ARC Review: Fractured by Sarah Fine
Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands #2)
by: Sarah Fine
Publication Date: Oct. 29, 2013
Genre: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 357 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Sarah Fine, what have you done to my poor FRACTURED heart?!!?! Gah! The feelings! This book seriously tore my heart open, ripped it to shreds, sort of put it back together, and then RIPPED IT APART AGAIN. Geeze. I am having flashbacks of another series (which will remain nameless), where something very similar happened and I thought I would die. Thankfully, things ended ok in that series, and OMG, I need Book Three. Now. No- I needed it yesterday. Gah. Ok. I will stop with the teenager feels, even though I'm a year shy of 30.
Ladies and gentlemen. THIS SERIES IS THAT GOOD. I am officially addicted. Some of my blogger friends (Tonya, Dani, and Alyssa specifically) were like "You need to read Sanctum." And I was like, yeah- it sounds great. But I didn't ever have the time! I was so excited to get Fractured because then I KNEW I had to move Sanctum up on my TBR!
I devoured Sanctum. I was absolutely enthralled with the idea of our main character journeying to a type of purgatory, where she is on a mission to find her best friend. Lela Santos never planned on her own death and she never imagined she would sacrifice her own chance of paradise in order to sneak through the gates of Hell to find her. And she certainly never planned on coming face to face with the deadliest human Guard of the Shadowlands only to find herself falling for him.
Whew. If you thought Lela had a lot on her plate in Sanctum, you have no idea what she has to endure in Fractured. At least in the dark city, her main set of problems were dealing with the deadly Mazikin (monsters who have stolen human bodies to use as their vessels) and dealing with her feelings for Malachi. Now, Lela has been sent back to Earth as Captain of the Guard to control the Mazikin threat, all while keeping up appearances of being a normal high schooler- going to school, hanging out with friends, while spending her nights patrolling and training.
I love Lela. She is such an awesome protagonist. She is fierce, strong, and determined. She has dealt with some serious stuff after having grown up in the foster care system and having dealt with a certain less than desirable foster situation. She keeps people at a distance and is not overly emotional (she does NOT like to be touched). Nadia was the first person she let in- the first person to know all the shit she's endured and the first person who actually cared about her.
Lela has changed a lot since we first met her in the first novel. A lot of it has to do with Malachi, but it also has to do with her inner strength. Oh, Malachi. I love that boy, but he drove me batty in this book. I get his reasoning for the things he did, but it still hurt my heart. As a couple, the two empower one another and Malachi's quiet, but strong demeanor balances Lela's feisty, sometimes reckless spirit perfectly. He is calculated and precise, where she is more brazen and willing to jump in head first.
I liked this story because we got to see different sides to both Lela and Malachi. Malachi is no longer the Captain of the Guard, that job now falls to Lela, and watching him adjust to this as well as being on Earth among the living is such a genius move on Sarah's part. Malachi has been a Guard for a long time- in the Dark City it's a kill or be killed mentality and he doesn't realize that things don't operate that way now. Malachi and Lela's relationship is greatly tested in this book, which I found fitting, as I believe relationships to be fragile until they are tested. As much as these events hurt both Malachi and Lela, I believe they will be stronger because of these trials. There are quite a few twists and turns that throw Lela's life off-kilter and she has to put on a strong front to deal with them, when she wants to break down and show weakness.
We do meet a lot of new faces in this book- Jim and Henry, both from different afterlifes are assigned to Lela and Malachi's team. I thought it was pretty cool to learn about where they were before, as they were not in the Dark City (as that is strictly for Suicides). It's cool how much I saw Dante Aligheri's influence in Sarah's afterlifes, as I am a huge fan of his Divine Comedy. It was also fun seeing Lela's interactions with her fellow peers, Tegan, Ian, and Laney. Lela is determined to keep her friends safe from the Mazikin threat and her constant vigilance is needed to do so throughout the novel. This is a YA novel and I felt the high school interactions were necessary to the development of the characters, as well as the plot.
To avoid spoilers I will bring my review to a close. This series is just one that, while it may be on the darker, more serious side, there is so much hope and determination resonating from it, that you can't help but fall head first into Lela's journey and care about her and her friends. I devoured both books in NO TIME and I'm just telling you: GO. GET. THIS. SERIES!
I know my Vampire Academy fans will enjoy this one, as well as fans of Everbound.