Title: Containment (Sanctuary #2)
Author: Caryn Lix
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Page Count: 496 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
They may have escaped Sanctuary, but Kenzie and her friends are far from safe.
Ex-Omnistellar prison guard Kenzie and her superpowered friends barely made it off Sanctuary alive. Now they’re stuck in a stolen alien ship with nowhere to go and no one to help them. Kenzie is desperate for a plan, but she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Everyone has their own dark secrets: Omnistellar, her parents, even Cage. Worse still, she’s haunted by memories of the aliens who nearly tore her to shreds—and forced her to accidentally kill one of the Sanctuary prisoners, Matt.
When Kenzie intercepts a radio communication suggesting that more aliens are on their way, she knows there’s only one choice: They must turn themselves in to Omnistellar and destroy the ship before the aliens follow the signal straight to them. Because if the monstrous creatures who attacked Sanctuary reach Earth, then it’s game over for humanity.
What Kenzie doesn’t know is that the aliens aren’t the only ones on the hunt. Omnistellar has put a bounty on Kenzie’s head—and the question is whether the aliens or Omnistellar get to her first.
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*Whoa there, watch out! Danger is afoot if you haven’t read the first book, Sanctuary, yet. You can check out my review of Sanctuary but be alert, aliens and secrets are bound to come out!*
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Potential trigger warnings: Drug use and death.
There’s been many books I’ve read where the sequel just isn’t as good as the first book. Containment is not one of those books. This sequel lives up to its predecessor and I actually think it’s even better. There’s so much character development and nonstop action that I was hooked from page one and I could not put this book down.
The story starts off with Kenzie and her friends (the prisoners from Sanctuary) stranded on an alien ship. But soon enough, Kenzie and Rune realize the ship isn’t as safe as they were hoping: it’s broadcasting to another potential alien ship. This leaves Kenzie with no choice: to destroy the ship they’re on, she makes a call to Omnistellar. But, as usual, not everything goes as planned and Kenzie and some of her friends are back on the run, on a foreign planet with the help of someone Kenzie isn’t ready to trust. And soon enough, it’s not just Omnistellar Kenzie is running from.
Kenzie continues to be a strong and relatable protagonist. The guilt she has from her mistake in the first book is powerful and there were times where I felt her guilt, her sorrows and anger for what happened. The reader watches her struggle with PTSD throughout the book, and I liked how real her feelings felt. She continually struggles to get a grip on her guilt and understand her feelings, but she soon realizes that not everything is as simple as she would like it to be, especially when she needs to focus on keeping her friends safe. And especially when all of their powers start to develop into something more.
What I also really enjoyed was how much more the reader learns about Kenzie’s friends, mainly Mia, Alexei, and Cage. All three have a dark and dangerous past and as the reader, I saw how each of their pasts shaped them to be the person they are in this book. It was nice to see Kenzie’s relationships with them continue to grow and become more trusting. They all rely on one another and work as a team and I thought that was a great addition to see.
On a side note, though, there’s not much alien action in this book; there’s still a good amount, but Containment has more of a focus on what’s happened after Sanctuary and how the crew can outrun Omnistellar and Legion bounty hunters. We do learn a bit more about the aliens, which is always cool to read about. But I liked how Containment focused more on the development of each character rather than their battle with the aliens. Granted, there was character development in Sanctuary, but the development in Containment is outstanding and just what was needed to make the sequel a huge hit in my mind.
Containment is an action-packed and thrilling ride. Every chapter consisted of this group of kids on the run from not just the aliens, but also Onmistellar. There was never a dull chapter, never a dull scene that wasn’t filled with character development, relationships, and/or action. Caryn Lix’s writing is stunning and captivating; she knows how to bring a story to life and how to keep the readers hooked. The characters she weaves and describes are beautiful and full of flaws, which helps make them feel human and not a weapon. I can see how much heart Lix put in this story and the characters and to me, that’s one of the qualities that makes a great book.
Containment blends science fiction with action and horror that truly leaps off the page and makes the reader feel as if they are there with Kenzie and the group; I felt like I was on the run with them and facing these nearly impossible obstacles. I absolutely cannot wait to read Salvation, the third and final book in Kenzie’s story. But in the meantime, if you haven’t picked up Sanctuary and are looking for a great science-fiction story, then I recommend checking out this series!
Containment by Caryn Lix is available today, so get your copy now!