Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Sacrifice

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Elemental
Release: September 30th 2014
Publisher: K-Teen
Lenght: 432 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure.

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight…
It’s a sad, sad day when I have to consider the possibility that I care about the characters more than the author does. I could be wrong, of course, but I found Sacrifice to be far below the standard of this series, almost as if Brigid Kemmerer lost interest and gave up. It pains me to say this about a series (and author) I love dearly, but Sacrifice was simply not what it should have been.

Michael has always been my favorite Merrick, perhaps because he’s a bit older, perhaps because of his strong sense of responsibility. I loved his quiet strength, his willingness to sacrifice anything and everything for his younger brothers. There was always something about him that made him irresistible, no matter how rarely he showed up on the pages. Michael is terrified in Sacrifice, wounded and burdened with guilt. His internal turmoil, the fear, insecurity and all the other previously undiscovered parts of his character were done extremely well.

The plot, however, left a lot to be desired. Kemmerer borrowed from old school thrillers, the ones in which a killer stalks and mocks the protagonist trying to provoke a reckless reaction. She neatly removed the younger Merricks (which I resented) and left Michael all alone to deal with the threats and multiple terrorist attacks. And that’s a whole other thing – the body count in this book is staggering, but the bloody scenes didn’t touch me at all. There simply was no emotion behind them, nothing to make me really feel the loss.

Sadly, that lack of emotion spread onto the romance as well. I liked Hannah a lot in previous installments; she’s a firefighter and a single mom, what’s not to like?! But in Sacrifice, she struck me as terribly immature and even childish and in the end, I thought they’d both be better off with someone else.

In conclusion, aside from the impressive development of Michael’s character, Sacrifice was quite a disappointment in all regards. Senseless, emotionally empty tragedy, unconvincing romance, a two-dimensional villain and a less than satisfying conclusion weren’t what I expected from one of my favorite series.

Also, don't be fooled by the number of pages displayed. A third of that are previously published novellas. In the e-arc, this book ends at about 65%.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I haven't read any of these, but that's awful you felt the author just didn't care as much about the characters or storyline anymore.

  2. The cover would make me forget the book ;)

  3. This really was disappointing. I think we all had our hopes up because hey, this is FINALLY Micheal's book and then blah. :(

  4. This is the second review I've read today that found this book to be a disappointment compared to the rest of the books. It's even more annoying when you were expecting so much with Michael being your favourite character. I actually also liked Hannah in the small glimpses we'd had of her before, so I hate that her character has changed in this book. So sorry you didn't enjoy this one more Maja!

  5. Oh I'm sorry it wasn't finally as good as you thought. I haven't tried the series yet but I have the 3 first books so I still need to get into them... one day.

  6. I'm really sorry to hear that this book was such a disappointment for you, Maja. But I've also seen other reviews that said something very similar, that they expected more of this book and it fell short.
    I wasn't too drawn to start this series but a disappointing ending is not something that would make me want to start it for sure. Thanks for your honest review Maja!

  7. We are review and rating twins today, Maja.
    "Sacrifice to be far below the standard of this series, almost as if Brigid Kemmerer lost interest and gave up. " THIS! I wanted to say this very same thing in my review, but I refrained from it because I just felt really bad.
    I just don't understand how the author who gave us the other Merrick boys disappointed us with a finale. This did not feel like a finale at all to me and that makes me incredibly sad.
    I'm sorry you felt this way, Maja. :(
    Great review!

  8. Aw man, so sorry to hear that it wasn't as good as the others

  9. Ugh.. I am do disappointed to hear that the series ends so dismally. I still haven't jumped in and read it even though I own all the books except this one. Now I am not as enthusiastic... what happened?

  10. That's disappointing! I haven't started this series yet but I picked up the first because so many people love it. I'll remember this one isn't as good though and may skip it.

  11. Aw! That's never a good thing when you wonder if you're more invested than the author.

  12. I had pretty big issues with Spirit and so I lost interest in this series after that. I really liked Michael and Hannah, too. Their romance seemed promising so it's a shame to hear you felt they would've been better off without each other by the end. I think I'll pass on this one. Great review, Maja. :)

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