Monday, October 13, 2014

ARC Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)
From the blurb:

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?

Heather's rating:

I'm a huge fan of the Elemental series, so much so that I beg everyone I know to read it. This series has not one but TWO books that made it onto my exclusive favorites list (the amazing Spark and Secret). But this book? Gah! So much wasted potential.

Michael Merrick has been a favorite of mine for ages. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Between caring for his brothers financially and emotionally, and watching out for threats, this poor man can barely sit down, much less catch a break. I was looking forward to a book with an older MC, one a bit wiser and more mature. However, that isn't exactly what I got.

The parts of this book that were enjoyable were the action scenes. The elemental storyline was very compelling, and I found myself reading all night to see what would happen to Michael. I love the way that Brigid Kemmerer does paranormal. It isn't all in your face, yet manages to be both powerful and subtle. She just has an elegant way of writing that just speaks to me as a reader. I liked the plot itself and where the storyline took us. My only complaint about the plot is that the villain was very old-school villainy, and it became a little cartoonish towards the end.

I also loved Michael himself. I felt for him so much. I wanted to hold him and comfort him so badly it hurt. I could feel him breaking down throughout the book, and it was emotional to read.

What I had issues with was... well, everything else. In all of the other books, where the brothers were much younger than the adult Michael, I got a sense of passion, of heat between the MCs and their love interests. Though this series is totally clean (aka, no sexual acts on page), I still got a feeling of lust and want. With Michael being older, I was expecting all that and more. I don't mean sex on page (though, Brigid, can we get a dirty series next time!?), but something a little further than with Michael's younger brothers. Instead, I think we got less chemistry than ever before. In fact, I wasn't rooting for Michael and Hannah at all by the end.

Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. If I could summarize her in one phrase it would be "daddy issues." In fact, I felt like Hannah's dad played a much larger role in her storyline than Michael did. Though I understood Hannah's need to please her father and her resentment towards him, it felt petulant and not in a sympathetic way. There was also a pseudo love triangle that I found distracting. As if I needed a reason to like Hannah any less...

This story has some twists and turns that will wrench the hearts of readers, but ultimately, I'm sad to say, I didn't find this up to par with the other books in the series.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Thanks for checking out my review!!

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