on August 8th 2019
The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.
Daniel's death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch - and she was there when he died.
Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge - or something even darker?
As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .
When I heard Victoria James was going to write a book about witches, I knew I had to have it. I love witchy book and I’ve fallen in love with her writing. Definitely a good match. But once I started reading, I felt incredibly uncomfortable.
Sanctuary is very much a book about women. The story starts with the death of a teen, which slowly reveals a dark web filled with secrets from all of the women’s lives. The story pulls you in and holds you captive. This is honestly the kind of book you’ll want to finish in a day because of the intensity. There’s not only the mystery of who murdered the boy but also what everyone’s secret is.
Some of the themes really hit hard, even when I’m usually not affected by them much. But the isolation of Sarah and Abigail hit me hard. I know what it’s like to be an outsider, to be shunned as you walk by. It hurts so much. That’s why I put the book down for a moment because the rage inside me had to cool down. I picked it up a few hours later and noticed James had included a few lines from the president of the United States, written like they’re from the current President of the United States. It made me laugh out loud (Shiro looked weird at me), and the tension I felt was gone. It already saddens me that the next generation might not get these jokes because they’re well-timed and perfect.
One of the scary bits of the book is the mass hysteria that consumes the little town. It’s so bad that the city is put into quarantine. That’s scary enough as it is, but being the person everyone wants to see dead, is intense. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling (kudos to James for conveying it so well). I feel for Sarah and I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone.
The ending blew me away and I’m really curious if there will be a sequel. The book doesn’t need it, but I want to know more about Abigail. She’s such an important character but doesn’t get enough screen time.
I give Sanctuary by V.V. James five stars. The story is gripping, the writing excellent, and James shows again that books will make you feel incredible things. It’s like a roller coaster where you know there will be discomfort, but you’ll come out of it with a new, better experience. Definitely a book with a warning, but I still highly recommend it.