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Santuario (Santuario #1)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  88 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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(showing 1-30)
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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
Oct 17, 2012 Susan rated it liked it

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

4.5 stars

Totally my kind of book with:

Great understated writing, story and crime solving. With our Alex and Bengt not being guys who wear their hearts on their sleeves - thank God. So I did not have emotions being thrust in my face and angst anxious to jerk out oh and ahs from me. But oh boy when the slow build up culminated at the end that was a hit. (view spoiler)
Jun 12, 2016 Mel rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mel by: Alexis Hall
Shelves: genre-sff
What a fantastic and unique setting. I don't actually know how to categorise it. Feels like a mesh-up of fantasy, mafia, and western, even with a hint of sci-fi technology :D What a lovely word building. This was really great.

The case was like a morass, where every step was a fight and a potential disaster.

In times of political change, Alex and Bengt have to work together to solve a series of murders. There wasn't a lame moment through the whole book. It was interesting to see the case develope
Vanessa North
Jan 22, 2015 Vanessa North rated it it was amazing
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
Wart 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
K.J. Charles
Aug 24, 2014 K.J. Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, gay, sci-fi
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.
Apr 16, 2015 JR rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
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
Feb 13, 2015 Karen Wellsbury rated it really liked it
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
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
Sep 28, 2015 Maya rated it liked it

2.5 stars

I couldn’t connect with the writing for most of the book. For that reason, I think, I didn’t relate emotionally to the characters and their stories. All of that, however, changed for me in the last quarter of Santuario. There was a point in the story when the mystery started to untwine, Alex began to unravel, and I really liked everything that happened after that.

While reading (I believe) I logically understood the choices the author made for both Alex and Bengt’s reactions to each oth
Dec 03, 2015 Apeiron rated it liked it
Shelves: other-glbt
I found Santuario very well-built, but tedious to read. This is G.B. Gordon's first book and it's the kind of debut where an author can't yet let go of diligent world-building to focus on keeping the reader engaged. As far as debuts go, that's one of the least downside-y downsides you can get.

But it's tedious. To me.

I'm all about emotional connection with the characters and between characters. Even if a book, like Santuario, is mainly sci-fi/mystery/western/crime and romance is marginal. I need
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
Erica Pike
Sep 25, 2013 Erica Pike rated it it was amazing
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)
Nov 12, 2012 Sophia rated it really liked it
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
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
May 16, 2015 Gaby rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 22, 2014 Bucletina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jun 16, 2013 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  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
Vanessa theJeepDiva
Jan 18, 2015 Vanessa theJeepDiva rated it really liked it
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
Feb 05, 2015 Aviva rated it really liked it
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
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.
Oct 14, 2012 Laylah rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2015 Jax rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
I didn't enjoy this one for several reasons.

I realize this is a culture clash story, but the initial animosity between the MCs felt manufactured. The characters saw slights and misunderstandings where I didn't really see much problem. The conflict never seemed as much of a signifier of 'we're different!' as it's meant to be.

Cultural constraints were also to blame for impeding their investigation, but that doesn't change the fact that this features some of the slowest, most unproductive police wo
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
Oct 07, 2012 Nithu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 23, 2012 Carey rated it really liked it
I really liked the whole atmosphere/feel of this book. Alex and Bengt were both well drawn characters and I really appreciated not being able to predict what would happen next. The world building was...lush (and totally relatable) and there was more than one point in the book where I had a "wow, that was well written" moment.

I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!
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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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