Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer
Book Five of the Elemental series
Publisher: KTeen
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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…

What I Liked:

In this conclusion novel, blood will be shed. Patience will be tested. Sacrifices will be made. Michael Merrick has always been the glue of the family, the parent to his three young brothers... though he's barely an adult himself. With three brothers and a fourth teen - a Fifth (Hunter), things aren't a cakewalk for Michael. Throw in Guides and relationship problems and financial problems... well, let's just say that you always save the best for last. It makes sense for things to start with Michael (in Elemental), and end with Michael.

First thing to note: this book isn't 432 pages. Well, it is, but about 150 of those pages are from the novellas (Elemental, Fearless, and Breathless). It's okay, breathe, this book isn't one of those monster conclusion novels that are twice the length of one of the other books in the series.

The action never seems to stop in this book. As is the case in all five books and three novellas. Michael and his brothers never had an easy life - never will - and you can tell. The Guides hunt them ruthlessly, and couldn't care less who is in the line of fire. When Michael's brothers, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's child are threatened but someone, Michael knows that it's time to take matters into his and his friends' hands, and end things. 

It's hard for Michael to accept help, and in this book, he learns the hard way that he needs to do it. He needs to stop treating his brothers like they're helpless. He needs to learn that help offered isn't a threat or dangerous. He needs to rely on his girlfriend, trust his girlfriend, and stop blaming himself. Like in each book, I love the character development in the protagonist. Both protagonists.

Hannah isn't such an easy person as well. Knocked up at seventeen, she knows the difficult life. She's a mother, daughter, girlfriend, student, firefighter, soon-to-be paramedic. Her father, the fire marshal, has been cold and distant with her - but so has she with him. I love how their relationship in particular progresses. It's not just about Michael and Hannah, or Michael and his brothers. It's not just about the Elementals versus the Guides. There are a lot of relationships in this book, which adds a lot of depth to a paranormal series like this one. 

I love Kemmerer's writing. She really nailed the teenager thing in the first four books, and she did a splendid job of writing the perspectives of two "older" young adults. Like the other books, this book is written in alternating third person - which I love. 

The romance is pretty sparse in this book, honestly. Fine by me. I didn't exactly click with Hannah (though I understood her and liked her character's role), and Michael is a private guy. It just makes sense, with the nature of their relationship and their lives.

To be honest, I found the ending a little anticlimactic (especially after all the action in books one through four, and the majority of this book). However, I can kind of get past it, because now the series is over, and there is nothing to do about neither this book's ending nor the series's ending. 

What I Did Not Like:

Like I mentioned before, I didn't click with Hannah. I think she's irrational, impulsive, and selfish. Selfish in that she expects everyone to explain things to her because gee the world does revolve around her, eh? Because nothing is bigger or more important than her. Her knowing and protecting herself is EVERYTHING. Okay, b****. Whatever.

I don't like her very much. But that's okay. I like Michael a lot.

Also, in terms of the big ending... it was a bit of a letdown. I expected an epic showdown with the Guides. I expected repercussions and rules set for the future and some sort of Geneva Accord/Conventions or something. But the ending... it was anticlimactic. A good ending for a SINGLE novel, or a sequel, but not a conclusion novel to a series.

Would I Recommend It:

Despite a few things I didn't like about this book, I would still recommend this book, and the entire series, in general. Book one is, and always will be, my favorite. I've re-read that one so many times now... but not the other four. Book one <3


3.5 stars -> rounded up to four stars. An adequate conclusion to a great series! I wanted more, but won't get more, so that will have to do. Awesome debut series, Brigid!

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  1. I'm glad that despite the ending being a bit (a lot?) disappointing you managed to enjoy the final book of the series well enough! And you'll always have book one to read and re-read! ;)
    Great review, Alyssa!

    1. It was just not as exciting as I expected. Don't get me wrong, craziness still went down, but a really significant part of the series seemed... pushed down, ignored. Whatever. And OMG yes I actually really want to re-read Storm right now :D

  2. I stopped at the second book and I really need to finish the series since I love the Merrck brothers :)

    1. Book one was my favorite! And the next four novels (and three novellas) are awesome. You should definitely keep reading, Liza! ^_^


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