Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pretty Sacrifices by Devin O'Branagan - review

Pretty Sacrifices
Devin O'Branagan
Legend of Glory #2
Y/A, urban fantasy
available both as e-book and print

cover - I like this cover; it's stark, with just the two roses, and the blood in the shape of a heart.  Dramatic and stark. Good cover.  I also want to note here that this is a good example of self-published book that has been edited with good effect.  you won't find silly typos or any of the mistakes that self-published books became infamous for.  I've noticed that a lot of the e-books are much better now, and I've also noticed that some of the big-publishing houses are letting typos and mistakes through.   hmmmmm......

Pretty Sacrifices is the second from the trilogy Legend of Glory.  I read the first novel, Glory - The Legend Begins, and enjoyed it.  I think I liked this one a little more.  The series is about a young girl and her part in a pandemic of epic proportions.  In the first novel, Glory (main character) has been injected with the only vial of medicine that cures a deadly virus that has been infecting millions.  And now that her blood is the only blood with the cure, she is in immense danger and must find her scientist mother who has been kidnapped and stay out of the clutches of a crazed group of people who have a intense agenda.  They feel a need to deal with overpopulation by causing a pandemic, leaving a select few to re-populate the world.  In Glory, Glory's mission is to find her mother, stay safe and then make her now very rare blood available for a cure for the suffering public.

Pretty Sacrifices deals with the aftermath of this pandemic.  The author touches on some of the ramifications of the pandemic - the economy, the lack of food sources, the changing structures of the schools and governments and how people are coping with this new life and the grief of losing so many loved ones.

In Glory's case, after her blood has been used for a 'vaccine/cure', now she's dealing with her mother who has given up on life.  Because she was one of the developers of the original virus, she feels a deep guilt and depression.  Glory's friends are trying to pull together, but some of the protagonists from the previous books are making a reappearance, trying to disrupt lives and pull people over to the dark side.

Pretty Sacrifices deals with many things, all spirituality of all types plays a large part of the story.  Glory has guardian angels who have made themselves known to her, since she plays an important part in world events, but they're limited in what they can do.  It seems the villians have more on their side than the people who are trying to help people.

Part of the spirituality contains angels, wiccan type of religion, earth mother, Native American beliefs, Catholic religion, vampires, demons an both angels and fallen angels.  It's an interesting mix of characters who all manage to work together.  One of my favorite groups is a small band of vampires who call themselves the goth girls.  They're vampires who have overcome their bloodlust and make it their mission to help people.

Part of the plot involves Glory trying to find her sister, who was kidnapped years ago, to help her mom come out of her depression.  Turns out there's more to the kidnapping than meets the eye.

Time travel plays a large part, long term plans, experiments and fringe groups.  And as with O'Branagan's other works, Australian Shepherds are an important characters - in this case, Hallelujiah the family shepherd who, though grieving for her dead master, loves the rest of the family and helps Glory as much as she can.

I found this to be an engaging read, with strong spirituality threaded through the story along with some interesting characters - one of whom is a four year old.  The four year didn't sound like like any four year old I've ever come across - but then she's a remarkable child in a story of extraordinary characters and times.  The characters are struggling with their respective beliefs - are they going to give up or are they going to keep trying?  Are they going to be optimistic and help others, or are they going to start behaving badly, give up and cause others to suffer?  The story carries a message - be true, be as good as you can be, which is something that many of us need to remember. 


  1. Oh, Mardel, thank you for the wonderful review of my novel! I am thrilled you enjoyed it so much. I'm now working on the third, and final, book in "The Legend of Glory" trilogy: GENESIS. Also, another writer and I are planning a book entirely about The Goth Girls. (We are each taking two of the four main GG's and writing an anthology that will explore how they became vampires.) No release dates yet on these books, but I'll keep you advised! Again, thank you. Your readers may learn more about my books at my website:

    1. Good to know about the Goth Girls. I'll keep my eye out for that one. :)