by G. B. Gordon
3.7 4


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Santuario 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
AGoodell More than 1 year ago
Ok, so this is one book that you have to dedicate quite time to read. No TV noise, job noise, life noise in the back ground while trying to read at least the first few chapters.  Or you’ll find yourself confused and will either have to start again or you’ll give up altogether. And over all it’s a good read, so don’t give up. The premise of this is one is so unique, I think that’s one of things that’s hard to wrap our minds around, than the futuristic wording that is used.  The two MC’s are very good together, both in solving the case and in working their way through a relationship that isn’t allowed or welcomed. And the secondary characters, just sinister enough.  Over all if you enjoy a good murder, mystery with a Sci-Fi back ground. This one is for you.    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Crystals Many Reviews
Streamer More than 1 year ago
Slow and a bit confusing at the start but very good once you get your bearings. The plot and setting in this book are a huge undertaking. I’m not even going to attempt to explain it all. I’m only going to give a very basic description. Santuario is set on a different planet. This is a planet which has been colonized by the original group. Later, another group of colonists arrived. The original colonists had no interest in integrating the two groups. So, they set the new group up on an island and have restricted interaction between the two groups. What is left are two races living on the same planet who know virtually nothing about the other. Their standard of living, culture, language, and political situation are drastically different. I spent a good portion of this book confused. The first few chapters had me completely baffled. I found myself thrown into a world without much explanation. The sheer number of names and terms being thrown at me was overwhelming. Then, things slowly started to fall into place. I didn’t exactly understand the world, but it was beginning to pique my interest. Now, this book is centered around a group of murders which happen on the isolated island. Bengt is a police officer from the mainland. He is sent over to the island investigate the murders. His counterpart on the island is Alex. Bengt and Alex were an interesting mix. They were hostile and could barely stand to be around each other most of the time. A romance developing between the two of them seemed unlikely when they first meet. A polite working partnership is a stretch initially. It takes a long time for the two of them to come to any type of understanding.  This is a book set in a very confusing world. Bengt and Alex are interesting as individuals and seeing them forced to work together made them even more interesting. The romance is so negligible that I wouldn’t even call it slow-burn. It’s non-existent for the majority of the book. When it does appear, it is an understated revelation. It may have taken a while to get going, but it was great once it did. My only complaint was that the book ended right when everything started to pull together. I want another book to finish out their story. I need to know what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by: Marissa Book provided by: NetGalley Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I have to admit that I am not much for science fiction but I do love a good mystery, which is what attracted me to this book. Santuario, while told in the voice of a parallel universe, was engaging and at the same time seemed quite true to life – albeit in a surrealistic way. Santuario is an island of exile to those that came from another time. It is hot, steamy, and run by something akin to a dictatorship, quickly bringing to mind a country much like I imagine Cuba to be. With sweltering, sticky days, flash rains, and lines of oppressed people hoping for some meager medical care, the author brings the jungle island of Santuario to life vividly. Words familiar to me such as familia and buenos dios (as well as a few unfamiliar such as asqueroso) peppered the dialog for that final flair of Latino. In excellent juxtaposition, the “rest” of the world bears a striking resemblance to Scandinavian countries. With names like Bengt and Svenja, the Skanians are tall, blonde-haired people more accustomed to cooler climates. Part of the charm of Bengt is watching him try to adapt to the heat of Santuario and the small customary ways of a different culture. Something we take for granted, a handshake, is completely foreign to him as is a cup of warm tea. Alex is the key character in this story and I liked him right from the start. Told via flashbacks, his childhood was filled with horrific cruelty by a father that abused him and his mother at every turn, yet somehow Alex grew to be a moral and ethical man. While those he works with seem mostly nonchalant in their duties, Alex strives to see justice done, even for a dead bum no one knows. At the same time, Alex has built his walls and this is one of the things I loved in the story. Like any number of real people, especially someone who’s had a rough life, he doesn’t let anyone close yet at the same time he yearns for love. Alex and Bengt are so different and yet somehow so alike. Bengt comes from a large, close-knit family and is very confident in his job. Like Alex, Bengt has a strong moral and ethical streak, especially when it comes to a wrong he himself committed in the past. At the same time, Bengt comes off as the stronger man, able to dig into and tear down Alex’s walls. One of the defining moments comes regarding the attraction between Alex and Bengt. In Skania, homosexuality is seen as natural. In Santuario, it is taboo. So when Alex starts to have feelings for Bengt that he doesn’t understand, all those taboos play against the emotions that begin to foment and Alex must decide if what he has with Bengt is good and right, or just wrong. But the characters are almost secondary to the land and the atmosphere. Santuario is an island in turmoil. Law is more martial than police, with the upper echelon of officers indulging and protecting the familias. The island itself is described in generous detail and reading this on a hot day almost made me feel as if I were sitting on the beach at Santuario. While this book is listed as a romance, I would say that it is more mystery with an underpinning of romance. And in that case I am very pleased that there will be a second book – Alex and Bengt need to have their story continued. I’m also hoping we get to travel to Skania in the sequel, to see the contrast of the countries and how Alex handles going from his hot, jungle island to the cool mainland.