Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

January 12, 2015 Reviews 4 ★★★½

Sacrifice by Brigid KemmererSacrifice (Elementals #5) by Brigid Kemmerer
Published: September 24th 2014 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback, 267 pages
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Goodreads BooktopiaBookworld
3.5 Stars

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's been a sole parent to his three brothers for years. And he's determined to protect them. But an Elemental Guide is ruthlessly hunting his family and Michael is all that stands in his way. His power to control Earth could keep everyone safe or it could kill - if he loses control.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She has a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that puts her in danger every day. Especially when fire is the weapon of choice for whoever is coming after Michael and his family.

The Guides are armed for war. They're not interested in surrender. They don't care about casualties. Michael isn't the white flag type - but can he protect everyone he cares about?

Sacrifice is the final book in the Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer. When we met the Merrick brothers in Storm, they were a very different group of young men than the ones we hang out with in this book.

The situation between the Elementals and the Guides has escalated to the point where Michael worries about the safety of his brothers and everyone around them all the time. Michael sense danger is not far off, and it makes him overly cautious and paranoid. Michael has always been there for his brothers, and for Hunter as well, so it was really interesting to see things from his point of view. He’s as protective of his brothers as he’s ever been, but now we get to see his vulnerability and how much he second-guesses himself. His brothers see him as someone who always knows what to say and has all the answers, but Michael is plagued with doubt and always worries that he hasn’t brought up his brothers well. I also liked getting to know how the Earth element works – it’s not like any of the others and that was fun to read about!

Like the other Elementals books, Sacrifice is told in dual point of view. The leading lady in this book is Hannah, Michael’s girlfriend. Like Michael, she had to grow up too fast as well. Pregnant with her son James as seventeen, Hannah now lives at home with her fire-marshal father and raises her son while working as a fire-fighter. I liked Hannah and think her personal stroy-line where she had to reconnect with her father and get to know her parents as an adult was interesting.

Her relationship with Michael is great because they’re so perfect for each other, but Michael distances himself from her when he realises that the Guides might target her and her son. I thought it would be great to see their relationship because unlike all the other romances in the series, they were already established as couple when the book began. However, the increased danger to Hannah means that Michael and Hannah actually get very little ‘screen-time’ together (but the few moments they do get are very sweet!)

Unfortunately, the sweet romantic story wasn’t matched with a kick ass storyline in this book. In many ways the plot feels congested – there are so many things going on that it’s hard to get invested in anything. It also felt like there was a lot of angst and not a lot of action in the book – we spent a lot more time agonising over what could happen than actually combating any danger. And the final show-down with the Guides was great, but the build-up had me thinking it would be more … momentous.

Regardless, I enjoyed Sacrifice and think that it closes out the story of the Merrick brothers admirably. It was great to be in Michael’s head, and I think fans of the series will enjoy it. If you haven’t already, grab a copy of Storm and meet the gorgeous (and powerful) Merrick brothers as soon as you can!

4 Responses to “Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer”

  1. Kriselda Gray

    ******This comment may contain spoilers for the novel “Storm”******

    I’ve tried reading Storm and a couple of the novellas, and they’re not bad, but I keep bumping my head on a couple of closely-related problems. First, I don’t understand why people who have pure control over a single element are considered so highly dangerous that they must be killed but those who have that same level of control over all 5 elements aren’t. And second, given that much of the concern surrounding pure Elementalists comes about because they could inadvertently hurt people or cause disasters, why are the guides allowed to make their attacks anytime and anywhere without regard for the well-being of any innocents in the area?

    The scene in Storm where the guide is attacking the Merrick brothers on the bridge is an excellent example. In it, it’s exceptionally clear that the guide doesn’t care who else he hurts with his attack. He almost kills his own daughter and it sounded like several other innocents caught on the bridge were injured as well.

    I don’t know if the rationale for those attitudes is explained in one of the other books, but as much as I want to like the series (because I LOVE elementalists in general) it’s proving quite difficult to do so when I’ve got questions about the story universe’s internal logic like that. 🙁

    • Shaheen


      I’ve always thought that was the point in some ways – the hypocrisy in the Guides who think they’re OK because they’re policing the Elementals even though they’re just as dangerous.

      It’s never explained exactly why people with control with all 5 elements have power over everyone else, but I think the idea behind the GUIDES themselves is that they’re controlled by some centralised organisation (?) and they’re not so afraid of people they CONTROL. They get to the people with all 5 powers early and indoctrinate them, and anyone who doesn’t want to be part of their organisation gets taken care of pretty quickly. We meet a few off-grid Guides later in the series.

  2. Rebecca

    Glad you enjoyed Sacrifice! Most of the reviews I’ve read were mixed and said they were unsatisfied with the ending, and while I get why there were some unhappy campers, I liked it! I loved how thrilling it was. There isn’t any firm news yet, but I’ve heard this might not be the end after all… I hope so.

Leave a Reply to Shaheen Cancel reply