Series: Elementals #5
on 1st October 2014
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?
Since his parents deaths, Michael Merrick has been the rock holding his family together. Most young men would be going to college and indulging in carefree fun – but Michael fought the courts to get custody of his young brothers. Now, after five years of being their guardian, Michael feels like he may not be enough. He’s finding it harder to stay in control of his Earth elemental powers and the Guides are more of a threat to his brothers than ever before. There is someone coming after the Merricks and whilst Michael doesn’t want to fight – he will do anything he can to protect those he cares about. His girlfriend, Hannah, also understands what it is like to be a parent at a young age and wants to help Michael though this. But her job as a fire-fighter puts her at the centre of the drama surrounding Michael’s family. The danger is heating up and the Guides will see just what lengths Michael will go to, just what he will sacrifice, to keep his family safe.
I have been curious to read a book about Michael since the very first Elementals novella. He’s a young man who is old beyond his years after taking on responsibility most would never even consider. Being a bother, mother and father to three adolescent boys with elemental powers is no easy feat. But Michael has managed to keep Chris, Gabe and Nick from flunking out at school, kept a roof over their heads and the boys out of the foster system.
But now it is all falling apart.
Sacrifice is a fantastic conclusion to the Elementals series. It is exciting, dramatic, heartbreaking and thrilling. As I was reading I was caught between wanting to take as much time as I could because I didn’t want to finish the series but at the same time compelled to devour Michael’s story because it was just that exciting! All of the other novels in the series (Storm, Spark, Spirit and Secret) have been leading up to this point – where the Merricks have to take a stand against the threat to their lives.
Kemmerer really makes you feel for Michael. When it comes to his brothers he is so selfless and self-sacrificing. Everything else comes second. His relationship with Hannah is so promising and yet Michael pushes her away. It’s so sad and frustrating because I wanted him to get his act together but I knew that the author knew best regarding their relationship. The Guide threat was fantastically executed. There was an aura of paranoia regarding the unseen threat which the reader couldn’t be sure if it was justified or not. The situation the Merricks are in is a dangerous one and not one without casualties.
I also loved getting to see the characters from the previous books in Sacrifice. It was interesting to see them as Michael does. When his brothers were the leads in their story, we saw them a certain way. But in Sacrifice we got to see that Chris, Gabe and Nick may be adults in their own minds but they aren’t as grown up as they may think. I also liked Hunter’s interactions with Michael. He’s not just not just another brother but he is the son of a Guide and can be a strong ally to Michael if he lets him.
IF you are a fan of the Elementals series, you do not want to miss Sacrifice. It’s everything I loved about the previous books and more. Sacrifice is heartbreaking and heart-warming with action and deceit. There are some unlikely allies and daring rescues and one of the most confused and amazing leading men I’ve read in such a long time. This is a series I will be rereading in years to come and has made me a life long Brigid Kemmerer fan.
Thanks to Allen and Unwin for the review copy.