Saturday, September 27, 2014

NERC Review #43: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

*eARC kindly provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley*

I've been excited but also nervous about reading this book. This has been one of my favorite series, and after pretty much binge-reading the first four books last year, the wait for this had been killing me. I didn't want to let go of these characters, but I also didn't want to be disappointed with the conclusion. And I sort of am.

Rating: 3.5 Sacrificial Stars!

It pains me to say this. Hell, it pains me to even think this way. Because I thought for sure this was going to be a 5 star read. But this one, and Secret, were my least favorite books in the series. And I think Sacrifice takes first place in that regard. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I just was hoping for something a bit more epic. The ending left me feeling happy and okay, but it didn't meet my high expectations (which really isn't fair). But, like I said, this has been one of my favorite series. So it kills me to say that this conclusion was a disappointment. And no one is more upset by this news than me.

I was so excited to finally get Michael's POV. Though I never warmed up to him as much as his brothers, which was probably on the account that Michael acted like their dad and so they resented him for being their father figure instead of their sibling, I still loved his character. He's strong, stoic, a man who gave up his dreams and his future plans to take care of his little brothers when their parents died. It takes a real special person to do that. Someone who is selfless and caring, even if a bit rough around the edges. But in this novel, we see the strong facade crack just a bit. We see a guy who only wants to protect his little brothers and who feels like he's not doing his job right. It's a constant line that he balances, being a father figure and a sibling, and Michael had to learn that sometimes it's okay to lean on others and that his brothers can take care of themselves. And with Hannah, Michael has someone that he can lean on, someone who will have his back and share the burdens.

I don't think I ever truly warmed up to Hannah. It's not like there was anything wrong with her character. She's sweet, caring, and a wonderful mother to her son, James. She is struggling with balancing her job as a firefighter, being a single mom, and dating a man who keeps a lot of secrets and who pushes her away because he's trying to protect her. But Hannah is not okay with people telling her what she can and can't do. She's tired of the judgment she feels from her father and the looks she gets when she drops James off at school. Sure, she's built a life for herself while still living with her parents, but she can't seem to shake off the feeling of not being good enough, of not doing anything right. Honestly, whenever the book switched POVs, I found myself eager to get back inside Michael's head. I don't know what it is, but I never grew to love Hannah. I think her preconceived notions and the fact that she was constantly wondering if people were judging her, were factors in that. And I just felt that, without Michael, she didn't have much of a story.

Their romance definitely took a backseat in this book, because it focused more on what was happening with the Guides and the constant action. Don't get me wrong, I loved the action-packed and intense scenes that left me worried and terrified of the outcomes until they were over. But, because of that, I think Hannah's and Michael's relationship was a bit underdeveloped.

The ones between his brothers and Hunter, however, were definitely not. Even though the girls (besides Hannah) were not a part of this book, I didn't mind. Brigid Kemmerer is SO GOOD at developing her characters! And she is equally good at creating and maintaining or strengthening the bonds between them. Some of the scenes in this book were intense, and then there were those quiet moments, the ones that left me crying and laughing all on the same page. I love the relationships between Michael and his brothers, and how each of them have developed throughout the books. And the addition of Hunter was so brilliantly written, and I adored that he became one of them. Those moments between all of them were my favorite parts of the book. My favorite parts of the whole series, actually. I just love these Merrick brothers and Hunter so much (Gabriel will always be my favorite, though). 

The suspense and sense of danger never wavered throughout the story; it was always looming in the background, leading me to believe that there would be an epic showdown between the Merricks and the Guides. Throughout the book, Micheal is trying to figure out who is behind everything while dodging close calls with death. Whoever is doing this doesn't care about the collateral damage and how many people get hurt in their quest for taking down the Merricks. It was a surprising and shocking revelation that I wish had been more talked about. The "epic showdown" felt rushed and hurried, which left me feeling out of sorts at the end especially considering the magnitude of what happened. Without giving anything away, I just have to say that I wished there was more closure.

As always, I love Brigid's writing and how she draws me into her stories so effortlessly. Even though it's written in 3rd person (which is what I prefer), I can still connect with the characters. It has been so easy for me to get lost in the Merricks' story, and I'm so incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to them. Though Sacrifice didn't leave me with the same uber happy feels that the last four did, I still enjoyed the book. And oh, how I love my Merrick boys and Hunter Garrity. <3

Tidbits of information you may want to know:
**Sacrifice comes out on September 30th!! That's only in 3 days, guys!

**And Storm, the first book in the series, is still FREE AS A BIRD on most ebook platforms! Seriously, get it now! You want to read this series. :)

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, I review this too! Like you, I was a little disappointed with the ending, but at least it was left open so that Kemmerer could go back to the series if she really wanted to. And I really hope she does. Love me some Merrick brothers! ;) Followed via Bloglovin! Comment/follow back would be greatly appreciated. ^-^

    Brittany @ http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com/

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    Replies
    1. I loved that she left it open and I really hope she comes back to this series and this world she created again. I just wanted a bit more firm resolution. Thanks for following and stopping by! :)

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