Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review: Fractured

(Guards of the Shadowlands #2)
By:  Sarah Fine
Published By: Skyscape
Publication Date:  October 29, 2013
Page Count:  357 pages
Buy it at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound
Source: ARC Kindly Provided
by the Publisher via Netgalley
Audience:  Mature Young Adult Fantasy

My Review for Sanctum can be found here.

Another cliffhanger?!!  Really?!  I seem to be on a roll with these lately.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I still loved this ‘middle book’.  And typical of middle books in a trilogy…Fractured was no different from many of our favourites as it was full to the brim with angst.  But again, that didn’t change the fact that I had a hard time putting this book down.

There will be some spoilers from the previous book…and I will keep spoilers for Fractured as vague as possible…but if you haven’t read Sanctum yet…I caution you about reading further…and just GO READ THE BOOK...LIKE NOW!!

At the end of Sanctum, Lela and Malachi were expelled from the Shadowlands by the Judge and sent back to the land of the living where Lela is supposed to pick up where she left off...meaning return to school and her foster mother, Diane (and pretend like nothing happened), grieve the loss of her best friend Nadia (although it’s a bit easier knowing she negotiated for her to be in a better place) and command a very small army to track and eliminate the Mazikin who escaped the Shadowlands…(breath)…all the while attempting to explore her new relationship with Malachi, who happens to now be HER lieutenant.  Perhaps, a bit of a tall-order for one almost-18-year-old-former-street-kid?  Yep!

But still, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Lela took her job seriously…and that was something, among many things, that I loved about this story.  I was really kind of worried about Lela being in command.  We get it that the Judge has a plan for her, and I think I understand what that plan might mean to hers and Malachi’s futures.  Still, she was professional while being honest with herself and her feelings about commanding someone who had much more experience than her and who she has very strong feelings for.  I mean, she still felt insecure in her abilities, and she made some mistakes, as would be expected, but she didn’t gripe and moan too much…which was refreshing.

I loved how Lela embraced learning to fight and perfect her combat techniques…turning her into quite the bad-ass!  Underneath her tough exterior was a girl who just wanted a simple life…and we all know her life has been anything but so far.  But she has grown quite a lot from the angry, tough, street-wise teen we briefly met at the beginning of Sanctum to the girl taking her responsibilities very seriously and appreciating the few good things she has in her life--things she worked very hard for--and actually having goals (that, of course, include Malachi)...despite the tenuous grip she has on all of them.

And Malachi continued to make me swoon in this installment as much as I also wanted to throttle him at times.  I could see—plain as day—his plan concerning Lela would not work but he DID give it his best shot at sticking to his convictions.  Even still…his dark and deadly–and sexy–way about him continued to win me over.  The electricity between Malachi and Lela continued to steam up my Kindle and had me eagerly looking forward to whenever they were in close proximity to each other.

Some new characters were added, as well as some key players returned.  Tegan was a bit of a surprise…I ADORED Ian…and was really fond of Jim and Henry.  Still undecided about Raphael…there were times when I was just as frustrated with him as Lela was, but being the resident healing archangel softened his position somewhat as did his brilliantly described smile.  The Mazikin continued to terrorize and wreak havoc…now on the earthly plane...with a few evil and dirty tricks up their sleeves.

There was plenty of action…plenty of romance…and as I mentioned…plenty of angst.  I know a lot of people find it overdone and predictable…but, to me, if it is well-written…I’m on board with it…and Fractured definitely falls into this category for me.

Theories, perceptions and decisions were tested.  With victories and losses on both sides…there was no clear winner in this installment.  But it is all part of the journey that is indeed building up to a tumultuous ending.

And as I also mentioned before, there is a nasty cliffhanger, which has me salivating for the next book.  I’m hoping it comes out sooner than later with any luck.

I’d like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this installment prior to its release.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the week since Lela returned to Rhode Island as Captain of the Guard with Malachi as her second in command, local news has been dominated by chilling sightings of human-like creatures running on all fours. Lela knows there’s only one explanation: the Mazikin have arrived in the land of the living.

Needing to maintain the appearance of a normal life for her foster mother, her probation officer, and her classmates, Lela returns to Warwick High along with Malachi. At night they secretly hunt for the Mazikin nest. To assist, two new Guards from very different parts of the Shadowlands are assigned to Lela’s unit, including the bad boy Jim, who repeatedly challenges Lela's authority. Lela struggles to keep all her Guards on the right side of the law, but their mistakes come at a terrible cost.

As one painful revelation follows another and the Mazikin start targeting those closest to her, Lela finds herself more vulnerable than she’s ever been, wanting a future more than she ever has. With an enemy determined to separate soul from body, one question remains: how much is she willing to sacrifice to protect those she loves?


  1. Great review!
    Really sounds like something I'd like, but I must read Sanctum first!

    1. Definitely Pili! It's been a great story so far!! And thank you!


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