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Santuario (Santuario #1)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  75 reviews
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 t ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 8th 2012 by Riptide Publishing (first published October 6th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 557)
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I think I spent the majority of this book feeling confused. That isn't a good thing.

I can't even begin to attempt a plot summery. I... yeah... there is just too much going on for me to try that. The gist of it is that there is a murder investigation and two men from two very different cultures, Alex and Bengt, have to work together to solve the crime. There are mafia-like themes and cultural differences that the pair have to wade though in order to get along. While working together, something m
...more
Susan


Santuario confused the heck out of me...but even so, it was beautiful and enjoyable...

I felt like I was lost throughout most of the book, just kind of getting what was going on, but not entirely. I tried to understand everything I was reading and was getting frustrated in my efforts. So, when I finally let go of trying to have everything make sense, I started to fully enjoy myself. Oddly, I have the feeling GB Gordon does this on purpose.

It sets itself up as this other-worldly fantasy book…moth
...more
oceankitty
Absolutely outstanding and wonderful sci-fi/mystery novel! What a debut! The mix of cultures on this planet is so well thought through and so wonderfully executed that I have a hard time not believing this planet is out there somewhere. The Skanians are pretty impressive; I found no niggles when it came to their culture or the use of Nordic languages, which is pretty mind baffling in itself. I ALWAYS find faults. ( I found one but I can forgive that one little flaw) The Santuarians are a strange ...more
Vanessa North
a damn good story.

Edit, January 2015 after re-reading in anticipation of the sequel. :)

For the second time in a week, I find myself changing a star rating and adding to a review.

When I read this book last summer, I really enjoyed it, but for whatever reason, didn't take the time to articulate my thoughts in review form.

This book has stayed with me

This book has haunted me.

I've re-read it now at least four or five times, and I keep coming back to it because the story, the characters, the world-bu
...more
Aleksandr Voinov
Update April 2014: Re-reading this.

Loved this. GB Gordon is a major talent and that's their debut novel.

Wart *Rainbows, beauty, and death* Hill
I love it when my impulse buys are fantastic!

STILL AWESOME! Can't wait to read the sequel!

Original Review:

Santuario is a Sci Fi Western, with an emphasis largely on the Western. However, Gordon skillfully weaves modern and futuristic technology into this dusty, gritty world. From mentions of the ships that brought colonist to the planet, to the stark contrast between the single computer Alex has access to and the portable one Bengt has with him.

It isn’t only their computers that throw Alex and B
...more
Rachel Haimowitz
One of my favorite novels this year. A deeply claustrophobic, oppressive, immersive reading experience that grabs you by the scruff and doesn't let you go until you've made it, breathless, to the end. The author describes this book as "social fiction" and "a -topia between u- and dis-" and I think that's a great way to put it. Even though there were colony ships involved in these people's pasts, it's not really sci-fi; there's no high tech or aliens or space travel or any of that. It's more like ...more
JR
Two hundred years ago, Alex Rukow's ancestors landed on a planet already inhabited by another Earth population called the Skanes. The Skane government banished the intruders to the isolate island that became Santuario. The Skanes enjoyed an organized, wealthy society, while Santuario was ruled by clans called familias. They lived a life of poverty. A life that was governed by threats and violence. It forged a society rich in warmth and brotherhood, while the Skanians were somewhat stilted, and ...more
Karen Wellsbury
The world building was awesome Spaghetti western meets Russian mafia, and yet really familiar so that the sense of 'otherness' was grounded.
The suspense was great, the investigation, the characters and their backgrounds
the writing was excellent, I got lost in the subtlety and layers and at times it didn't seem important what was written (although of course it was) just that the beautiful language would continue.

However I found the romance did not work for me, perhaps because it happens really ri
...more
K.J. Charles
I enjoyed this. Very slow build romance (which could have been a lot more developed without overloading). Excellent worldbuilding and atmosphere. Great sense of threat and very real, painful violence. Will definitely read more by this author, this is hugely accomplished for a first novel.
Heather C
I have absolutely no idea where to even begin writing a review for this. It was just...different.

The setting and the world was very unique, although a little confusing at times with all the social standings. The descriptions were well written and vivid...even I could feel how hot it was in Santuario. I loved the enemies-to-lovers trope so the slow burn and sexual tension just worked for me.

Still there is a lot more story to be told and the hopeful-for-now ending made me smile. Looking forward
...more
Shirley Frances
4.5 stars
"I'm sure I don't know any more about your world than you about ours. We're too isolated from each other to change that."
I saw this book, then I read the blurb and hesitated. Do I read it? The little voice in the back of my head was insistent, reminding that this book would be a challenge for me and dared me to step up. So I did, and I really liked it which surprised the hell out of me!

First let me explain that I am not a fan of science fiction. Not in movies or in books, so when I
...more
Erica Pike
Fantastic. I don't have a better word for it.

Okay, so it took me the whole first chapter to become interested (I was confused by terms and names), but beyond that? Loved it.

Okay, again, weird to have a couple of Icelandic terms and then Scandinavian ones mixed together - it bothered me a little bit, but I was over it after a couple of more chapters.

And there was this one place where a couple of long paragraphs were suddenly written in third person present tense (instead of third person past)
...more
deirdre
3.5 to 4 stars
first thought . . . when will the sequel be ready???????????!!!!!
i may add more to this as i plan to do an immediate re-read


what i liked . . .
great writing
great world development and character development
the author really took the time to deeply develop the characters, both the good and the bad. i really felt like i got to know them, understand them.
i enjoyed the slow careful development of the crime story. i bought it completely.
the alex/bengt relationship . . . bought that too.
...more
Sophia
Now I chose this book for one reason and ended up liking it for entirely different reasons. It tricked me- in a good way. I can't quite blame those who did up the blurb and put it under a certain genre because truthfully it is probably under the right genre and was described well in the blurb, but-

It really does belong in the Sci-Fi genre because the story takes place on an earth-like planet with two human colonist groups arriving at separate times from earth. The group who was there first got t
...more
Gaby
I read this backwards, you know? Haha. I read first the second book, and then the first. I think it affected ,y understanding of the world that G.B Gordon created more than my understanding of the relationship between Bengt and Alex.

The main focus of this book is not the romance, though wha brews beneath all the political stuff really is beautiful and romantic. What you will see most here is a clash of worlds, and cultures. Sanitation reminded me so much of my Mexico. From the unbearable heat to
...more
Mandy Anne
So incredible. I started reading this and literally did not want to put it down. Highly recommended. Can't wait for more in this series (hopefully?) and from Gordon in general.
Mtsnow13
Hmmm... glad to see there is a follow up to this one, because the ending was a bit..abrupt. And think more Spanish western than sci-fi aliens...

This story was a Fantasy January Pick-It-For-Me BOM, and i actually put it off for a bit, as i couldnt tell from the blurb if i was going to be able to get into it. But, this one had me going in circles and kept me on my toes, and I enjoyed it, surprisingly, more than I thought I would. I was forced to concentrate, and had to get rid of distractions to s
...more
Bucletina
No hace mucho que empecé a ampliar mis horizontes literarios con autores que hasta hace muy poco me eran completamente ajenos, principalmente por no haber llegado aún a mis tierras, donde la industria editorial te impone y decide por vos qué tenés que leer o al menos qué es lo que ponen a tu alcance en las librerías. Por suerte me fue bien, eligiendo concienzudamente qué adquirir, sobre todo por las complicaciones monetarias, legales e impositivas con las que tengo que lidiar para adquirir cualq ...more
Tracy
A Slow-Building, Unique Surprise
It's called Santuario. Rocked by poverty, ruled by powerful and corrupt familias, the southern island is populated by a race of people who landed on the planet two hundred years ago. Santuario became their home...though reservation may be a more accurate term.

The Skanians, themselves long settled on the planet, banished them to Santuario out of fear and distrust. Two hundred years later, that decision has bred discontent and shame among the Skanians and change is
...more
Nithu
I really enjoyed this story. I always find culture clashes fascinating and Alex and Bengt are from two very different cultures. There's also a rising tension that doesn't let up throughout the book as Bengt (and us, the reader) start to realise how difficult things can be in Santuario; justice isn't clear cut or easily come by and alongside that is the growing friendship between the two men, which isn't easily come by, either. I couldn't put this book down until I got to the very end!

I did find
...more
Vanessa theJeepDiva
On occasion I pick up a book expecting one thing and end up enjoying something entirely different than what I had initially expected. Santuario happens to be one of those books. So let me state here that this is not a romance. There are two men who may have a romance at some point but that is not the main story here. Santuario is an island that is inhabited by the second set of people who sought refuge on this planet. Alex like many of the people who live there wants a different way of life, one ...more
Nova
I’m really happy that I gave this new author a try! G.B. Gordon created an interesting world with two very different societies, a mystery I wanted to see solved and above all a book with a gripping plot and two main characters you will like!

Alex, being my favorite, is more the silent, lonesome type and lives on Santuario – an island completely isolated from the rest of the world and ruled by the familias. Neither the people nor the police have the power to change anything. But there’s hope.
Beng
...more
Caroline The HEA Lover
(This review was originally published on Book Lovers Inc)

I’m always worried when I try a new author. I can count on my fingers the number of times I blindly trusted it would be worth my time and/or that I wouldn’t end up slowly rocking, curled up in a ball. As it is, I trusted Riptide Publishing to publish a book of quality. Suffice it to say I’m glad I did! Santuario is the first book of a new series by G.B Gordon and this is their debut novel. See it was risky on many levels!

If you want to en
...more
Katy
Jun 16, 2013 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of M/M romantic suspense
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera with Western flavor and police procedural suspense/mystery; M/M romance
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of M/M romantic suspense
Trigger Warnings: violence, unwanted sexual advances (not quite bad enough to warrant the description “assault” as it was just grabbing and a forced kiss and the one being advanced on could have stopped things if it went too far), murder, attempted murder, torture

My Thoughts: This book is like a crazy quilt in a lo
...more
Aviva
I bought this one as part of the thank-you sale that did Riptide and I found myself totally excited about Santuario after reading the excerpt on the publisher's site.
At first, I thought it'll be a SF m/m book but it was way better than that, it was a SF m/m book with a contemporary feel, and suddenly I was breathing the mexican heat. I was a bit lost with the names, the spannish words (I don't know a word in spanish, apart from the insults, very useful) and sometimes the vocabulary (I thought it
...more
Laylah
Oct 14, 2012 Laylah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: E.K.
One hell of a first novel. Santuario is a story about cultural distance, corruption, and desperation; there's also a developing gay relationship between the leads. That order, I think, is the most satisfying way to approach the novel: it's about the problems the island of Santuario faces and the ways that the main characters deal with them first and foremost. Readers who want a romance first with the murder plot as a side dish might be frustrated; I, on the other hand, really like a story where ...more
LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
3 Stars

Santuario is a novel that explores social inequality and political unrest in the guise of a murder mystery. The earth is inhabited by two populations of people. The first inhabitants are called Skanians and reside in Jarovegur. They are described as tall, fair and with the names and description; a person of Scandinavian descent comes to mind. The more recent arrivals are the Santuarians whose generation ship crashes in Jarovegur. They are described as shorter, with a mix of characteristic
...more
Veronica
Two isolated populations exist in this futuristic world, the Skanians who are large, strong and cold-loving, live on the mainland of Jarovegur. The Santuarians inhabit an arid island, Santuario, in the South Sea. The Skanians have a government, and adequate living conditions, the Santuarians...not so much.

A dead body is discovered on the Santario shore, and Teniente (Officer) Alex Rukow of the Policia is given the assignment to investigate. His report brings out Bengt, a Skanian investigator, fr
...more
Notta Chance
Rating 3.5

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this one. Part of me is fairly impressed by the world building. To me, it's almost like someone has taken Mexico and put it on a secluded Island somewhere in the distant future on a planet far far away and, ironically enough, they were put there by a society that strongly favors the USA. That's just the vibe I had from the get—go. Not necessarily a bad thing. Just interesting.

It almost seems unfair to go with 3.5 instead of a 4, but what can I say? W
...more
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G.B.Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing. Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.
More about G.B. Gordon...

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“I can't repair my wall as fast as you can tear it down.” 10 likes
“Maybe it was possible to relinquish control. He could do this, with Bengt he could. Give himself up and fly. He closed his eyes, let himself be pulled in by the touch. Bengt's arms. Bengt's hands on his thighs, arms, chest. Lips and tongue on neck and shoulders, the need for more. 'Don't stop.” 4 likes
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