Friday, 4 May 2012

Review: Surrender by Lee Nichols

Surrender (Haunting Emma #3) by Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Released: December 6th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?

Fast-paced and romantic, this conclusion to the Haunting Emma trilogy will thrill readers as it brings the ghostly mystery to a close.
 (from Goodreads)

Surrender was a great conclusion to the Haunting Emma series. While I wasn’t entirely happy with the ending, I enjoyed it overall, and I’m a little sad the series is over!

Emma was under a lot of pressure in Surrender. Everyone was relying on her to defeat Neos when the time came, and she wasn’t sure she was powerful enough to do it. She kept doubting her abilities and wasn’t confident at all. On top of that, Bennett was getting more addicted to Asarum and was refusing to get off it no matter what anyone told him. Emma knew that Bennett was hiding something from her, that he had some sort of plan, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was. Their relationship was getting more and more strained. Bennett was getting worse every time Emma saw him and it was definitely affecting them both. They clearly loved each other but Emma couldn’t stand to see Bennett hurt himself that way and Bennett wasn’t listening to her. So they definitely had a lot of problems. Despite that though, there were still some awesome EmmaxBennett scenes. And by awesome, I mean hilarious. First Bennett’s parents walked in on the two together, then Emma’s parents walked in on them together. I would have felt bad for them both having to experience such embarrassing situations, but I was too busy laughing. It was just so damn funny! They had the worst luck :P.

I didn’t know what to think about Bennett in this book. To some extent I felt really bad for him because all he wanted to do was protect Emma, and he knew that at some point, to be with her, he’d have to lose his powers. At the same time, however, I thought he was being reckless and stupid, and while things did work out in the end, I didn’t agree with the methods he took to ensure they did. He could still be charming at times though, and I loved his romantic scenes with Emma. I am glad the two got to have a happy ending, even if the bits in between were really messed up.

One thing I loved about Surrender was that even though there was a lot of serious and scary stuff going on, there was also still a lot of humour. Harry was as funny as always and I loved reading the banter between him and Emma. He was one of my favourite characters and I think he was a great friend to Emma (even Bennett said so). The ghosts’ conversations with Emma were great to read about too – and Emma herself said or thought some things that were hilarious! Like at the beginning, when she had this realisation about the greatness of bad boys. I was cracking up! :P

My only complaints are that I felt the whole fight with Neos was a little anticlimactic as things happened so quickly, and the ending seemed a little rushed and unbelievable. I love happy endings, but I felt the ending of Surrender was almost a little too happy? What happened just seemed so convenient, and no-one really had to sacrifice anything. I mean, I still liked it and I was glad most people got to be happy, but it seemed a bit unrealistic that everything would turn out so well. Still, I really enjoyed the book overall! Surrender was never boring and was well-paced, and I loved finding out more about the ghostkeepers (especially the bit at the end with The Rake, which was awesome).

Overall, Surrender was a great, compelling read and a fabulous end to a series. Definitely recommend this trilogy to fans of ghost stories and funny characters.

May the fourth be with you!


  1. 4.25, really? You just couldn't commit to a 4 or a 4.5 could you :P Wellll you know my thoughts on this one. agree about the antic-climatic-ness and yeah I guess the emma/bennett/parents moments were pretty funny. I'm glad you enjoyed it at least

    The Cait Files

  2. I love Harry! He is my favorite character in this series. I agree that the ending was kind of anticlimactic. Overall though this is a really good series, I enjoyed it and I'm glad you did too. Great review :)

  3. I'm so happy you enjoyed this. I almost had a heart attack at the end of the second book, with Bennett's revealed addiction! EEEK. Glad they were able to have some funny, though embarrassing, scenes together in Surrender ;) I am a bit worried about what Bennett will be like but…fingers crossed. Emma's conversations with the ghosts are always hilarious and I can't wait to see them for myself! <3 Shame the ending was just so-so…I totally get what you mean =/ This'll arrive in my mailbox soon (only found out yesterday from Bloomsbury that it was already out LOL oops) and I look forward to checking it out myself! Thanks for the great review!

  4. 4.25? Totally agree with Cait here, Liz? WHAT THE WHAT IS THAT? XD But, I don't know if I can bear going back into this book after my dislike of book two. It'll take a lot to impress me again, and I was already finding Ben to be pretty stupid and reckless which irritated me a whole lot. But, then... there's that side of me that's like Liz liked it, why shouldn't I? :P We'll see, I guess.

  5. 4.25 - very specific of you! ;) I can't believe I haven't read this book yet. I have all three books in the series and they really sound like my kind of thing, so I must start on it soon. I'm wary of book two now after seeing Asher's comment. What's so bad about book 2???

  6. Totally get what you mean about happy endings. No matter how much I love a set of characters, I much prefer pain and sacrifice than an ending that's too bright and rosy. Despite that, I'm so glad you loved this! I kinda skimmed some of your review because I haven't read the sequel yet (bad me, I own a copy!) but the parts that I did read were amazing and totally have me wanting to catch up asap! :D


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