THIS. This is absolutely not what I expected. But I mean that in a very good way.It's dangerous to fall in love in hell.4.5 stars. Believe what your friends are telling you about this book. It's all true.Sanctum is unlike anything I've read before. It will be given a place of honor alongside various other books I've read featuring some sort of mystery involving a foreboding struggle with the darkness that surrounds the main characters. I love this stuff. These types of books are the ones which tend to stand out in my mind for bringing something unique to the table. This book had action, intrigue, shock value, sexual tension, and strong characters - all brought to us in one power-packed punch. Warning : This book covers the subjects of suicide and rape.This does not mean that Sanctum was without fault. I struggled with some of the world building. In one moment, I felt like too much information was being thrown at me. In the next moment, I felt like I'd somehow missed out a vital piece of information. If the pacing had been a little more even, I think I'd be somewhat less confused about some of the functions of the city and the different races and positions. Although I had a few moments of struggle, I fully appreciated this unique take on a "purgatory-like" world, where dead people were placed in holding until the final verdict would be given in regard to their fate. In fact, this particular world was only one of many. Each world is linked to a type of death. In this book, we were dealing with the realm of suicide (not a spoiler if you've read the book summary). I wonder if we'll ever see any of the other realms.If I had to name one of the most creative features of this book, it had to be the dark tower which has the ability to bring back your worst fears and nightmares. And it was smack dab in the middle of the city. Talk about something making travel a bitch! One other part of the story which struck me as unusual, but somehow managed to work, was the tie-in to the holocaust. This tie came from out of nowhere, but it added a different element to the bigger picture.The world is bleak, but there is a shred of hope... For as dark as the vibe was, there was also a heavy element of romance. In fact, I was surprised at how much romance played a part in such a heavy tale. Being who I am, this means I wasn't complaining. I found it somewhat strange to see just how much Lela pushed herself on Malachi, given her background, but *serious swoon* over the intensity between this couple.I suppose I could talk about the characters. Let's go ahead and do that.Lela - You'll never hear me complaining about strong, kick-ass females who are loyal to the people they care about. She still carries the scars of her past, but she's willing to fight through it.I wanted Malachi to see me as whole. Not broken. Not used."You amaze me.""You admire my capacity to injure myself or to take a beating and keep going?"Malachi - Horrible name - hot man. Again, you'll never hear me complaining about a lethal, protective, ethical, male guardian-type. I had a friend compare these two to Rose and Dimitri and I can vaguely see it because of the dynamic. I also see shades of Yelena and Valek.Malachi had, hands down, the most impressive male physique I'd ever seen up close. I couldn't stop staring. I guess running around a giant city and hunting venomous animal people probably resulted in some pretty great definition."The great Malachi is capable of panic?"His jaw scraped against my skin as he whispered in my ear. "Where you are concerned, it appears I am capable of just about anything."Raphael - I have no idea why, but I laughed my ass off every time he was described as the "most average looking man she'd ever seen." I have a fascination with him and his sexy grey eyes, yet I don't know if I'm supposed to like him or not.Anyway, before this review spins out of control, I'll leave you with this : If you're looking for something different and dark, but still want the element of hope and love to be present somewhere up in the mix, you'll want to be checking this out."Malachi, can I be with you right now, wherever you are?" He moved very slowly, as if afraid he would wake my memories and fears."I thought you'd never ask," he said very softly. "Yes."Anna, thanks for the buddy read. I don't think I can top your fab high five (Ms. Fey is my idol), but I can possibly out-zany it.