Book Review: Containment by Caryn Lix

Usually, I’m not a fan of horror or books that make me jump or conjure up terrifying creatures, but I make an exception for Caryn Lix’s Sanctuary series. Following in the footsteps of the first book, Containment continues the “terrifying and crazy” ride of Kenzie and her superpowered friends.

*Containment is a sequel, so spoilers for Sanctuary may be included in this review. For more on Sanctuary, check out my review.*

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Kenzie and her friends barely made it off Sanctuary alive, and now they’re stuck on an alien ship with no one to help them. When they intercept a message that suggests more aliens are on the way, Kenzie decides they have to destroy the ship—no matter the cost. But as they make plans to descend upon Mars, they learn Omnistellar has sent bounty hunters after them as well. As they flee from bounty hunters and aliens, another problems arises—their superpowers begin to evolve and they can’t control it. 

Like Sanctuary, Containment is driven by the action. Spaceship crashes, chases scenes, superpowers, aliens and bounty hunters and mob bosses—Containment is non-stop action almost from the beginning. There are a few pockets of quiet where the characters have opportunities to hash out their internal issues, but this series focuses on plot and action over characters.

But that doesn’t mean the characters aren’t good. When I read Sanctuary, I didn’t think most of the characters were memorable or well-developed, but Caryn Lix dives deeper into their stories in Containment. Not only do the characters battle outside forces such as aliens and bounty hunters, but they struggle with what they experienced on Sanctuary and the evolution of their powers.

Kenzie, as the narrator, is the heart of the story, so her struggle with PTSD and the guilt of her choices overwhelms her decision making in Containment. She’s also trying to find answers to unsolved problems, figure out what is happening between her and Cage, and deal with repercussions of betraying Omnistellar. Caryn Lix does a great job juggling all of these elements and keeping the action moving.

More is revealed about the other characters as well, giving them all an extra edge that I didn’t think was as prominent in Sanctuary. The addition of their powers changing helped bring them more to the forefront of the story. I also appreciate that Kenzie and Cage have feelings for each other, but it doesn’t immediately manifest into a defined relationship. It takes time, and they understand they don’t know each other that well and some of the emotions are stemming from the life-and-death situations they’ve been put through. Containment is a YA story, so I expect some romance, but I’m glad it comes across more realistic and doesn’t sidetrack the main plot.

Again, like Sanctuary, Containment is a long story. Almost too long. While it’s mostly action, some aspects came across repetitive and I was just waiting for another bad thing to happen to sidetrack them from their mission.

Overall, Containment is an excellent and noteworthy sequel. It hinges on the action and the tension around every corner to provide another gut-wrenching story with creepy aliens and improbable odds. I cannot wait to read the next book.

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~I received an advanced, digital copy of Containment by Caryn Lix from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.~

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