I read and loved S.J. Bolton’s ‘Sacrifice’ and carried it with me everywhere. I was so looking forward to reading her previous novel, ‘Awakening’ but found I never got into it as much as I did ‘Sacrifice.’ Both books have a strong, independent female protagonist and both are set in a small, rural community. Both are very easy to read and have strong storylines but for some reason, ‘Awakening’ sat next to my bed pretty much all day and was left there until I picked it up again at bedtime. That usually is an indication to me of how much I love a book. If it’s on the kitchen table when I’m making dinner or nestled in my arms on the sofa, or accompanying me to school pick-up, then I know I’ve found a new best friend. Sadly, poor ‘Awakening’ didn’t follow me round…

I feel that comparing a book to its’ predecessor is like comparing one sibling against another and I don’t like to do it BUT I must say that the characters in ‘Awakening’ just aren’t as convincing or interesting as those in ‘Sacrifice.’ Clara isn’t as likeable as Tora and I actually found her quite annoying and contrite.  The male ‘love interests’ were also dull and slightly stereo-typical.

Not wanting to completely ‘slate’ the book, I do have to say that the storyline was a very interesting one and had a few twists and turns along the way.  It was suspenseful and creepy enough to make those little hairs on the back of the neck raise up now and again (love that in a book!)  I have to say though that there were a few too many snakes in it for my liking!  The only snakes I like are jelly ones!!  Lol!  (Also slightly partial to the Choccy ones too.  Yum!)



Bizzarly, the last three books I have read have focused on animals. The first one was the fabulous ‘Water for Elephants’ which is one of my favourite books EVER (and the movie actually did it justice too, I felt.) Then there was S.J.Bolton’s ‘Awakening’ (which heavily features a snake or two – review coming this way very soon) and finally, I’m 20% through (yes, I’m reading it on my Kindle!) ‘The Tenderness of Wolves.’ Mind you, despite the title and being a fifth of the way through the book, there hasn’t been any mention or sightings of wolves so far. Maybe it’s hypothetical and the ‘wolves’ are the people who live in the small, isolated community where the novel is set? Hmmm, interesting premise… Must get to a higher percentage today and see where the book takes me. It’s a pretty interesting read so far. A gruesome murder happens in the opening scenes of the book and then you get to meet a whole bunch of locals and you learn more about each one through another’s thoughts. It’s becoming apparent that they all have some bones rattling around in their cupboards!


‘Sacrifice’ tells the story of Tora Hamilton, a surgeon, who has recently moved onto Shetland with her husband.  Whilst burying her dead horse, she makes a gruesome discovery – she unearths the corpse of a young woman who’s heart had been cut out and who has rune marks of some kind carved into her skin.  Whilst Tora tries to get to the bottom of why this woman was butchered and tortued so brutally and buried on her land, she faces danger herself of being firstly outcast from the Hospital where she works and then, more disturbingly, narrowly missing death in a sinister ‘accident.’

The suspence built up in this book is fantastic and you go from trusting one character to not trusting or liking him/her in the next instance.  It is very hard to ‘meet’ each character and not know who to trust and who not.  I love it when that happens in a book.  Mind you, isn’t that what should happen in a trully chilling, suspence novel?

‘Sacrifice’ is based on legends from the Norsk invasion of the Shetlands and the stories they brought with them about ‘trolls’ and a superior but chilling race of tall, blond people.  The book is set on the Shetland Isles, and up to reading this book, I hadn’t paid much attention to this remote part of Scotland. I have since Googled more about its’ folklore and seen images of these quaint, pictureque islands. I ‘borrowed’ this photo from a Travel Blog and I love how desolate the area surrounding the house are.  This is the exact image I had in my mind when I was reading the book.  Farm houses scattered in the middle of fields and more fields, which really adds to Tora’s discomfort and sense of being at the mercy of her surroundings.

I picked this book after reading a review on The Book Whisperer’s Blog. I am so glad I did as this book is so gripping. It’s one of those books you carry with you everywhere incase you get the opportunity to read one more page.  Love it!  Have already ordered Sharon Bolton’s next book, ‘Awakening,’ and can’t wait to get stuck into that one.  If it’s half as good as ‘Sacrifice’, it’ll be great!

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