Monday, 15 September 2014
Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Series: Elemental #5
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Earth. Fire. Air. Water.
One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.
Michael Merrick understands 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 in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.
His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.
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. Everything is set for the final showdown.
Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?
If you don't already know that this is one of my favourite series than you're not doing a very good job stalking me. I'm pretty sure I find a way to mention The Elemental Series in at least one post a week. I even did a giveaway for some of the books. Because it is the best! *hugs all the books* Sacrifice was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014. Right up there with Heir of Fire. So you should know what that means. And it's Michael's book to boot. Michael is kind of a mysterious guy. You know that he's a rock for his brothers. He's way more responsible and mature than should be expected at his age. But until Sacrifice we weren't privy to his thoughts and emotions. His life. Now we finally do! Gabriel will always have my heart, but Michael, poor Michael, will have a totally separate and different spot in my heart. Ah, guys! This book! It broke my heart. But I loved it. So so much.
To say Michael has a lot on his plate is not even close to the scope of his responsibilities. A guy in his early twenties should be at college and having fun. Well as we know, that's not Michael's life. He has three younger brothers to take care of, a house to run and a landscaping company to keep in business. But these days it doesn't stop there. The Merricks' now have the Elemental Guides out for them. Michael has to figure out a way to keep his brothers safe will getting the Guides off their ass. Shit gets real.
As like the previous books in the series, we get dual POV's, so in Sacrifice we get to know Hannah, Michael's girlfriend a little better. Hannah is a tough girl. She's worked hard to become a firefighter and is still working even harder to get more from her job. She's also got a five year old son. Well she lives with her parents and her mom helps her out, her relationship with her father has been strained since she told him she was pregnant at seventeen. Hannah's life is hectic and dangerous, but she has a lot of responsibility and that's why she finds herself attracted to Michael. He understands her life. But Michael has secrets he's keeping and she's finding it hard to communicate with him. She's also walking on egg shells with her dad and trying to show the guys at work that she's as strong as them.
I honestly can't say to much about the plot because of spoilers. And I am not ruining this book for anyone. It's freakin' good. The previous books are pretty fast paced and full of action, but that's nothing on Sacrifice. It's explosive. It's the shortest book in the series, but it packs a huge gut punch. Poor Michael does not catch one single break. From page one he's still on edge from what the ending of Secret brought the Merricks way. It's been a few days and he knows the Guides are out there watching. Right off Michael is thrown into having to protect his brothers and it doesn't stop. The guy is on the brink of death at least three times throughout the book. His brothers are threatened and taken away from him. And he's having to find trust in people he's always considered against his family.
I absolutely adore Michael. Take away the Elemental world and I still couldn't imagine having his life. He's so young, and had to grow up in a day to take responsibility of his younger brothers, the house, the bills, the families landscaping company. He's a dad. His wants and life goals got taken away from him. But he never resents his brothers for it. It's why I love him. There was never a second thought that he wouldn't be the one taking care of them. He stepped right up. Clearly his brothers are a handful and he's got child services watching up his ass. But my God is a good parental figure for them. Michael has this hard appearance. He can kind of come across as a jerk. That's for good reason. He's just so protective and a good guy. His brothers are his life. My heart broke for him so much. Every other page it was poor Michael. If it's not one thing, it's another. Getting shot, thrown in jail, their house burning down, bombs going off, Elemental Guides after them, and child services taking his brothers away from him when he needs to be with them the most(that's not even close to everything Michael goes through). Michael always puts on a strong face, so when he broke down I broke down. Seriously, it there were quite a few heart breaking moments.
I'm always as enamored with the ladies POV's in this series. It's not because I don't like them. It's just because I don't want to be away from whatever Merrick brother's POV I'm getting. Which I'm sure Kemmerer understands. That being said, Hannah has definitely been my favourite lady from this series. She's a sassy tough women. Hell, she got Michael to fall for her and spend some of his precious spare time with her. That means she's gotta be worth it. Knowing she's a firefighter would already give you clues into a bit of her personality. She can keep up with any of the guys at her station. Add in how hard she tries to be there and be a good mom to her young son, and she's also quite endearing under that uniform. She's just got a great work ethic. Hannah also doesn't put up with a lot of shit. She knows Michael is hiding something from her when she pulls him out of his burning house pretty much on deaths door step.The problem is that Michael isn't talking to her about it. It's his protectiveness. But that isn't going to stop her. She cares for him and wants to help him in any way she can. Again, endearing. I was really happy with Hannah's attitude change towards her father. They're quite alike and I think that's what caused their rift back when she got pregnant. Neither of them were being fair, and they failed to communicate their feelings, so they both just assumed this is the way their relationship would be now. Those damn assumptions, never quite what you thought.
There were a few things that I would have like done a little differently. And I definitely would have loved for the book to be a longer(obviously). But I have no qualms big enough to take away from my love for Sacrifice. Although my biggest bitter sweet moment was the ending. It's an open one, guys. It doesn't leave you unsatisfied and without answers. Kemmerer just left it open enough that she's given me very, very high hopes that we will see another Merrick brothers book in the(nearish) future. There has to be another one. Just has to.
Sacrifice doesn't disappoint on any level. It's got Kemmerer's snappy, sassy and hilarious writing. The action is on every page. The heart break is on every other page. I honestly was surprised with some of the plot twists. There was definitely one huge "WTF?" moment that I was like, "nope, why did you do that to me?". Ah!
Just read Sacrifice or start the series if you haven't(and what have you been doing with your life?) because it is gold. And the Merrick's. Those are some brothers that I wouldn't mind knowing on a personal level. *sigh*