fourteen and over due to moderate violence and darker themes. Professionally edited.
“Breathe in the flowers, blow out the candles.”