Book Review: Sacrifices

June 6, 2017

Sacrifices, A Life of Death 3, cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far,
regardless of how one is spending it.

Even though I have been having a little troubles getting
things recently, I am still kind of glad that I can do what I enjoy and that I
have a resource, other than sites like Project Gutenberg, that I can get a
title or two from.

For quite some time, I have been waiting on a title that I
requested a review copy of to arrive, and I had received it just when I thought
that I had only one or two books left, as the first of three preordered titles
also came.

Today, I will be reviewing that title that I asked for,
which is called Sacrifices by Weston
Kincade.

Alex Drummond has been leading a fairly peaceful life, or at
least as peaceful as it can be for a homicide detective in a small town, and
has become a fairly respect figure in society, while keeping his unique talents
under wraps.

However, when cremated remains show up that gives Alex
vision of people who were somehow involved with drugs and rumors of a gang
forming at his alma mater turns into trouble, Alex finds himself and his family
in a dangerous situation that may lead to the suffering of the many residents,
as well as themselves.

I must say, I really liked this book.

From the very moment that I opened up this book and started
reading it, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to
satisfy the same needs as every other human out there.

Weston Kincade, ever since I read his early works, back in
the year that I originally got the domain I use today, has been able to capture
my attention and maintain it throughout the duration of the time that I have
spent reading his stories, regardless of what kind of errors he made or typos
he and the people helping him overlooked, and this book, his most recently
released work, is no different from those titles.

If I had to say why, it is because his writing style is
fairly entertaining, unlike many of the books out there that get labeled as
classics or masterpieces, and he is able to create images in my mind, as well
as many other things that I expect from somebody that I would consider great,
as opposed to a joke.

All of this comes together and helps thing feel more like I
am watching movie, and one that Hollywood cannot seem to produce anymore, than
a actual book.

Readers of fiction want to be able to escape reality
temporarily, just like moviegoers, and the fact that Weston has been able to do
this time and again really shows that he understands what is important to have
have in any work of fiction, regardless of the genre is it called, and that he
has not yet lost his edge like many other great writers that have lived and
died have experienced.

Seriously, if people could deliver something more like this
these days, we might have more people that could truly stand on the same stage
as Agatha Christie, Jun Mochizuki, and Hiromu Arakawa, though the latter two do
more manga than prose fiction, which Weston mainly creates.

Unfortunately, the writing industry is just like any other
business out there, so they will put out something that can sell more often
than they will reject a piece of writing with a big name attributed to it
because it truly did not deserve to be published, so until readers start
demanding more quality works, nothing is really to change.

Still, Weston Kincade and the many other great writers that
are alive today should receive praise for what they do right, because they need
all of the encouragement that they can get, and I kind of hate when I have to
deal with things like the Yu
Yu Hakusho
movie
, where the negatives were so bad that I could not find
anything that I liked.

I also liked how things did not feel dragged out.

In the country where I live, which, other than the UK, seems
to be the only major country that produces book that get film adaptations, a
lot of the series produced here feel like they are being dragged on for no
reason at all towards the end of the trilogy, with Veronica Roth's Allegiant of
the Divergent series being one of the worst offenders, and this pattern
has turned me off to more than half of the series being released today that are
not manga.

Here, however, Weston seems to have broken that often
repeated pattern by actually producing something that I am proud to call a
sequel to A Life of
Death
, and much more so than the The
Golden Bulls
.

While, as noted by Scott Rhine in the book, this was not a
coming of age story, it seems to have everything that I liked about the first
book in the trilogy, with how realistic, interesting, and believable the
characters were and never really added in anything unnecessary.

Yes, other than the visions of the deceased that Alex and
Jamie have, there is nothing that really connects the three stories together,
like many of the popular trilogies out there, but I think that is why Weston
was also able to accomplish something that very few, if any, writers could
accomplish before him, which is to produce a great finish.

I had my doubts as to whether or not Weston could even pull
this off, even if I did believe that he could do it, and because he was able to
do this, I feel like giving him a major round of applause.

Another thing that I liked was how I was misled while
reading this book.

As many of the regular visitors should know, I have read
quite a few books in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, and my
experience with those kinds of works help me to notice the elements of
detective fiction that Weston had incorporated in the second book in the
trilogy.

However, those elements and the fact that things were as
easy to predict as they were ultimately led to its downfall, because I did not
any of things that I expect from Agatha Christie's work or series like C.M.B.,
Q.E.D., and Detective Conan, the latter of which I regularly here,
as there are things that are supposed to be present, regardless of whether the
work is a whodunit or not, and one of those important aspects is misdirection.

In this book, on the other hand, Weston wrote the story in a
way that I thought somebody else was involved in Alex's case because the one
that was believed to be responsible was thought to be dead, and made me think
that Weston could potentially make a name for himself in the field of crime
fiction, if he so chose to try his hand at it, especially considering that not
all works in that field are considered whodunnits.

Unfortunately, Weston has no interest in dethroning either Agatha
Christie or Dashiell Hammet, writer of The
Maltese Falcon
and creator of the Continental Op, according the interview
I had with him back in 2013, so this is probably as close as I will ever get to
seeing him do something like this and I am just fine with that because I want
him to write the story that he wants to write.

Still, it is always impressive when a writer can improve
over the course of their career, and I feel like giving Weston a ton of
applause just for that reason.

Hopefully, Weston does not peak with this book, because I do
not want him to turn into the same kind of joke that John Grisham became around
the time he wrote The Whistler,
even if I know that Weston's abilities will decline, just like Agatha Christie
eventually became unable to write anything as decent as what I read from her so
far, though I am glad that I have yet to read her worst work.

The thing that I liked the most though was how I felt like
crying at the end of this book.

Now, it is not unusual for people to cry when their favorite
series have comes to end, and Weston knows very well that I am a fan of A
Life of Death
, but I am not usually a person that gets bothered by the fact
that a series ended, as I know that things usually get worse if they go on for
too long, which is a big reason why I tend to avoid the shows made and aired
where I live.

No, the feelings of feeling like I was about to cry were
because of things that could only be found in the likes of Clannad, Narcissu,
and Planetarian.

While people might complain about how Narcissu is rather
clich├ęd, though that does not mean it is bad, and the staff at Key writes
things that are essentially pointing at something and saying it is sad, people
in general cannot really feel sad about something unless they are given a reason
to feel sad or sympathsize with the characters or others, and that is a big
reason why fiction gives me more insight into humans and why we behave we do
more than actually talking to people, since people are not too happy with my
mostly introverted self.

When we try to make people feel sorry for others, we often
tell them to put ourselves in their shoes, thinking that will make the
individual understand what that person we want the other individual to empathy
for is going through, but, according to an online
post
by Sen on Calm Mind Down,
this does not really work because we are still ourselves and we our projecting
our current level of consciousness onto others, instead of really trying to
understand others, which is why I am annoyed when people think I am heartless
for not falling line with the status quo. After all, I have strengths that
people cannot even dream of because they are so used to how they are living
now, and if I did not have the limitations that I do now, I would just feel
weird instead of happy, even though there are one or two things that I never happened
to me.

To really understand people and feel empathy for them, we
need to understand things from their perspective and what their
strengths and weakness are, and that is something that Weston has been able to
do fairly well, even in the worst works I have read from him, which is
thankfully not bad enough that I would rip him a new one.

The official summary of the book, which can be found at the
link provided before I actually went into the review and the book itself, suggests
that something major is going to happen in this book, and, because of it, I
expect for there to be some heartbreaking moments, even if they are not on the
level of Yusuke Urameshi's wake, or even Ushio Okazaki dying soon after Tomoya
decided to raise her, and the way that Weston delivered things towards the end really
delivered by showing that Alex was in pain because of the events and that he
was not strong enough to do what needed to be done.

If he had not done things like this, I would not really get the
reason why Weston named the book what it is named, and I probably would have
been more disappointed in this title than the second book in this trilogy, not
to mention that he would have failed just like many other writers had.

However, because things were they way they were, I feel like
giving Weston another major round of applause. I might not be in a position to
say that Weston Kincade is the greatest writer who ever lived, and he probably would
not think he is either, but this is why I think he is one of the best out there.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, especially if I do not want to spoil things too much
for those that have not read the book yet.

Because my attention was held from beginning to end, things
did not feel as dragged out as things normally do in the last book of a
trilogy, Weston was able to mislead me, and I almost finished this book in
tears, this was one of the best books I have read.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos or things that were not really that important, but I wish were
explored more, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering there was so much to like and nothing all that
bothersome, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of Weston Kincade, A Life of
Death
, as they will like this the most.

As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, as none of
the titles in the trilogy really requires knowledge of the other titles, though
it could help a bit, and it is one of the few books out that actually ends a
trilogy properly.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or buying the reviewed title via the link provided toward the beginning of this
post, which would actually help both Weston and I, so that I continue finding
more worthwhile reads for you guys, and doing whatever you do when you find
something that impresses you.

Use an app on your on phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken the web version of this article.

to Book Review: Sacrifices

Feed For this entry

0 Comments

There are currently no comments. Sorry, This post is closed to new comments.