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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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 -

Hardcover, 464 pages
Published August 8th 2019 by Gollancz
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  404 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Netgalley, mostly because I couldn’t wait. I also bought the limited hardback edition, just so it’s 100% clear that I love this. A lot. And my other half listened to the audio-book and declared she'd read anything by James. This household loves V.V. James.

Sanctuary: Big Little Lies meets witches is probably the most accurate tagline.

My reading experience went like this: I swallowed Sanctuary whole. Just like that. I couldn't put it down. It's gripping from the very first page. Just like with
Schizanthus Nerd
The first thing I did after I finished Sanctuary was preorder a signed, limited edition copy from Goldsboro Books and that, in itself, tells you everything you need to know about how much fun I had reading this book. My review could end here but, because I love chatting about books so much, it won’t.

The cover image caught my eye when I first saw it in a Goldsboro newsletter (bookish emails are so dangerous for me!) and after being enticed by the blurb I investigated further. NetGalley had review
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

Sanctuary by V. V. James. (2019).

Sanctuary is the perfect hide a secret. Detective Maggie is in town to finalise the tragic accidental death of a star quarterback, Daniel. Then the rumours start; his ex girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch, Sarah. And Harper was there when Dan died. Dan's mother Abigail will stop at nothing until she has justice. Her best friend Sarah will do everything in her power to protect Harper.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Gollancz and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really loved the Dark Gifts trilogy so when I heard about this book I so excited to read it! And I really loved this book too!

This book had me hooked from the beginning and on the edge of my seat. I was up reading late into the night because I just needed to read one more chapter. It has a dark and foreboding atmosphere and it only gets darker as the story progresses. By the end it was pretty terrifying. Not in
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review taken from The Pewter Wolf which will be going up in early May 2019.

***eProof gifted by UK Publisher, Gollancz via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review/reaction.***

The small town of Sanctuary, Connecticut is a perfect little town where everyone gets along. But behind the perfect face of the town hides some dark secrets as Detective Maggie Knight is about to find out. She has been asked to go to Sanctuary to investigate the tragic death of Sanctuary’s star quarterback. It was
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booktails
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a massive fan of Vic James so of course I was desperate to get my hands on her new book as soon as she hinted about it on twitter. Anything she writes is bound to have me hooked and her description of the new witchy thriller meant I couldn't wait to read it.
To start with, I found it just slightly confusing as it involves a lot of characters and the chapters are from different characters' points of view. I'm not usually a fan of this type of book. However, I
Kelly Van Damme
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Hi and welcome to my review of Sanctuary, a book that I requested on a whim, an urban fantasy / thriller that broke me in a million pieces and will definitely end up on my list of fave books this year.

Sanctuary, Connecticut, the typical East Coast small town where everyone knows everyone and their dog. Nothing special, one would think. Except that Sanctuary has a resident witch, Sarah Fenn. This is not a secret at all: witches are established all over the US, their craft acknowledged, and
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up Sanctuary to read the first few chapters just to see what it was like, and I didn’t look up again until I was 150 pages in! It’s safe to say I was hooked from the beginning.

When the star quarterback of the Sanctuary football team dies in what appears to be a tragic accident, Detective Maggie Knight is called into a seemingly open and shut case. What she discovers though, is that there is much more going on in Sanctuary than meets the eye.

Sanctuary has been likened to Big Little Lies,
Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
TWs: rape, sexual assault of minors, violence, domestic abuse, sexism.

This is such a tense and thrilling mystery. The atmospheric small-town vibes and witchcraft had me hooked from page one. I was also lucky enough to be on the blog tour for this book! Check out my full review here:
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I can't wait to annotate this book to death.

Review to come. I annotated it to death. I have many thoughts and swears.
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I’m going to lead with the trigger warnings - Sanctuary includes rape including the rape of a minor by an older minor. It is mostly seen second hand but is shown on page.

This is sort of an urban fantasy but is definitely much more of a small town witch hunt (literally) with a mystery. And I love that. There were so many times when I was frustrated with the characters but also totally seeing why they were acting as they were!
This quite possibly is one of the weirdest books I've read this year. It's a thriller that takes place in an urban fantasy setting. The best way I can describe this book is Pretty Little Liars as adults in a modern-day witch hunt.

There's some pretty messed up stuff in this book, and definitely read the trigger warnings in advance. I'm not sure that the execution of all of the elements worked for me completely. I did enjoy the book overall, but sometimes it seemed like there should have been
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
Thank you so much to HachetteAustralia for providing me with a copy of Sanctuary, in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah is the witch in the town of Sanctuary. Together with her three non-magical best friends, they are a coven who help people in their small town with their problems. All of their children have grown up together as friends, but as they are sharing an evening dinner, while their kids attend a party, they receive devastating news. Dan, the popular, promising athlete has died at the
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}

Well it's ironic that as I came onto Goodreads to review this I had a 'like' notification about Daisy Jones & The Six. Ironic because just like that book I really enjoyed Sanctuary while hating almost every single character.

Sanctuary is fascinating to read. It focuses on the 'outrage' culture we are currently living in and also really highlights how precarious our society is. Sanctuary is an extreme case but replace 'witches' with any other minority or misunderstood members of our society
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The new adult contemporary fantasy from V.V. James, author of the Dark Gifts trilogy (as Vic James), perfectly takes fictionalised witchcraft practices as well as real life social issues and blends them into an ideal crime thriller tale to add to your summer reading list. We follow a small fictional town of Sanctuary where the star quarterback dies at a house party, prompting a routine investigation by state police. The first to be accused is Harper Fenn, the ex-girlfriend of the deceased as ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
After a hard time getting in to the story I did like it. What I did not like are the many POV’s. I am not a fan of books written in the first person. I like short chapters but this book has to many! I did like the plot twist at the end of the book.
Lucy Hounsom
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sanctuary paints a brilliant portrait of small town America where local politics, alliances and feuds are everything - the outside world might just as well not exist. The stage therefore is ideally set for a murder investigation that spirals out of control and quickly involves the whole town, much to detective Maggie's chagrin.

I love James' other series (beginning with Gilded Cage) so it didn't surprise me to find Sanctuary an excellent read too. There's just bags of tension, revelation atop
Daphne (Illumicrate)
What a brilliant mystery, and an utterly compelling read.
Victoria Ellis
Sanctury is a mystery novel following the death of a star athlete at a party in the small town of Sanctuary, a town with one witch. The narrative switches POVs between the parents, the kids, and the detective assigned to the case.

This was my first time read V.V. James, though I was aware of her writing under the name Vic James. Why does this matter? Well, because she is not a debut author. This book felt like the work of a debut, and not in a good way. I realised pretty quickly that this is not
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well I was not prepared to love this as much as I did!!!

I've seen this book described as contemporary fantasy but I think that's underselling it, this is one of the best whodunnit/detective stories I've read, it just has a contemporary fantasy element (which I also loved!) I will be lending this to my mother (who is a devout crime/mystery/thriller reader) .. that's how good it was!

It is very 'Big little lies' meets Charmed. the magical element gave it a great society depth and meant it had fresh
Katrina Pierce
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve found that the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to put into words why I love it. And just about all I can say about this book is-I really loved it.
I loved that every 30 pages I felt like-‘well, that solves it! Case closed...wait WHAT?’ The twists and turns were so well played, so gentle and subtle you hardly realize you’ve made a 180 turn. Every single chapter ended with me thinking I had it all figured out, but I never landed close!
I was completely drawn in to the human drama,
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible and frustrating story about mob mentality driven by fear and prejudice. There were so many twists that I kept guessing, thinking I was getting it right, realising I was getting it wrong, then right again. The writing was amazing and honestly, the whole book hit way too close to home. Even without the accurate presidential Tweets.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
J. Taylor
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
The problem was that I found none of the point of view characters interesting, others around them such as the cops boss, the witches friend and daughter were way more captivating characters.
And of course Abigail, didn't like her before she went psycho although she's the character you're not supposed to like, the pov characters you are supposed to I just felt meh about.
The plot carried the story though, adding witches to a typical mystery really enhanced the book.
May 30, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Secrets, paranoia, magic and mystery in a small town setting... I’m trying to keep my expectations reasonable, but I am SO looking forward to this one ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spellbinding, compelling and brilliant!
SJH (A Dream of Books)
4.5 stars.

When I first heard about this book I knew immediately that I wanted to read it. I'm a big fan of the author's previous YA Dark Gifts trilogy, written under the name Vic James and I love her writing, so I added 'Sanctuary' to my wish list straight away. It turned out to be a really refreshing read because it felt so unique and original and unlike anything else that I'd read recently.

Described as Big Little Lies meets The Craft, 'Sanctuary' takes the reader on a journey where you never
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Sanctuary was sent to me for review, but that does not affect my rating or thoughts*

I've wanted to read this book since the day it came out, but I never really got around to it. Then, it was picked for my book club and I was like, this is perfect! I read the first half of this book, and that was enjoyable but it doesn't compare with the audiobook.

I was busy, so I picked up the audiobook and it was AMAZING. There were three narrators and they did such a good job bringing to life these
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5stars
4.5/ 5 ....
All i can say is, what's the point of having magical powers if u don't use them, witch?...
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Illumicrate Group: 15th August - Ch 50> 59 (incl.) 9 18 Sep 12, 2019 08:11PM  
Illumicrate Group: 19th August - Ch 97> end 4 17 Sep 03, 2019 06:08PM  
Illumicrate Group: 13th August - Ch 24 > 38 (incl.) 10 18 Aug 31, 2019 05:47PM  
Illumicrate Group: 18th August - Ch 85> 96 (incl.) 3 9 Aug 21, 2019 09:32AM  
Illumicrate Group: 14th August - Ch 39 > 49 (incl.) 8 20 Aug 20, 2019 02:03PM  
Illumicrate Group: 17th August - Ch 72> 84 (incl.) 4 8 Aug 20, 2019 04:20AM  
Illumicrate Group: 16th August - Ch 60> 71 (incl.) 6 13 Aug 17, 2019 08:39PM  

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“Sanctuary's the sort of place that's good at making you feel not good enough.” 0 likes
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