Author: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing, 433 pages
Publication Date: October 16, 2012
A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance—hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone—she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.
As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t—the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.
I loved this book. Lela was such an incredible MC. She had a horrible life growing up, but it made her really tough and capable of taking care of herself. She is kick ass. I really appreciated the fact that the author doesn't hold back when it comes to what Lela had to endure. To me it made her such a stronger, more realistic character. She's devastated when her one friend, Nadia, kills herself and she knows what no one else knows, that since Nadia committed suicide she's not going on to someplace better, but stuck in a horrible place. When Lela accidentally dies, she chooses to leave paradise (the Countryside) and find Nadia and bring her out.
What a unique and interesting world Sarah Fine has created, this is one of the main strengths of the book. A place where people who commit suicide exist until final judgment is made. The hopelessness of the people, the grayness of the world, the Guards, the way the people survive, which includes the ability to create something from nothing (loved the TV shows you could watch). I found it fascinating. I did want to know more about the Mazikin (some group that takes over people's bodies, sending their souls somewhere) and I was also curious about the other cities and what they're like.
Malachi...oh Malachi. He's quite the sexy badass, yet so warm and caring. He does whatever he can to protect Lela. I just loved him! What a crappy life he had (it's quite heartbreaking), and then this is where he ends up? So not fair (although really, it was just horrible for all of them). The world is so bleak and depressing, but we find out there is hope. There's plenty of action and fighting in the quest to find Nadia so the book is quite the page-turner. And the ending is perfect, it wraps up the main part of the story and doesn't leave you hanging, but there's still much more story to be told. Definitely read this one. And thanks for Nicole at The Quiet Concert for recommending it!
Posted by: Pam