Series: Elemental, #5
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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…
Sacrifice is the final book in the Elementals series. Unfortunately it wasn’t my favorite (that honor still goes to Spark, with Spirit close behind) in the series but it still proved to be an entertaining and compulsive read.
Did they blame him? Not that it mattered. Michael blamed himself. His fingers felt like icicles, and he flexed them in front of the vent, willing the car to warm up more quickly.
They were waiting for him to say something. To do something. Their expectations sat like a weight against his skin.
This book centers on Michael’s POV and he’s always been a character I admired in the series. Michael’s POV, alike the other books, was done in a way that gave him a voice that felt authentically male. Throughout this series you really see him take on a parental role to his brothers and he always appears to shoulder all of these responsibility with great strength. In Sacrifice you really get to see what goes on inside Micheal’s mind and it honestly made me fall further in love with his character. He really is so admirable but also not perfect, obviously carrying all of this responsibility comes with pressures. Seeing Michael reaching his breaking points due to this pressure was very touching and made for some emotionally charged scenes.
Brigid continues to demonstrate her abilities with creating action packed scenes, and for those scenes I felt like I was on the edge of my seat. She certainly has a talent when it comes to writing high stakes scenes and the action that takes place during them. Like the other installments it was still very cool (for lack of a better word) to see the Merrick’s powers in action. We also get to see the brothers interact, which has got to be one of my favorite parts of the series. It always comes across so genuine and you can tell that these people truly love and care about eachother. Unfortunately, you definitely don’t see the brothers interact as much as the previous installments which was a bit disappointing. Something you also don’t see in Sacrifice as much is humor. It’s something that really made these stories fun, humor is always good to diffuse tension when things seem so bleak. And guys Sacrifice is undeniably that- bleak and serious. It’s a far cry from the other novels that even though had high stakes, still weaved in humor.
Like the other books in this series that there’s duo POVs here. The other POV is the love interest Hannah who we have met in previous books. I always thought she was a very strong character. I thought that really nothing could go wrong with a kick ass single mom who just so happens to be a firefighter. I was however incorrect and much preferred Michael’s POV over Hannah’s unfortunately. It almost just felt like Hannah’s was added to make the story longer and it really didn’t add much to the story for me other than annoyance with her character. Hannah sadly ended up just making me roll her eyes with her inability to understand that some things take time and that not everything ties back to her. Other than her impatience I couldn’t really get behind her as everything about Hannah just seem half-hearted. Honestly, like I mentioned it was just like she was added as an afterthought and I never really connected to her at all.
There’s some romance between Hannah and Michael in this one. However more often than not we were dealt with more of a strained relationship between the two and I honestly never felt the sparks. I definitely didn’t connect the way with the romance like I did in the past installment Spark. There was also the inclusion of a unnecessary love triangle. It seemed really to come out of the blue and had no real purpose in it. I can’t even claim it to be a plot device as it really didn’t add much to the story. The other love interest was done well though, I swear I almost saw more of a romantic connection between him and Hanna rather than Michael and Hannah. However it’s obvious from the very beginning of the story which way the love triangle ends up so its inclusion becomes even more mystifying.
The plot in this one was quite predictable for me. While in other installments I’ve been thrown for loops and plot twists, the ones done here seem straight from a action movie. There’s one reveal at the end regarding the antagonist that shocked me. However my reaction went quickly from shock to me rolling my eyes at the contrived actions and words of the villain. I feel like there was so much potential with the plot in general. Sacrifice just seemed so much shorter than the other stories in the series (final 50+ pages of the book are snippets from others) and I just felt like I was left hanging. I was left with a “this is it?” sort of feeling which certainly isn’t a positive with the final book in a series.
I know this review has been largely critical, but there’s no argument that despite my issues that I still found myself madly flipping the pages of Sacrifice. Though it was a bit of a disappointment compared to others in the series (like Spark), I would definitely still recommend this series as a whole. It’s a solid action packed series that highlights a band of brothers whose interactions will undeniably make you smile.
~Thank you Kensington Reads for this review copy ~
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