Sanctuary by Pauline Creedon. Book Review

SanctuarySanctuary by Pauline Creeden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An alien invasion which brings about a zombie-like plague, all set against the biblical end-times prophecies in the book of Revelation. This is a fantastic premise with which to begin a novel.

I enjoyed the combined sense of looming dread and awe that opens the book. Aliens have landed. They’ve done something to the sun and they’ve poisoned our water, but beyond that nothing. They just sit in their ships day in day out. Will they ever come out and make contact? Will they try to exterminate us? The characters just don’t know.

I liked how the protagonist Jennie is suddenly thrust into a position of responsibility, having to be the parent figure for her little brother when things get desperate.

I wouldn’t really call this an end-times novel in the traditional sense. Biblical prophecy is barely mentioned in the book. The links mostly come from the occasional quote from Revelation in the section breaks. The way the author has interpreted these quotes in a sci-fi context is very clever. You probably wouldn’t want to base your end-times theology off the novel, but it’s sure is a heck of a lot of fun. This is one of the things that make Christian speculative fiction interesting – the unique what-if questions that can arise.

I felt that there were some structural weaknesses in this book – in terms of plot and character. There were three point-of-view characters – Jennie, Hugh and Brad. A lot of the early Hugh and Brad scenes could probably have been cut, and their backstory woven in as reveals after they meet up with Jennie. Brad felt a little under-utilised like a dangling thread that didn’t really go anywhere. Hugh’s arc was very sudden – with him undergoing a change right at the end that left me feeling a little confused.

I hope the author writes a sequel because I feel there is a lot of unmet potential. In some ways this book feels like the first act of a larger story. If this book becomes a series I would read more as I enjoyed spending time in this world and happily continue.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews


About Adam David Collings

Adam Collings is a writer of speculative fiction who works as a software engineer during the day. He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his wife and two children. Adam is currently working on a science fiction novel.
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