Thursday, August 1, 2013

REVIEW: Surrender by Lee Nichols

Surrender  (Haunting Emma, #3) Surrender by Lee Nichols
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book 3 concludes the Haunting Emma series, and what a boring series it was. Truthfully, it shouldn’t have been a series at all. The story had some good things but they were very diluted by scenes that often went nowhere and conflicts that were extended way, way beyond their shelf life.

The beginning of book 3 was slow, so slow that it should have been condensed to a few chapters and started towards the middle of the book. The middle was better but useless chapters still plagued it. Consequently, I skimmed because my patience was gone. I couldn’t be bothered to wait any second longer for the characters to finally deal with Neos.

+ the characters

You would think massive time and energy would be spent in preparation for the fight against the ultimate villain of the series, but no. The characters were winging things. I was shocked and angered by how the characters failed to make defeating Neos their fucking priority. Really? A psychopath from the fucking grave was on the loose and boy troubles were their main concern? REALLY?!

The one character who showed any commitment and serious preparation to defeat Neos was Bennett, which was good... if only he wasn’t using a highly-addictive, highly-hazardous power-boosting drug to do it. *facepalm* Boy was more likely to drop dead before he could do anything.

I was vexed at how Emma ignored and enabled Bennett’s drug habit. She spent more time thinking about how she could get some decent alone time to make out with her boyfriend than she did about the fact that her boyfriend was a junkie and she should help him. I was already struggling with the fact that she picked the “bad boy” over the good boy, Simon. It was not until in the middle of the book did she finally recognize Bennett’s drug problem, but to make matters worse, she helped shit and they broke up. Stupid teenagers.

You ask where are the parents? Well, Bennett’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stern, kicked Bennett out of the house in the beginning of the book and were useless as could be. They were only there to look after the kids, which they did a horrible job of. Emma’s parents, while they finally came back and stayed with Emma, were almost as terrible parents as the Stern’s were. They did little parenting, and none of it showed me that the characters truly took the issues seriously. We finally get some needed parental presence in the story and it turned out to be flaccid. Four parents, all of them fucking useless!

So I put my final hope with Max, Emma’s older brother. I had hoped when he came back in the middle of the book he would finally bring Emma to proper sense and purpose but, alas, no. I foolishly thought optimistically.

+ the ending

After several listless chapters and characters, Neos finally showed up at the end. I was disappointed how it was the only the time in book 3 he showed up, how his appearance barely lasted for a few scenes, and how utterly weak his presence was compared to the previous books. It was the final showdown yet the ultimate villain got treated like an uber tired loose end.

I hurt my eyes from rolling so much from how it all depended on Emma, the special snowflake, to defeat Neos. If this book had any sense of realism, the silly girl would have been dead in the beginning... of the series.

The only solace I found with the ending was that everyone fought and survived and that the romance between Emma and Bennett, despite a few deus ex machina, resolved satisfactory. I may have been frustrated with the characters but not so much that I wanted any of them to suffer tragic fates, which is the greatest compliment I can give to them. Seriously with sincerity. I even got a little sad for the few characters who died in the previous books.

In Conclusion

I rate Surrender 2-stars for it was okay. If you plan to pick up this boring cliché trilogy, read the books back to back. This is a series where it’s hard to remain invested and remember things if you don’t. I only recommend picking up this series if your library has nothing better at the moment for you to read.

Goodreads | Amazon

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