Sanctuary by V.V. James

Hello, my darling readers!
Today I bring you one of my favorite books I ever got in a subscription box. The story is captivating and, guess what? It’s a stand-alone novel! I am invested in way too many series atm, so this makes me happy. 😅

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

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 . . .

The Rating:

Wow, this was intense! I couldn’t put this novel down, I just had to know where the story would end. I was immediately intrigued because, you know, witches. I’m always down for a good book about witches!

But this isn’t some fantasy setting, which was super nice for a change. Here witchcraft is incorporated into our regular, boring old world. I was fascinated from the first page on by this concept and how James implements it. Witchcraft is regulated, there are laws and stuff! Honestly, I’m so down for this concept, I’d read more in a setting like that. (Also, under the cut there are a few spoilers!)

But enough about the dope world-building! This book brings more to the table than just witches. We start with the death of a teenager, so Sanctuary also features an interesting exploration of grief. Not every author nails writing about subjects like this, but what James delivered felt very raw, authentic, and relatable.

We touch upon a concept as old as time where men are applauded for something while women are condemned for the exact same thing. In this case, it’s all about home-made porn, and Harper of course gets labeled as slut after that. That in itself is already dealt with very realistically but, oh, it gets worse. And when I say worse, I mean even more relevant. Turns out, what was featured in the video was rape.

Again, everybody’s reaction to that, the doubt, the backlash feels so realistic, it broke my heart. Furthermore, how do you deal with that as a parent? On both ends? What do you do as the mother of a woman who has to suffer through that? But also, how do you react as the mother of the (now dead) man who is responsible for this? James is giving us so much range here. So many feelings, so much anger!

Finally, the media coverage and the people’s reaction. The investigation turns into a veritable witch hunt. While, of course, there is no actual magic in the real world, the behavior exhibited by everybody in the book feels – again – very realistic. Honestly, this was chilling to read, especially because many aspects James incorporated here could happen irl.

This was something else. This book just hit different. I love everything witch-related but here we got something way too realistic. I was not expecting something like this, but James absolutely nailed it. I have no complaints. Everybody go read Sanctuary and then have a good long think about it!

Did you read this book? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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2 thoughts on “Sanctuary by V.V. James

  1. Pingback: Wrapping it up for November | The Punk Theory

  2. Pingback: Top 5 Tuesday: books about a death | The Punk Theory

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