i received a copy of the sacrifice from new south publishing in exchange for an honest review.
the sacrifice review
rin chupeco has been a favourite author of mine for a long time. i first read the bone witch back when it came out, then proceeded to read the girl in the well series, which was amazing. when i saw she had another horror book out, i knew i had to read it asap.
one of my favourite things about chupeco’s books is that they’re short and sweet. most of her books are around 300 pages. when you read a bunch of high fantasy books over 500 pages, a short book is like a breath of fresh air.
while being on the shorter side, it doesn’t take away from the actual story. i find that longer books have “boring bits” as the author is clearly trying to make up a word count rather than keep the reader interested. shorter books eliminate filler scenes as they don’t have the space for them. the sacrifice is a fast paced and quick read. i finished it in a couple of hours (i couldn’t put it down).
i really like how rin chupeco made this book lgbt+ inclusive. i know others will enjoy this (and some won’t). i thought it was nice how the author had the setting in a remote philippines island and didn’t use culture as an excuse to not include queer people.
and speaking of setting – i absolutely loved that chupeco used a remote island in the philippines. so many contemporary setting books i read are all set in the usa, or sometimes the uk. but rarely do they venture to asia.
the world building was on point. we have a secret island that only locals know about and a evil entity. there was enough vague-ness to make it believable. (plus, a lot of asian countries have plenty of their own ghost stories, so for all we know, there’s some truth to the story).
as for the ghost story itself, it was spooky at times but not downright horrifying. chupeco can write some of the most unsettling things – and all it takes is one sentence. i found the girl from the well to be more scary than the sacrifice, but it’s written for young adults, so it might be scarier for than than it was for me (an adult, and not the intended audience).
my only issue with this book was that i found it difficult to connect to the characters. while i loved alon, i struggled with the other characters. (the other characters were a bunch of americans intent on destroying the island for some quality tv shots, so it’s hard to like characters like that).
while i found that this wasn’t chupeco’s best work, i still really enjoyed it. they remain one of my favourite authors.
overall, i couldn’t recommend this book enough. if you like small little scares, (rather than full blown horror) i think this book would be great for you!