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 by Rin Chupeco 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.
~ Synopsis: The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco ~
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…
Ratings: 5 out of 5 Release Date: 27th September, 2022 Trigger Warnings: Death, violence and gore, animal cruelty
~ Book Review: The Sacrifice By Rin Chupeco ~
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 by Rin Chupeco is a YA Horror, and it stays true to the genre. Rin Chupeco pulls out all the stops with the best horror/slasher movies scares–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 a folklore surrounding balete trees.
The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco is 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 is 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 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.
~ Meet The Author: Rin Chupeco ~
Rin Chupeco wrote obscure manuals for complicated computer programs, talked people out of their money at event shows, and did many other terrible things. They now write about ghosts and fairy tales but is still sometimes mistaken as a revenant. They were born and raised in the Philippines and, or so the legend goes, still haunts that place to this very day. Their pronouns are they/them.
Support The Author: Get The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco
If you enjoyed this review and you believe this book is for you, then please consider supporting the author by getting your copy of The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco from the links below! <3
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own (my opinions are not for sale anyway). Thank you so much to Rin Chupeco, SourceBooks Fire and NetGalley for giving me a free copy of this book. <3
~ More Books by Rin Chupeco ~
If you enjoyed The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco then here is another great young adult horror novel that you can check out.
What’s your favorite horror novel? Share your top, favorite recommendations in the comments below, and let me know what you think of this book too!
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