Carrie's Reviews > Beautiful Sacrifice

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell
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Oct 05, 12

bookshelves: action-adventure, contemporary, read-2012, suspense, audio, manipulative-friends-family
Read from May 27 to October 05, 2012

Originally published on AAR in Speaking of Audiobooks:
http://www.likesbooks.com/blog/?p=8940

Narrated by Richard Ferrone

Archaeologist Lina Turner is not only a specialist in Mayan artifacts; she is of Mayan decent and can trace her lineage back to before the Spanish conquest. Hunter Johnson is a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer. While helping a current ICE officer track down rare and illegally excavated Mayan artifacts, Hunter seeks Lina’s help. He hopes a better understanding of the significance of the lost artifacts can help him locate them. The investigation turns dangerous, and when the artifacts seem to be linked to Lina’s family, Hunter and Lina leave Houston for her family’s compound on the Yucatan peninsula, hoping for both safety and more answers.

Beautiful Sacrifice contains a significant amount of Mayan history. I enjoyed the history lesson but some listeners may grow weary of the many details Lowell includes. Lowell mixes the fact with fiction by inventing the Mayan god, Kawa’il, along with a bloodthirsty group of followers. Narrator Richard Ferrone has a gravelly voice that suits the sometimes mysterious and mystical atmosphere of the story. His reading brings the forbidding jungle, the dark caves, and the ancient rituals to life. Belief in the ancient Mayan gods seems almost reasonable in this setting.

The reasons behind Hunter’s inclusion in the search for the artifacts weren’t well developed, but that was a minor weakness. Hunter is presented as independent and emotionally closed off, and the narration emphasizes his strength and reserve. Lina is a capable professional who feels the weight of her family obligations. Due to her emotionally distant and often manipulative parents, Lina prefers to work in Houston rather than remain in the Yucatan. Ferrone manages to portray both Lina’s strength and her vulnerability. He doesn’t change his voice significantly when portraying female characters, but the gender of the speaker is clear most of the time. There are only a few sections of dialogue when the change in speaker is not identified that may cause some confusion.

The suspense plot doesn’t entirely work and the dramatic climax goes on for too long. However, the plot and setting are unique and the action moves the book along at a nice pace. In the end, Beautiful Sacrifice is an enjoyable, if somewhat flawed, book that is enhanced by a strong narration.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy I'm interested to see what you think about this one- I picked up the audio CDs on impulse from the library.


Carrie I'm enjoying it so far. Have you listened to it yet?


message 3: by Judy (new)

Judy Carrie wrote: "I'm enjoying it so far. Have you listened to it yet?"

I haven't started it yet. Are you listening to the audio or reading it?


Carrie I'm listening to it. It's a male narrator, which I generally like, and so far it's working for me.


message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy Carrie wrote: "I'm listening to it. It's a male narrator, which I generally like, and so far it's working for me."

I'm going to start listening to this one today. At first, I didn't think I would like male narrators, but I've listened to a few and changed my mind about that.


Norma Ooh! I'll be excited to hear what you think of this one. I'm pretty sure my library had it on audio--I think anyway. It sounds like an interesting book.


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