Cover Image: The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

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Member Reviews

I have read books from this author previously and of course, when I found out she was writing another novel, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to read it. This was nothing short of what I imagined, the gothic atmosphere Combined with the plot and the characters, was excellent. I cannot wait to see what Chupeco has planned for the near future!
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They were warned to stay away. They didn’t listen. 

4.5 stars rounded up.


The premise of this book instantly captured me. Haunted island setting? Count me it! Once I started this book, I could not put it down. From the plot to the pacing, this book is a page turner. Run Chupeco did such a wonderful job entwining Filipino culture and mythology, the harm of gentrification and cultural appropriation, the negative effect of colonialism past and present. This book was wonderfully creepy, gory and kept me engaged the entire time I read it. 

One thing I didn’t love was the romance. I was pretty bored and unconvinced by it overall, but loved the LGBTQIA+ representation! The narrator was unreliable in a negative way and just fell kind of flat for me.

This book is creepy, well written and an absolute joy to experience.
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3.5 stars. This book sounded like the perfect horror story with an island vibe. A remote island is being exposed by Hollywood and it awakens the island's god. The island punishes people for their awfulness.

I enjoyed the creepiness of this book. Seeing figures through the trees, over someone's shoulder, in the background of photos, etc. The descriptions of the creatures were done well and I could easily see them in my mind. I struggled with the romance aspect. I honestly don't think that the story needed it. It took away from the horror aspect of the story. The ending left me wanting more.

This book was a nice creepy read!

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5/5, rounded up to four stars. The description of the Sacrifice immediately hooked me: a haunted island, a dreamer god, and a documentary film crew. The book didn't disappoint in those aspects. I loved the plot of this, but at times the main character, Alon, felt a little detached. While this played into their mysterious nature, it did make it hard to relate to them at points. Aside from this, it was a pretty solid YA horror. I loved how Chupeco intertwined gentrification, colonialism, and cultural appropriation into the classic horror elements of cults and ghost stories. The Sacrifice is pretty fast-paced, too, once the action starts it doesn't really let up. The twist at the end was amazing and completely unexpected. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for allowing me to read this ARC!
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First off, Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! 

The description of this book sucked me in and I knew I needed to read it. Monsters, my home country (Philippines), creepy horror vibes? Please count me in. Let me tell you, that I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! Seriously, I could not. This book was so well paced and perfect for a day of reading in my bed. 

Now what I loved:
- As a person from the Philippines, I knew I needed to read this. The culture was perfectly depicted. I also loved the mythology of the Phillipines weaved in there. I was so happy to see how well it was represented! I’m a huge fan of AAPI representation in any book!
- LGBTQI+ representation! Our main character Alon is non-binary 
- Pacing was well done. The book will keep you on your toes.
- The horror and creepy vibes was absolutely spooky. The world building was also well done. This book hands down gave me the creeps

This book was a fun read that I enjoyed 100%. I cannot wait to read future books by this author. This read is perfect for anyone looking for a fun and spooky read. 4 stars out or 5!
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Wow! This was incredible! A truly unique and fascinating experience. 

This was my first ever book by Rin Chupeco but now I want to read everything this author has written. I ended up reading it all in less than 24 hours. I loved the characters and how dynamic they were. Usually I have trouble keeping track of so many characters, but they were all so fleshed out that I was able to tell them apart instantly. 

This entire book played out like a movie in my head. I was captivated the entire time. This is one book I'd love to see adapted on the big screen.
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Rin Chupeco returns to YA horror with this fast, timely read! I loved the concept and the setting (Philippines). Rin expertly incorporated folklore with modern-day horror, told from the eyes of a non-binary character living on the island where an American film crew are exploring and filming. This is an easier read compared to some of the author's other works, like The Bone Witch. It's a great summer/fall horror read to add to the collection!
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!

I was drawn to The Sacrifice for the stunning cover. Then I noticed it was by an author on my TBR (Bone Witch) so I decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed it!

The story is about a deadly island oasis haunted by a non binary teen and something else that lingers just beyond the shadows. A paranormal film crew comes in to make a documentary about the hauntings and HUMAN SACRIFICES that have happened on the island. While filming, some spooky things go down. There's a little bit of romance. Ah, young love. It was sweet and important to the story, but this is not a romance book. The main character speaks Tagalog occasionally, so that was cool to see another language. Also I've never read a book set in the Philippines. I absolutely enjoyed an #OwnVoices book. The pacing and plot were very good, there were a few moments where I literally raised my eyebrows in surprise. (That's a good thing!)

If you're into a little horror, YA, or LGTBQIA stories, give The Sacrifice a go. I read this digitally with NetGalley, but the cover is so beautiful, I might just have to pick up a copy in print too.
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Thanks NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC!

I should start this off by admitting that I am a Rin Chupeco stan. Ever since I read The Bone Witch I have devoured their books and this book was no different. 

I love this book, its a light horror book with scenes of suspense and a little body gore. There are some mentions of sexual assault throughout the book which are not graphic at all, but if you like to steer clear of those themes this may not be the story for you. Every time I read one of Rin's books my knowledge for Asian cultures grows. 

Alon is our guide as neo-colonialists in the form of Hollywood has beens storm a local island that is rumored to not only be haunted but host a sleeping God. From the start there is general sense of foreboding and creepiness. This creepy undertone ramps up quickly when a sinkhole opens up and a balete tree pushes forth. Did I mention this balete tree has a human body fused to it? From here the cast and crew grow increasingly scared as the myth of the sleeping God turns out to be more of a reality.

In between all these horrors is a cute little flirtation between Alon and the son of one of our Hollywood interlopers. I love the normalization of queer youth. Honestly this book was a great quick read. I would recommend this book 100%.
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Before I begin my review, let's me answer the most important questions without giving away spoilers. This is a horror story, and there is a very cute dog who tags along with our narrator. Don't worry, the dog ends up fine, but there is one scene of animal death that occurs off-page but might be still be triggering for some readers. 

Having read Rin Chupeco's The Bone Witch trilogy, I knew I was in for a treat. Let it be known that my expectations for this book were VERY high, and Rin Chupeco surpassed them all!

Spine-tingling, creepy, and ominous, The Sacrifice is a terrifying horror story about a mysterious boy trying to guide a team from Hollywood as they try to film real footage of a cursed island in the Philippines, one where they say a powerful god sleeps, awaiting eight sacrifices that would wake him so he can remake the world. 

Where do I even start with this book? I finished this book in one whole sitting because I literally couldn't put it down for a minute. Forget sleep--Rin Chupeco is a master at creating and building the terror that haunts the island, and eventually, the foreign trespassers who barged in with the hopes of monetizing the ghost stories surrounding the island. I loved the way Chupeco took this opportunity to show how the culture, traditions and beliefs of BIPOC groups are often misrepresented by Hollywood to make it more palatable for their audience. This book, despite being a horror novel, does not shy away from the ugly truth: that Hollywood was built by alienizing and dehumanizing any culture that's different. 

But I am getting ahead of myself. At the end of the day, The Sacrifice is a YA Horror, and it stays true to the genre. Rin Chupeco pulls out all the stops of all the best horror/slasher movies--while still giving the story its own unique spin. Told from the perspective of a very unreliable and strangely aloof narrator, with every page Chupeco builds on the suspense and intrigue about the island, and the curse that had claimed so many lives and garnered international media attention. 

The world-building in this book was phenomenal, and it tied in perfectly with the horror elements of the story. And as always, I loved how Rin Chupeco dived deep into Filipino mythology and lore for this story and drew heavily from folklore surrounding balete trees. It's an intensely fast-paced and action packed novel, and yet Chupeco manages to give us a picturesque view of the serene island where so many unimaginable horrors take place, many during broad daylight.

The one thing that I think many readers might struggle with are the characters. Most of the characters, save for a select handful, are rarely even mentioned by their name when our narrator is telling the story. This creates a sort of disconnect, but I personally felt it was a clever to show who our protagonist actually cares for and who they don't really want to spare a second thought for.

And speaking of the protagonist, I loved the LGBTQ+ representation Chupeco did with Alon. A non-binary queer protagonist, Alon's perception of himself ironically ties in perfectly with his role in the story. I loved having him in my head, and while his aloofness makes it hard to relate to him, I couldn't help but grow fond of him over the course of the story. 

Overall, what a fantastic book! It's not easy for me to get spooked, but this one had me up all night, I am not gonna lie.
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Chupeco is a master at using the horror / thriller genre to unpack the difficulties of our times, and The Sacrifice is no exception. The story opens with a heavy creepy factor, which increases steadily and immediately while rooting into the stories and culture of the island. I had some difficulty with the first person narration and present tense throughout the story, but I understand the way Chupeco uses these tools  will increase the feeling of fear for many readers.
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I've been hit or miss with Chupeco's story but I will always try because her stories seem so intriguing when the summaries are released yet I never quite vibe with the story itself. This one has all the hallmarks of an epic horror set on a remote island that is being exposed by Hollywood forces and it awakens the island in ways that are scarier and scarier. Chupeco uses folklore and myth to tie it together with the Filipino main character and her interactions with these outsiders. 

So I will certainly recommend it but it didn't work for me because I needed something more atmospheric out of the opening to pull me in. So I was half-vested reading the rest.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an e-arc of this georgous georgous book! 
The Sacrifice was eerie and spooky yet a page turner. I was hooked from the first sentence and from there couldnt stop reading it. 
I must admit at first the characters were a bit confusing to me since Alon, the main character, dosent call them all by their name but either their last name or a nickname or even their first and last name. So since there was quite a few characters it wss hard to get them appart. 
I loved the concept of a documentary on a cursed/hunted island. It just gets crazier throughout the whole book and the ending has plot twist that you won't see coming!! Although I kinda saw them coming but i was not disappointed it was so good. 
The romance was cute and didn't take too much space. It was well done and I was rooting for our 2 love interest. 
If you love island and especially spooky island that .ight be cursed with weird ghostly apparitions, a bad ass main character and some LGBTQ+ representation, this book is definetly for you. It's horror-ish and the writting was really good.
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I couldn't help but think this would make an absolutely fantastic horror movie. Netflix should definitely get in on this.
Taking the usual haunted island idea but making the Hollywood documentary idea was a unique way of presenting it, especially with the fantastic visual feast the author laid out.
I googled Balete trees so I could properly understand the creepy way that the branches resemble hands and limbs and could twist and smother their prey.
Each of the characters had their own specific personality as well as their flaws and Rin Chupeco made them all come alive. 
The rhyme about who is to be sacrificed didn't feel like it specifically matched to those who died but I allowed it a little leeway. Genuinely enjoyed it and finished it in one sitting. Excellent.
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I was very excited to see Rin returning to horror after The Girl in the Well and this did not disappoint.

This is a very entertaining book throughout - I wasn't bored for even a second. I was invested in the story and found it very hard to put the book down.

Learning about the mythology and the curse is a little difficult but I didn't have any complaints going back and re-reading certain parts to fully understand it.

A very vivid and creepy read - can't wait for more horror by Rin!
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With The Sacrifice Rin Chupeco makes a welcome return to YA horror after several years writing dark fantasy. The Girl from the Well (2014) and sequel The Suffering (2015) were outstanding reads, with the former ranked ten in our top fifty YA horror novels of the last decade. It was one scarily terrific horror novel! Like those earlier works Chupeco makes full use of the folklore and mythology of the Philippines, setting the action entirely on a remote island which is bot highly inaccessible quite possibly cursed. The action opens with a group of loud and obnoxious American filmmakers arriving at the island of Kisapmata, after greasing the hands of the local government to visit a location which is normally out-of-bounds to tourists. The island has a history of disappearances, strange occurrences and the novel nicely delves deeply into local folklore, curses, demons, gods, sacrifices and builds an impressive body count (with some nasty kills along the way) as the mystery deepens and the film goes way off track. Of course, initially the loud Americans do not believe any of this and treat the local teen (Alon) who becomes their guide as a gullible mug. Big mistake.

Most of the Americans were deserving of their fate, but the novel revolves around the native Alon. This character was presented predominately as gender-neutral and it was hard to decide whether the teen was male or female, although some of the reasoning for this was revealed much later in the plot. Because of the nature of this character the first-person narrative was very vague (I found it slightly bland) and they are presented almost as an observer who warns the Americans of what lies ahead, but in actual fact does not do much to truly put them off. On the day of their arrival a huge sink hole appears in the camp, which uncovers ancient looking trees which look like wizened dried out old people and from there on the book begins to motor. This was a good fast read, even though the characters were relatively shallow the location was terrific and the use of the supernatural was very convincing. I saw the ending coming and will be interested to find out whether genuine teen readers do the same. It’s great to have Rin writing horror again! AGE RANGE 13+
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Thank you NetGalley, Sourcebooks Fire, and Rin Chupeco for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Sadly, I couldn’t really get into this book, but I understand why many people would like it. It has a really interesting premise and I liked the setting of the island. It’s a creepy book and I think that a lot of people would enjoy that. I had a couple of issues with the pacing and characters, but nothing too major. I’m giving it three stars, but I definitely recommend picking it up and trying it.
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I love the idea of the story, but I felt towards the end a lot of info is thrown at the reader and it’s hard to process it all. Since this isn’t the final version, I’m hopeful that some grammatical errors, alternating pronouns that were def typos for the MC, and other minor issues will be cleared up. I appreciated a non-binary character, but some of the other characters did seem a bit flat.

3.5 stars but rounding up to 4 because the idea is great and it’s mostly successful.
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Rin is probably one of my favorite authors. That said, this did not hold up to what I expected (writing wise) from this author. I truly don't know if I'd read this again. HOWEVER I definitely recommend people try to read this
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I was not ready for this book. It was terrifying in parts, suspenseful in others, and wrapped up in the end beautifully. A picture-perfect island that is rumored to be haunted. A Hollywood team comes in to make a show about it, but deaths are happening and the crew members appear to be losing their minds. What is causing it and how do they stop it?
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