Cover Image: The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

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Member Reviews

3/5 Stars (GR!)

The Sacrifice is a fast-paced suspense (oxymoron much?) that features a haunted island, idiot Hollywood shmucks, the cutest dog on the planet — as well as sleeping Gods, tree monsters, and general despair. 

Alon is a young man who's grown up near the Island his entire life; he knows the waters and the creatures/spirits that live there as well as his own home. The Island seems to favor him, and that makes him an asset to the people who come to the island looking for their next cash-cow in the form of a documentary. No one has been allowed on the island after the mysterious deaths that have plagued it throughout the years. But legend says Cortez and Magellan themselves buried treasure there, and no form of warning is going to stop them from getting what they want. 

My favorite thing about this is that it's absolutely terrible people getting what they deserve. The Island punishes bad people, and spares the innocent...most of the time. Alon agrees to be their guide, for a fee, to take care of his sick father, but spends the entire time warning them that not only are they not welcome, the Diwata(the Sleeping God) is gonna be pissed. 

Of course they don't listen, and of course, they immediately start seeing/hearing horrible things. This is a classic case of Colonizers Gonna Colonize, and they definitely get their due for not listening to Alon or the local government that they had to pay off to get there in the first place. 

The first half of this book was FANTASTIC. I can't stress this enough. I was hooked by the ease of Alon's voice, and the narrative went along smoothly. I loved the description of the island and was so genuinely creeped out by the imagery of the creatures that it left me feeling super uncomfy in the dark. All of the things one would look for in a book like this was there.  I was definitely settling in to enjoy how this turned out, especially as Alon basically walked behind them filing his nails like "Oh no...if it isn't the consequences of our own actions." It was *chefs kiss*. 

My one annoyance during this period was Chase. His character felt forced. I love a good himbo dynamic, but the kid spent the entire time either thirsting over Alon or being incredibly whiny. it was hard to find something to endear him to me. If we wanted to find something to tie Alon to the group, we could have just as easily used Melissa, who was Alon's first friend of the group, and who was abruptly pushed aside in favor of the bland romantic relationship between Chase and Alon. 

Something happened in the second half. Suddenly, the dialogue became bland and predictable, the charm and bizarre nature of the story fell flat. By the time we reached the twist at the end, it was the only redeeming factor. I think the last half needed more love, and less of an inclination to follow the common genre tropes. And again we absolutely, in no way, needed this romance (and this is coming from ME, you know, the girl who lives and breathes romance). 

Overall it was still a good, creepy read and was definitely easy to get through. 

*My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.*
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An island oasis turns deadly when a terrifying legend threatens to kill off visitors one by one in this haunting novel from the highly acclaimed author of The Girl from the Well and the Bone Witch trilogy.

Pristine beaches, lush greenery, and perfect weather, the island of Kisapmata would be the vacation destination...if not for the curse. The Philippine locals speak of it in hushed voices and refuse to step foot on the island. They know the lives it has claimed. They won't be next.

A Hollywood film crew won't be dissuaded. Legend claims a Dreamer god sleeps, waiting to grant unimaginable powers in exchange for eight sacrifices. The producers are determined to document the evidence. And they convince Alon, a local teen, to be their guide.

Within minutes of their arrival, a giant sinkhole appears, revealing a giant balete tree with a mummified corpse entwined in its gnarled branches. And the crew start seeing strange visions. Alon knows they are falling victim to the island's curse. If Alon can't convince them to leave, there is no telling who will survive. Or how much the Dreamer god will destroy...- Goodreads

I want to start off to say that this book is creepy AF. It can give you nightmares (it gave me nightmares). This is my first book by Rin Chupeco well technically. I didn't finish The Bone Witch because that girl was so drawn out I got bored. However, after reading this, I may give it another try. 

This book is detailed and some parts of it does feel drawn out. However, its the detail to the lore, to the setting, to the mental state of each character that gives the book its meat and I would not want it any other way; because it is such a well-written read. 

It is funny because I am having a hard time coming up with the words for this book even though I let it sit in my mind for a day after finishing it. But what I can say is that I wanted this toi be an adult book and that is mostly due to the fact that I wanted it to keep going. I wanted more of a development of relationships, I wanted to dig into the islanders and honestly another character would have been a bit of fresh air. 

I want to note that even though this book is considered YA, it is creepy. It has that horror you want in a horror. It has the faults of humans in it which only adds to the horror. It discusses dreams, discusses the evil of the heart and geeze this book is creepy. I have no other way to describe it. 

This book was great. I loved it. Will never read it again but would read a book two (if it happens) but this book is worth the read.
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honestly i really had to push myself to finish this :( i loved the haunted island atmosphere but i just didn’t feel a connection with any of the main characters. i was more interested in chase’s two friends that are literally in only two chapters ( “damn it’s great to be bi” i agree !! ).  i appreciated the non-binary representation tho <3 and also seeing abusive rich hollywood men getting killed 

*thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the earc in exchange of an honest review*
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I had such a good time reading this one! It was so delightfully creepy and atmospheric. I don't always have the easiest time picturing things while I'm reading, but everything in this one was so vividly described that it was almost like a movie in my head.

Also, Askal is the goodest boy!
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rating solely on the story itself, the sacrifice is a beautifully written tale that explores the horrors of a supposedly 'haunted' island—but beyond that, it shows tragic fates induced by human greed and cultural gentrification. the casual queerness and non-binary mc were a refreshing twist to the genre that made me really happy to see. besides the few spelling and grammar mistakes that are common for an arc, i really loved everything about the sacrifice, so much so that i finished it in a day. unfortunately, it's so disheartening to learn that this author is problematic after already finishing. i will not be purchasing chupeco's work in the future.
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Well I devoured this book! It wasn't on my TBR, but it sounded so excellent-and I love Rin Chuepco's writing, so I just had to read it! It was such a great read, and I couldn't put it down, absolutely loved everything about it!

This book was so atmospheric, so dark and spooky, and I loved it! An October release date is pretty perfect for this book! This mythology of a god on an island, who takes sacrifices, and gives power, is so interesting! Though I was slightly confused about some of the details.

Alon was a mysterious character, no matter that were were in their head. They were just trying their best to keep everyone alive-and these people weren't making it easy on them. I really enjoyed learning why everyone was there-as everything was going to chaos.

As the sacrifices were made, I just wanted to know what was going on, and it was easy to find out, because I just flew through reading this book. And that ending, oh, that was so fantastic! It was heartbreaking, but oh, so good! It was really fantastic to read! 

This was an amazing read, and I can't wait for whatever Rin Chupeco writes next!
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I really loved The Sacrifice!
Everything about it was amazing and it was a really creepy read!
I've actually already preodered it as i need aphysical copy of this book in my hands!
This was also the first book I've ever read by Rin Chupeco and I'll definitely be reading their other books.
I highly recommend this book if you are interested in a YA horror set on an island in the Philippines. 
Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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It was a very nice horror ride with creepy local lore! I love it!

Alon was a nice lead of the story. It was interesting to follow the book from their perspective, and they were a good non binary rep too. And it somehow fit into the story. I love the little romance sprinkle of them and Chase, also their friendship with Melissa. I love the eerie, mysterious feeling of secluded creepy island as well! It felt like watching a horror movie while reading this book and I like it so much.

The pacing was perfect, I love how the story flowed from events to events. The writing made the story easy to follow and that was so good. The only setback for me is that I wish we didn't have to call several characters using nicknames like "Hawaiian Shirt" for almost the whole book because after several chapters it got a little frustrating. But other than that, I love everything else.

< Advanced copy received from publisher via Netgalley in exchange with an honest review >
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I loved the setting (an island in the Philippines) and the sheer creepiness factor of everything! I couldn't read the story at night because it was just too spooky. Would highly recommend to those seeking a different type of horror.
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Finished this late last night. I really liked this. First few chapters I still wasn't sure how to feel. but then I really got into it and just kinda flew through the rest of the book. Alon, our main character, is a nonbinary teenager, and a sort of "care-taker"of the island Kisapmata. I won't go through the whole plot I'll just make a few points. I felt like the book was trying a bit too hard to sell me on Chase. Like yes, yes, I get it, he's a good guy or whatever, but stop pushing the point so hard. I also didn't feel any chemistry between him and Alon. Chase felt very young, and Alon did not, and I personally just saw him as a sort of caricature of an american teenager, which was fine. 
It felt like it was a bit random whether Alon was acknowledged as nonbinary or not. They're basically not referred to with pronouns the whole book, except one point where a random crewmember refers to them as "they". And then at one point Chase shouts at someone and calls Alon "boy" and "him"?? I'm sorry, but why? He was the first person to very quickly accept Alon an nonbinary. Maybe it's a typo I dunno? It just felt weird to me, like the author forgot who the characters were. 
All in all it was a good and exciting story. The twist didn't surprise me, but it was still good.
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"I wander through these half-forgotten thoughts, into the dreams of those who have never left the island."

rating solely on the story itself, the sacrifice is a beautifully written tale that explores the horrors of a supposedly 'haunted' island—but beyond that, it shows tragic fates induced by human greed and cultural gentrification. the casual queerness and non-binary mc were a refreshing twist to the genre that made me really happy to see. besides the few spelling and grammar mistakes that are common for an arc, i really loved everything about the sacrifice, so much so that i finished it in a day. unfortunately, it's so disheartening to learn that this author is problematic after already finishing. i will not be purchasing chupeco's work in the future.

thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc!
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This book being an Horror book, and having a dog in it, had me STRESSED.

Now seriously, this book delivered in the horror category, I couldn't even read it at night! I liked that at the beginning you are very spooked by everything, but then you start to understand the situation. Kinda like The Haunting of Hill House series.

I liked Alon, but I felt they were bit emotionless Maybe it was part of their mysterious character, but I felt a little bit disconnected.
But all in all, it was a very enjoyable read, I was rushing through the pages, but at the same time didn't want it to end!

And I like to thank Sourcebook Fire for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC!
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This is a really solid YA horror book that concentrates on not only the legacy but ongoing violence of white supremacy and privilege. It's great to see the white imperialist-style characters get their comeuppance, though the book is fairly nuanced and engaging with its horror (though it's straightforward with its political and ideological assertions, which is fantastic).
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Based on the description, this book should have been right up my alley, but I had to force myself to finish it.
The characters were bland and the story confusing and convoluted. One of the main characters was so inconsistent that it seemed the author kept forgetting who they were writing. The background information for the island contained far too many characters. 
I was glad when the book was over. Three stars because I finished it.
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Rin Chupeco continues to blow me away as an author and this super creepy, unbelievably chilling tale proves just why!
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Rin has a way of writing that sucks me in and keeps me entranced, and this book is no different. I may not be the target audience for their books, but I’m a fan nonetheless. The Sacrifice was everything I hoped it would be. Mystery, thrills, and twists. I cannot wait for this book to be released so I can hold it in my hands. I want more!
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Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire, for allowing me to read The Sacrifice early!

Rin Chupeco is a favorite author since their early novels and each year that passes they consolidate themselves a spot as one of the greatest authors of their generation. The Sacrifice is an electrifying horror tale inspired by East-Asian folklore that will ensnare one's attention and never let go.
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I was so excited for Rin Chupeco to return to YA horror with The Sacrifice and this did not disappoint! It's a quick, tense read with really engaging characters and told from the POV that creates a really interesting distance from the scares...right up until the switch is flipped and WHEW. This story was a creepy good time!
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Generally a good book, kept my attention. The story was great, characters well thought out, and the pacing was good. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would read more by this author!! Thank you so much for the ARC! Rin has a knack for writing good horror books, I have loved every one that they have released.
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