Santuario by G.B. Gordon

Santuario600x900Title: Santuario


Series: Santuario 01


Author: G.B. Gordon


Genre: Science Fiction, Futuristic


Length: Novel (258 pages)


Publisher: Riptide Publishing (8th October 2012)


Heat Level: Low


Heart Rating:♥♥♥♥4 Hearts


Reviewer: Pixie


Blurb: Police teniente Alex Rukow has spent his life trapped on Santuario, his people’s isolated home-slash-prison-island. They’ve been living in poverty under the tyrannical regime of their own elite familias for the last two-hundred years, ever since their generation ship landed on the planet and found it already populated by earlier Earth settlers, the Skanians, who banished them to the inhospitable south.


Increasingly shamed by the decisions of their ancestors, the Skanians seek to open their borders. But dissent exists on both sides, and in the midst of this explosive political situation, a dead body appears on the island.


Bengt, a Skanian investigator, is shipped to Santuario to lead the murder investigation—which, he quickly realizes, the local teniente wants nothing to do with. As far as Bengt is concerned, things can’t get worse than the brutal climate, his own memories, and a growing attraction to a partner who will barely say two words to him. But then he and Alex run afoul of the local familias, and the problems with their investigation and their budding relationship seem like nothing compared to just getting out of this whole mess alive.


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Review: Alex is a police teniente on the Island of Santuario, an Island where his ancestors were banished when they crash-landed on the Skanians planet two-hundred years before. Now the Island is run by the familias, their justice is for their own profit and people who displease them ‘disappear’. When a dead body turns up Alex has to contact ICE, the Skanian authority, and they send Bengt to investigate. Bengt is shocked by the investigation and what he uncovers, but is determined to do the right thing, and he has to hope that Alex can survive to the end.


This is an absolutely brilliant science fiction, futuristic storyline of humans who had crash landed on a planet and discovered humans already inhabiting the planet and the new comers being banished to an Island where they carved out their own little world. Alex has had a really crappy life, but then so has most of the population of Santuario, but Alex has an extra treat; his father is a coronel who has made his life a living hell. Bengt has had a pretty decent life and is shocked by what he sees on Santuario, but he quickly comes to admire Alex, between the two of them they have a series of murders to solve, the familias to avoid and an unsettling attraction between them.


I have to say that I thought this book was brilliant, the way that the Island is run reminded me a lot of the different mobs around the world, but here on Santuario there is no one to stop the familias from their rule or justice. Alex and Bengt are two quite different people and the way that Alex can’t understand his feelings for Bengt is understandable, the way he has been brought up and according to all those on Santuario being gay is a perversion, but to Bengt it is as natural as breathing so he accepts his feelings for Alex. I found the sex between them to be quite sensual and although there wasn’t very much, it was surprising how those short scenes spoke a lot.


This book isn’t for those who expect page after page of romance, sex, this book is about an annexed country where tyranny reigns, and the struggle of those people trapped on an Island with no way out. It’s about finding love and hope in desperate situations. This book is a gritty read, there are questions and backgrounds of both races that I wanted to know more about, but for the first book in the series, it did give us a lot of background about the current situation.


I will recommend this to those who love science-fiction, futuristic planet type books, murder/mystery, mob control type stories, an awkward relationship and an ending that you just want more of.