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Monday, 6 February 2012

Review: Surrender by Lee Nichols

Title: Surrender
Series: Haunting Emma
Author: Lee Nichols
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: 6 Dec 2011
Source: Own Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from 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?


Please bear in mind that this is the third book in the series and may therefore contain spoilers for the previous books.

I love this series so much that I couldn't wait for it to be distributed in the UK in April so I bought the US copy.  I am so glad I didn't wait.

Surrender picks up from the end of Betrayal perfectly. The ghost keepers are trying to put their world back together following the massacre at The Knell. The shock and despondency of the ghost-keepers at their defeat can be felt from within the narrative. The realization that Neos is just biding his time to gather his strength and that there is a very real possibility that they wont all survive is starkly represented.Confronting their own strengths and weakness is one aspect of the plot, each characters development is enhanced via their group dynamics and the resolution of these issues. Although Emma may have the strongest ghost-keeper powers she wouldn't have the strength of personality, loyalty or love without her friends and Bennett.

Bennett's struggle with  the ghost-keeper drug, enhancing his powers in order to help Emma even if it kills him, is an issue with everyone. The understanding of his reasons was a brilliant piece of writing within the plot  providing valuable insight and understanding at the conclusion.

The action is as fast paced as ever. The descriptive writing adds to the tension while keeping the pace flowing smoothly. Interspersed with the character relationships, their actions are linked a lot to their emotions, adding to the realism. Especially if like me you are an emotional person, lol. The non-ghost-keeper members of their team, Sara and  Harry, show that you don't have to have supernatural powers to be of help. Harry's narrative voice, so full of sarcasm, helped dispel the tension when required.

Emma's plight at having to banish ghosts she cares for is easy to understand and emotionally portrayed within the narrative. Empathy for both sides can be felt, the ghost for not wanting to remain in a state of limbo and Emma for losing these people forever.

The mix of action, character development and of course, romance, brings this series to a wonderful and well rounded conclusion. 


  1. I feel so bad that I haven't started this series yet! Soon!

  2. Awesome review. I really want this one, I loved the two previous books!


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