Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review: Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Betrayal (Haunting Emma #2) by Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Released: September 5th 2011
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.
(from Goodreads)

[contains spoilers for the first book]

Betrayal is a brilliant sequel to the Deception, and the Haunting Emma series is fast become one of my favourites! The book begins soon after the end of Deception, with the funeral of Emma’s friend Coby. Coby’s friends Harry and Sara blame Emma for his death, and refuse to speak to her anymore, and Emma becomes a social outcast in school. Worst of all, things with Bennett, the guy Emma would do anything to be with, are not working out – Bennett doesn’t want to lose his ghostkeeping powers until Neos is defeated, but being near Emma puts him in danger of doing exactly that, and he can’t take that risk. So Bennett leaves Emma, with the promise they’ll be together once Neos is gone, but that doesn’t really do much to ease Emma’s mind. She now has a new guardian, Simon, who brings along with him another ghostkeeper called Lukas. With a new team to adjust to and a life-threatening fight to prepare for, Emma is starting to realise the pressure she is under – she may be the most powerful ghostkeeper around, but even she gets scared sometimes.

Betrayal was a great addition to the Haunting Emma series, and I really enjoyed it! Emma had to deal with a lot in this once and I think she coped quite well with it all, even though it made her feel miserable a lot of the time. To have such an amazing time with Bennett to then be separated from him must have been awful, and I think we as readers missed Bennett just as much as Emma did! He popped up here and there though, and while I loved every scene they were in together (and there were some superawesome sexy ones), I did notice him changing as the story progressed. I won’t tell you what happens, because it’s spoilery, but the Bennettt at the end of Betrayal was not the same Bennettt at the end of Deception, and though Emma loved him just as much, she noticed the change in him too, and I’m expecting there to be some conflict in the next book, Surrender.

Natalie was even better in this book. She was a great friend to Emma, and tried to cheer her up, and she also defended her when Harry and Sara were shouting abuse or whenever someone was being nasty. She knew Emma well, and was the type of friend I think everyone wished they had – loyal, kind, funny and trustworthy. As for Harry and Sara – I could understand that they were going through a very tough time, losing such an important person to them, but I do think they were a little too harsh on Emma. Coby wanted Emma to talk to them and explain what happened, but Harry had started drinking again and Sara refused to listen, so Emma was put in a very difficult position. She still cared about her old friends, though, despite what they thought of her, and I think in the end, she did what was right, and I’m glad things worked out the way they did.

The newcomers, Simon and Lukas, were both very interesting characters. Simon was the oldest, and took on the guardian role – he was very strict and snappy a lot of the time, but I do think he cared about Emma and everyone and tried his best to protect them. He also knew a lot about ghostkeeping, and I have a feeling he actually knew a lot more than he let on about a few things, and while not very powerful, he was definitely a great ghostkeeper. He even made a joke or two, and I liked reading about him. Lukas seemed almost the opposite of Simon – he loved the ladies, and never missed the chance to flirt outrageously with Natalie, or make some funny comments about Emma. He injected some fun and light-heartedness into the story, and made a great addition to the ghostkeeping team, I think.

I really liked the ending of Betrayal, and felt it set up the next book perfectly - leaving you curious but not frustrated. There was actually a little extract of book three, Surrender, at the back of Betrayal, and after reading it, I’ve gotta say I’m really excited about the next book, and I can’t wait to read it! It looks like it’s going to be another awesome read.

Overall, Betrayal was an excellent, fast-paced read, and these books, in my opinion, are some of the best ghost stories around in the YA genre. Highly recommended.


  1. I've been reading great things about this series. Definitely one that I will try at some point.

    Fab review as always :D

  2. Oh I need to read Deception soon! So glad that you liked Betrayal! Sounds like a great read! :)

  3. This sounds like a great read. I never heard of the series but it sounds intriguing. Thanks for the great review!

    And thanks for stopping by our blog:)

  4. This series sounds so good! Our library doesn't have it yet, but hopefully will get in the first book soon. :) Awesome review!

  5. I enjoyed Deception and I have Betrayal but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'll definitely have to get to it soon. Great review!

  6. I am really looking forward to both the books in this series. I love anything like this.

  7. It's so encouraging to hear that this series is becoming one of your favourites! It truly does sound amazing. Especially the characters! Each and every one of them sound great!

  8. Okay, I'm going to resist reading your review since I still haven't read the first book yet (I'm planning to squeeze it in shortly!). I read your very last paragraph though and love that you call them the best YA ghost stories out there! Makes me even more excited to dive in. I trust your bookish opinion (SO THEY BETTER NOT DISAPPOINT. Kidding... :P).

  9. This is next on my TBR pile and after your review I can't wait to start it! Great review :)

  10. Highly recommended, huh? Well, it certainly sounds like something I'd like, based on your excellent review. Another one for the TBR pile!
    Mary @ BookSwarm

  11. Great review. It sounds like something I would like . . . so I'll definitely be checking it out! :)

  12. Thanks for the insight! I've had these books sitting in TBR pile so I might have to bump them up soon. :)

  13. I am reading this one next and I cant wait for it!! :D

  14. I loved Deception so I'm glad you thought Betrayal was a great sequel! so so so excited to read this one. thanks for the review! :)


Comments are better than frosted cupcakes :)