About the book
Surrender is the third and last book in the Haunting Emma series by Lee Nichols. It was published by Bloomsbury on 12th April and the book is 272 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghost-keeping 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 ghost-keeping world once and for all-and break the "ghost-keepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?
What I thought
After reading the first two books in this series really quickly, one straight after the other, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the last book. Unfortunately, I had quite a wait on my hands but I was so excited when this one turned up one day.
Surrender begins straight where Betrayal ended. Obviously, as this is a series, if you haven't read the other books then you'd be extremely confused starting with this one. After the Knell being near enough destroyed, the ghost-keepers are having a tough time putting their lives back together. This, along with Emma's urgency to get things done, made me able to feel the desperate feelings of all characters involved. Big bad guy Neos is on the move and getting ready for something big and every single page of this book shows that. Every character's actions only intensified the terror that Neos brings to the story and I truly felt like bad things were going to happen because of him.
Emma is a character that I loved from the first book onwards which is a pretty good thing really considering that she's the main character. Along her journey in this series she has been through a hell of a lot, which makes for a very emotional read. There has been love and loss and heartbreak and to mix this in with the terror of Neos threatening to destroy everything, it shows how strong Emma really is. Not only does Emma have to find a way to destroy Neos but she also has a lot of other things going on around her. Her boyfriend Bennett is addicted to a ghost-keepers drug that he refuses to give up and her friends are all a little crazy. Still, Emma always finds time to be there for everyone around her and be an extremely good friend which was something that I really liked about her.
Due to this being the last book in the series and the nature of the plot (and the small amount of pages), Surrender is very fast paced. The plot moves along at the speed of light and nothing is ever dragged out. While I liked the excitement of the plot and everything that was going on around Emma and Neos, I would have liked for some slower moments. Most of this book is hard hitting and it was definitely lacking some softer, more intimate moments between characters and I don't mean Emma and Bennett. Other characters pop up out of the blue but they're presence is a bit like a whirlwind. They're there to do what they have to and then they're gone again. These characters were never really developed enough and I would have liked to have gotten to know them better.
Although I had problems with the pacing of the story, overall it was a really good one. For the last book in a series, it still managed to have action and adventure while keeping the main character close to my heart. Surrender wraps up all loose ends quite nicely and finishes in a way that I'm sure any fan of the series will be happy with. I'm quite sad that this series has come to an end but I'd now read anything else by Lee Nichols after loving these books so much.